Apple – You suck worse than Samsung

Dear Apple,

I would like to formally lodge a complaint against one of your resellers, Mac City Malaysia, specifically the service center located at 1 Utama Shopping Center, Lot S330, 2nd Floor, 1 Utama Shopping Center New Wing.

My iphone 5 Serial number C36JVVUUDTWF is eligible for the sleep/wake button recall at https://www.apple.com/my/support/iphone5-sleepwakebutton/

I have been living with this issue for some time, and finally found time to go to this service center. Once there, they did their checks and agreed it was eligible. They asked if I backed up my data and when I said yes, we agreed to do a wipe and they would replace it, after a few days.

Then, after consulting with his senior ‘technician’, a person by the name of Calvin, they informed me that I am not eligible for this recall because my volume button also appeared to be faulty. One of the volume button (decrease volume) required some extra strength to use it because it has also been semi-stuck. I didn’t have a problem with that, my problem is my sleep/wake button, which has caused me to misdial different people because I didn’t lock the phone. They insisted that until I fix my volume button (for around SGD450!), they will never accept my phone for sleep/wake recall. I argued that it’s the same controller, sitting on the same ribbon. I couldn’t believe that I was teaching an Apple ‘technician’ rudimentary knowledge on their own products. Of course, if the controller is faulty, those connected to it will naturally have issues. It’s not as if these two issues are not related. They are on the same RIBBON!

However, they refused to accept my reasoning, and completely disregarded any more attempts to even try or help me. Their attention then focused on another unfortunate person unlucky enough to come to this ‘service center’.

My complaints are this:

  • The service I received was bad. While they were not rude or anything (I need to be fair), the only word to describe these people were: soul-less. Like robots, who kept repeating that the policy from apple is that if anything else other than the sleep/wake button is not working, Apple will not accept the recall. They told me to fix my volume first, then send in for recall.
  • The senior technician had no knowledge on his product. By reasoning, if I fixed my volume button, that would mean replacing the ribbon, which would also fix my sleep/wake button. Isn’t that the point? Did he not know they resided on the same controller? Instead, he demonstrated an absolute lack of knowledge, which even me, a non technical customer knows. It’s embarrassing.
  • They do not understand customer experience. A guy called Steve Jobs said: “You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.” They weren’t interested to solve my concern and problems. I could almost hear a collective sigh of relief and ridicule from them as I turned away to go. No, they were only interested to sell products but not to service them.
  • The worst of all – They DO NOT REPRESENT THE SPIRIT OF APPLE. This is the worst sin of all. I am a lifelong Apple advocate. I have Macs, I use IPhone first gen till now, I never jailbreak my phones, and I have multiple apple Ipad, Ipad Minis at home. It’s very tough to understand how Mac City can take an institution like Apple and basically stampede the life out of it, and represent one of the world’s best brand with this vapid, emotionless, incapable service paralysis. I am in shock that someone is allowed to do this to Apple, and I am afraid your Reseller quality program needs a re-look.

What to do next? I concede, Mr Calvin and his team in Mac City Service Center @ One Utama might be an anomaly. I’ve been to Apple Stores all over the world, and in US, their service would be ridiculously good. Even in Singapore at your center in Wheelock, they would never consider treating a customer like garbage as I have been treated here in this service center. They would at least consider to help and with a good reasoning behind it, create the ‘customer experience’ that Mr Jobs founded this company on.

I think Apple Asia needs to relook at their resellers. Most of these resellers are interested to ‘sell’. Their culture is never to treat the customer with respect, but always attach a number to them. A price. A value. That’s not Apple. Maybe you should rename them Apple Authorised Re-Service-rs. Please do not sell out your brand. In times like this with the Chinese brands, Korean brands and what not coming in, Apple must be the bastion of quality and supremacy, and must always remember, without your customer base, amazing products will be left on the shelf. Improve our people, improve your support personnel, because the battle is always won in the hearts of your consumer.

I will give Apple another chance, but please consider this letter. I took so long to write this because I care for the brand. I will pay top dollar for quality and service. But you need to relook at resellers like Mac City or remove/revamp their extremely poor service center in One Utama, and relook at how to win us back. Be devoted to us fanboys, as we are devoted to you. Thank you.

p/s – I have written to Mac City regarding this complaint but as usual, I expect not a word from them in response. I will need to live with this problem with my Iphone until I change it. Or perhaps, finally after years of resistance, give Android a chance. It’s just sad, that it wasn’t Samsung or HTC or Xiaomi who won a customer, but it was Apple who lost it.

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Verdict: Super Stroke Grip – Maybe Not So Super

Recently I managed to pick up some old putters (center shaft, mallet) – Voodoo Daddy was one of them. The problem was that the grips were unusable. So I headed to the Pan West shop at Kelana Jaya (near KGNS) and was convinced by the gentleman there to try the new super stroke grip. I usually just change to the normal ones for a song, but the Super Grip would set me back RM90. Pretty pricey for a grip. I was convinced to try it though, and there was a choice of the Slim 3.0, Mid Slim 2.0 or the Ultra Slim 1.0. They were all the same price, but different diameter. Basically, the Ultra Slim was like a normal grip, while Mid was fatter and the Slim 3.0 was – fat. I don’t know why they call it Slim – probably by western standard. Probably not Japanese or Korean or, well Malaysian Standard. Oh Wait. I am now talking about women.

Anyhoos, being the kiasu Malaysian I am, here was my thought:

1) Slim 3.0 is the fattest, meaning more materials were used to create it.

2) More materials = Cost of good is actually higher.

3) Price of the good = same

4) Therefore Slim 3.0 is best for bang for buck since I get more out of the same price.

5) Margin for manufacturer is less, it’s a bargain for me!

So there you go. It’s the same retarded reasoning on why I continually use the driver on every hole despite the fairway being only 2 meters wide, and both sides are filled with water, with crocodiles and possibly bull sharks swimming in them. Because I technically paid the most for the driver, therefore, I need to utilise it the most to lower the price per use. I am not major in economics. I’m in IT, so it explains a lot.

Anyway, back to Super Stroke, I used it for like 4 rounds – starting with Nilai, the disastrous Danau, Kinrara and Seri Selangor, shooting 95, 101, 96,96. This was after shooting two rounds of 85. Was it due to the putting? I would say in some parts yes, except for Danau when I went on a shank stroke. The rest, I sort of messed up in my short game, but putting was woeful. I just couldn’t feel it. The grip was TOO BIG. So long lag putts was suffering for me. Short putts was worse. My Seri Selangor game, I had around 4 putts that were missed within 2 foot. I putted 35, 33, 37,37 putts in those 4 games.

The problem was I just couldn’t get a proper grip–I know there are probably a few of the golfers who will snicker at the next remark — but it was too thick. Simple as that. I did manage one birdie in those 4 games – i.e the Par 3 in Seri Selangor when I slam dunked my 8 iron to 1 foot. No way I was going to miss that.

Promptly, the next game in Bangi, I banged in 2 birdies with my old Odyssey with the normal grip. I don’t know if it’s the grip or the putter (center shaft mallet) that I struggled with. But either way, it is going to be difficult for me to switch back to that again. For those who are thinking of super stroke, I’d advise, probably go for the mid slim or ultra slim. I don’t think it’s right for our hands, in my personal opinion.

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Gilasale page updated

While every golfer is pretty much watching how USA is getting thrashed by the Europeans in Ryder Cup, I took the time to take an inventory of the stuff I still have. I have a couple of putters, a few more drivers still for sale, so if anyone who wants them, let me know. I can let go of these drivers:

1) Cobra S91 = RM80

2) Taylormade R540 = RM30

3) Taylormade rescue= RM20

4)Taylormade R5 = RM50

Man, watching the USA play Ryder Cup is as excruciating experience as it is watching stupid Liverpool defending.

 

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The Cursed Swing

Ask any golfer, which of these would be his/her nightmare shot:

a) Top

b) Duff

c) Whiff

d) Shank

e) Missed One Foot putt

Now with the exception of e), where you will probably proceed to jump down the nearest lake and likely commit suicide, between the 4, the first 3, while embarassing, are not the worst nightmare of golfers. It’s the dreaded shank.

I played at Danau recently (based on my previous review, you would know this is a course NOT to be trifled with).

I started the day in somewhat confident mood as I was playing pretty good golf over the past few weeks, except for a general triple-triple meltdown in two holes in Nilai, where I knew what my problem was; I was playing much better than what my score suggested. No kidding. It’s like times when you play so darn well, yet cannot score, because your perfect drive went into the woods because it was so long, or a woodchuck came out and gnawed on your balls. Golf ball, I mean.

So anyways, I started the day with a hooked drive. Second hole, hooked drive. Third hole hooked drive. At this point, I was going for bogey-triple-triple to start. And on the par 3, it happened. The dreaded shank. I just shanked the heck out of it. And from there, the game descended into an apocalyptic piece of turdmess. All it took was one shank and it left me fr dead. I scored 50 on the front, and thought i can recover with a par-bogey on the back nine to start, and then the third hole – Shank. Par 3 again. Triple the next par 5 and from hole 5,6,7,8,9, I played double-bogey for ALL holes. Never happened ever. Ended with 50-52 scoreline. And I was lucky too, because I snapped my 3 wood on the par 5 fourth, and then on hole six, I shanked again on the par 3. I then proceeded to test 3 more shots (while declaring I will play the first), and shanked ALL of them. So technically, I shanked around 8 – 9 times this round. It’s like a bloodbath of epic proportions.

Oh yeah, Danau is also cursed, because I snapped my driver previously when it fell from the buggy, and now my 3 wood when I tomahawked it to the ground. So long, 3 wood and the reminder of my Happy Gilmore temper.

Anyway, back to my shanks. What causes a shank?

Heck if I knew. Else I wouldn’t hit 9 shanks in a game, now would I?

But here’s what I think. Too close to the ball at address and too closed the clubface. I always think two wrong things:

1) Shank is caused by open club face

2) Shank is caused by too much outside in

Both are not wrong, yet, not correct either. The Shank is caused by the ball whacking the hosel. Duh. This happens due to the sudden retardation of my hand-eye coordination. Case in point, the first hole back nine, I was 140 m away to an uphill green and hit an absolutely pure nine iron that just cleared the green and landed 5 feet from the hole, which I heroically missed the simple birdie. Hole 3, full of supreme confidence, I shanked the crap out of my ball into the jungle. Why? How can you go from a superman to a homeless hobo in one hole? Somewhere along the line, my address went out of alignment. To be honest, it was happening all day. Some shots were ‘near-shanks’ where you hit a seemingly good shot but in your heart you knew it was a close call.

I must have creep closer to the ball the less confidence I had. Because I thought I was opening my club, I proceeded to shut the club face. Because I thought I was going outside in (which I never do, for those who plays with me know, I am a hooker in principle and cannot slice/fade to save my own life), I set myself to come even more inside out than normal. All these adjustments lead to worst results.

I don’t really have a solution, as I topped my last iron shot and never really fix what was broken, but I guess I’ll know in my next game.

 

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Her – Scarlett Johansson

Her - Image

If you were to find yourself with a free afternoon, and with a thunderstorm pouring down (after all, if you had a free afternoon, why aren’t you playing golf?), you might want to take some time to watch one of the best movies I’ve watched in a long time. “Her” – that’s the simple title, and it talks about this nerd who falls in love with his operating system. I know, this is so weird in so many levels. But it’s not that new, the concept. A few years back, a movie called S1mone explored the relationship between human and virtual reality, in this case a virtual girl. Of course, this year we had Transcendence, the Johnny Depp turd bath which nobody understood at all, and frankly goes to show Johnny Depp is only good as a pondan pirate.

Of course, my obsession with operating system AI awareness goes back a long way, back to my favourite movie, “Electric Dreams” which I watched in PJ Civic Centre back when I was probably around 6 years old or something. Although it wasn’t really a super good show like Space Odyssey’s HAL, it first gave me the idea on how a computer can actually have a relationship with humans. I guess, Electric Dreams made me take up Computer Science very much into the future and here I am, still geeking out over movies where human computer interaction goes overboard.

Anyway, back to Her, this is a spin to the old tale. In fact, many Electric Dreams geeks like me had wondered if this movie was a sort of update to the old classic. I won’t go into the details of the movie, but I would highly recommend to watch it. The main guy is this fler played by Joaikim Phoenix. I know I am spelling his first name wrong, but it’s darn hard and I am too lazy to look it up. Anyway, Electric Dreams is about a guy who had this computer (male), who helped him get the girl he wanted, but the computer then became jealous. It’s a love triangle. Now, this is different. In Her, it’s just Joaikim Phoenix character, who feels lonely and buys an OS (operating system), who is so darn smart, she names herself Samantha, and has the craziest, most lunatically lusty voice ever – obviously done by Scarlett Johansson. I swear, if my TV starts talking like Scarlett Johansson, I would also fall in love it her. It. Whatever. Don’t tell my wife. I mean seriously, Scarlett Johansson? Yowzah.

So this main character and Scarlett Johansson OS falls in love and the movie goes through the whole relationship. What I liked about it is that there didn’t seem to be a set up for drama (like computer turning into a serial killer etc), it just meanders along and allows the characters to go through what we all are familiar with–relationship problem.

At one point in the movie, the Phoenix guy, Ted, after suffering through an Avatar issue (where the Scarlett OS wanted to have ‘sex’ with Ted, through an Avatar, i.e an actual person played by, I guess, a prostitute), and Ted dismisses this Avatar and they argue: Scarlett OS sighs, and Ted asks, “Why do you do that? It’s not as if you have lungs and you need to breathe”…Scarlett OS tries to explain it’s just her way of expressing, and Ted continues to berate her, saying there’s no need for her to take a breath since she’s not human etc — don’t mess with a woman, and tell her what she is NOT, and her limitations, you stupid moron! And she just went like, “What the f-ck? Where is this coming from?”

At that point, it recalled back some unpleasant (and probably hugely influential) memories of my phone conversations in my younger days, when I wasn’t married and was having BGR (boy girl relationship) issues. I mean, heck we all go through it. And sometimes, when talking on the phone for hours, trying to explain stuff, it sounded like the one on this movie, where you say the wrong thing, and the girl just goes berserk on you. I mean, the whole show, is like this guy having a phone conversation with his girlfriend…except he’s talking to his OS, who is with him constantly. It exactly mirrors the times when I would be at home, and called up the girl, and we would NOT talk, but just go doing our things and once in a while, say, “Are you still there? What you up to?”. Or when she would say, “You sound busy, do you want me to go?” and you know if you said Yes, because I want to play my computer game, dammit, woman!, It would be the END of ALL THINGS AS YOU KNOW IT, so you say, “Oh no, dear of course not! I like to hear you breathing”.

Ah, good days.

Anyway, this movie is slow, plodding at times, but for those who love human computer interaction movies, this pushes the boundary. For those who ever had those phone calls, or break ups over the phone before, this will bring back those painful (though now, it’s kinda funny) memories of youth.

Now, one more shot on the voice behind the OS. So. Hot.

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What so Great about Golf Anyway?

I was talking to an acquaintance recently and he was selling some stuff, which included his golf bag and clubs. As we were talking, he suddenly blurted out, “What so great about Golf anyway? Sorry, (he apologises to me, knowing I Gilagolf) but I find the game so stupid and boring, where you hit the ball, chase it and hit the ball and chase it”

Knowing that he’s a guy that liked cooking (and spending God knows how many hours cooking some french stuff then posting it on Facebook), I said philosophically, “It’s like cooking. I find it boring as well, because I suck at it.” Implying because he sucked so bad at golf, he immediately dismisses it as a stupid game. It’s like the fox that can’t get the grapes and he mutters that the grapes are sour anyway (I guess there’s where the term sour grapes come from?). I didn’t mean it as an insult, just a very easy way to say, “People don’t understand stuff because they are either crap at it, or they don’t bother to expend effort in it, and therefore dismisses it.”

Of course, he immediately retorts back that without food I won’t be alive, to which I responded, whoever cooks, someone must eat, so I am the guy that eats it. Besides, I don’t like those frenchy food anyway where the plate is like 15x bigger than the actual food. Give me chow kueh teow, dammit! Here’s what I learnt: it’s useless saying to a self proclaimed chef (and we have many these days) that cooking is a waste of time, like how you tell a self proclaimed ‘golfer’, golf is a waste of time. To me, any food that requires more effort to make than to eat is worthless. It’s like the popiah theory. You spend so long making the damn popiah, and you just finish it in one bite. Or the crab/prawn theory. You spend so long peeling the skin of the prawn or hammering the claw of the crab just to get the little meat…sheesh, it’s just not worth it! Cost benefit analysis, people!

Anyway, back to Golf. Why do Golfers like it anyway? I guess, like many sports, it fulfills our 4 happy chemicals:

1) Dopamine

Dopamine  is the human chemical responsible for releasing good feelings of satisfaction, achievement, and completion. The word dope comes from this. Basically, this is what we get when we score a birdie. Or hit a perfect drive. Or flush a six iron to 1 feet from the hole. Or hole a bunker. Sheesh, I can think of a million ways Dopamine gets released on the golf course. In fact, every anti-dopamine act (a duck hook, a top ball, a shot into the bunker), gives an opportunity for the dopamine act to occur. That’s why we end up ‘chasing’ the high. Even when we hit a crap shot, we ALWAYS think we are going to hit that 3-wood 250 meters curve past the trees onto the green. DOPE, MAN!

2) Serotonin

Serotonin is the pride we get at the end. When we collect our $$ from our friends. When they concede you are the better golfer. When they say, jeez, that’s a freaking long drive bro. Or even, when you whip out your driver and someone comments, holy crap, that’s a long shaft and a big head. Sometimes, the words we use on golf courses are just waiting for an innuendo. That’s why some people play better when they bet. Or ok, all of us play better. Because there’s a reward. There’s a trophy. There’s a beat down. There’s bragging rights.

3) Endorphins

Endorphins is the high we feel when we need to mask the pain. It’s the ‘pleasure’ chemical. Golfers get this, that’s why we don’t feel that our wrist is hurt, or our backs are aching, or our legs are gone. We just play (except for those idiotic golfers that complain about their physical impairment all the time to pyscho you)…to be honest, even if someone was feeling pain, when he steps up to the tee and envision all the orgasmic dopamine and serotonin he’s going to get by blasting the ball straight down the fairway – endorphins kick in and bye bye pain.

4) Oxytocin

The final part to the puzzle. Golf is the most relationship based sport ever. For 4 hours, 4 people end up together and they become best friends. Oxytocin is the feeling of camaraderie, friendship, of ‘belong’. Through golf, trust is automatically created. Experiences are shared. The lunch after the game is filled with memories and laughter. We know these guys will be there for us no matter what. That’s why when you play with an a**hole, you never want to play with him AGAIN. Ever. Because he has taken away that Oxytocin from you, because he’s such an a-hole. Golf is about friendship. When someone breaks that trust, we should cast him out like the pile of dogcrap he is. Case in point, was the other day I was at the pro shop fixing my putter grip. While waiting, someone walks in and looks at my putter and asked me about the grip and we started talking and laughing about stuff. He left after a while, my wife asked me, who was that and was that a friend? I said no, don’t know his name, or anything else except he played golf and we knew each other’s golf clubs. She looked at me strangely, as if I was a half witted numbskull. Golfers immediately create a trust bond. It’s like what Victor Hugo says: Great perils bring to light the fraternity of strangers. The peril we all share is the game of golf.

So there you go. Golf provides for all. Cooking? I guess. But I suck at it, so to me, it’s a boring activity. I don’t get my 4 chemicals from it. I rather be eating.

So to non-golfers who thinks golf is boring–you’re right. It is to you, because you don’t play it. Everyone gets their fill of these 4 chemicals somehow. Let’s not knock on our respective methods shall we?

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Thistle Port Dickson Golf Club

Introduction

Long time ago, there was once a course called Guoman Golf Course in Port Dickson. The name ‘Guoman’ immediately would evoke some confused looks amongst us, because it sounded like ‘Go-men’, in short, in Malaysian speak, ‘Government’, in short, evoking immediate ridicule. After the sarcastic laughter has died down, and the invariable diatribe on how our government might be spending their time playing golf and sucking badly at it, we would wonder how this golf course actually is.

Well, we finally had a chance. To give credit, Guoman has nothing to do with our beloved government at all. But after experiencing probably only 2 – 3 people staying there the whole year thanks to its association, management decided to change its name to ‘Thistle’ and from there, experienced a boom of about 655,675,342% increase in hotel booking.

Travel (3/5)

Travel is actually quite easy. However, Google Map points to the wrong hotel and wrong area, so be careful. Basically for those of you who knows Port Dickson, it’s basically one long stretch of road. We used to refer it to what ‘mile’ what ‘mile’, as if we understood or could gauge which mile were we at. Nowadays with the advent of free GPS in waze and Google Maps, it has rendered all this ‘mile’ speak obsolete. From Seremban, hit the Port Dickson Highway, and once at the end of the highway at the roundabout, take left, and just follow the road until you see the word Thistle on the right. It’s easy, but Thistle should really correct their position on Google map properly.

Price (3/5)

Thistle Golf is a nine hole course, that set me back RM40. Now mind you this is for walking, so if you need the buggy, that’s an additional RM40, so you’re looking at RM60 or RM80 depending if you are playing alone or not. RM40 is not bad for a nine hole course. Take a trolley though. The course itself is walkable. There is a bit of hill here and there, but nothing a fit golfer who is around 150% overweight and probably on the high side of cholesterol can’t handle. Besides walking should be good for you.

First thoughts

The first thoughts is actually quite positive, strangely. I suppose it comes with the territory, that I have such low expectations of Port Dickson golf courses. I think this stems from my experience with Royal Palm Springs Port Dickson, where you just want to bleep out every letter in that course name except for ‘Dick’. Royal Palm Springs, from my last experience is the biggest piece of dung ever existed in the directory of Malaysian Golf courses, and could rival the horrendous TUDM course of Kuantan as the worst Golf Course in Malaysia.

So when I step foot in Thistle and saw the Bermuda patch of grass (please note, we actually don’t quite know what the fishcakes is Bermuda grass. Anything that is NOT cowgrass, is automatically categorised as Bermuda grass.) Anyways, the fairway is NOT cowgrass. Or if it is, it certainly had me fooled. Anyway, the first 3 wood I hit landed smack on the fairway and it sat up invitingly for me to hit. It’s quite a good conditioned golf course. So, like its bigger brother, the Port Dickson golf course, it made a first good impression.

Service (3/5)

There’s seriously not much to service. It’s a nine hole golf course. It has no fuss at all. I went to the counter, said I wanted to play. The lady behind languidly asked if I needed the buggy, I said no, she said RM40, I gave her and she said OK, and went back to playing her Candy Crush. From there, I had no more experience with another human being until I left the course after an hour and a half. The ENTIRE course was devoid of life. At one point I was quite afraid I would be robbed especially in the 6th hole, which is frankly extremely deserted.

Fairways (2/5)

The fairway on the first hole was in a good condition. However, as the course progressed on, it got increasingly worse. Not to say anything, but I suppose it’s the fact that the course has so little traffic and so little maintenance. Some parts were dug up by our eternal nemesis, the wild boar. Some parts simply didn’t had the capability to sustain the grass, and in some areas, the fairway was allowed to grow long. Now, Thistle is a very narrow course, with forbidding trees surrounding it. However, compared to the absolute horror show of Frasers Hill course, it is quite good. I’d say, it’s like a cousin of Bukit Unggul, except in better condition.

Greens (3/5)

The greens were actually quite playable. Very slow, which is expected, since it wasn’t pressed properly, but at least it wasn’t in a horrible condition. It’s reasonable, although there were patches here and there. The only issue is that the greens were boring. As in, most of it were flat. As in, it’s like putting at home in the putting mat. Not much break or variation, except for the 8th hole Par 3, where a coconut tree decided to grow in the middle of the putting green. I mean it’s more novelty than anything else since it didnt really affect play.

Rough (2/5)

Bunkers were not in good condition. The rough was rough. I mean, if you don’t hit the fairway, that’s it, good luck in finding your ball. While again, it wasn’t in such a carwreck like Frasers, the course puts a lot of pressure on you finding the fairway. In many instances, I took out a 3 wood instead, just to get the ball out of the rough.

Aesthetics (2/5)

Thistle is not a pretty course. It’s a good enough course for you to have a reasonable round of golf when you have nothing much to do in Port Dickson, but in terms of aesthetics, it’s mostly wooded. It’s a pity, because again, it doesn’t take advantage of the fact that you are next to the ocean. Or straits, or whatever. Only in one hole, 7th, we can catch a brief glimpse of the sea at the tee box. And that’s it. After that, it’s back to fairways bordered with trees and forests.

 

Fun Factor (2/5)

As mentioned, Thistle is a reasonable practice for golf accuracy. For those who like to grip and rip, like myself, this was a test of golf constipation. It’s like we have a big pile of crap that has to come out but when you look at the fairway, it’s like, trouble left, trouble right. For a course next to the sea, it uses precious little water as hazard, only the first hole, 5th and the 8th has any semblance of water hazard. But the treelines are forbidding. Not so much that you can’t hit there, but when you do, whether you want to risk it to go and look for a ball or risk having your human balls snapped by a cobra.

Furthermore, a thunderstorm was chasing me, so I literally had to run between shots to finish the game. Now, this is obviously not the golf course fault, but obviously it affected my game a little. Besides that, the course was open, so you can play as much as you want, but I would warn against single women who want to play there. Many of the holes are extremely isolated from civilisation, and I would not recommend any lady going to hit balls there alone without having someone else.

Was it fun? Yes and no. I played a reasonably good game despite half jogging. I didn’t quite like the two par 3s side by side, or the fact that the course had 3 Par 3s for a 35. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good Par 3, but too many here. First hole has to be navigated with a 3 wood and avoid the right water. The second hole is a long Par 5 which requires some navigation around the bend. The third is a short par 4 once you cut the slight dog leg, where by 3 wood only left me 50 meters to the hole.

The most challenging is the index 1 6th. This is a par 5, and one of those with trouble on the left (OB). I took out my driver and was too lazy to change to 3 wood, so I smacked mine way right. Luckily it was long enough to borrow the green of the next hole 7th and I found my ball, after which I proceeded to double bogey it. Hole 7 again is a short par 4 where my Wood 3 left me again with a 50 meter shot, which I promptly skulled.

Finally, the par 3 8th is a picturesque one, over water and with a coconut tree growing in the middle of the green.

The ending hole, finally I could whip out my driver, a simple dogleg left hole, which was not exceptional except for the fact that I had to sprint all the way in order to beat the rain.

Conclusion

Honestly, for a nine hole, Thistle is actually very functional. For a more satisfying round, I would recommend 18 holes at the PD golf course (NOT the dang Royal Palm Springs). But if you only have around 2 hours to spare, and want to have a walk, Thistle is a very good alternative. I’d recommend it, but not for ladies playing alone.

The good: Reasonably priced; easy access; quick service that gets you on the course; reasonably conditioned fairways and greens

The bad: Boring aesthetics; rough is dangerous in my opinion as in God-Knows-what-the-heck-is-in-there dangerous; flat greens makes putting a yawnful affair; doesn’t take advantage of seaside location;a little too isolated in some holes for a single golfer.

The skinny: 20 of 40 divots (50%).

Not bad for a golf course previously associated with Goumen. I did not really expect too much, and in reality, it didn’t really surpass my expectation much. It did not offer a lot actually, but what it did offer was functional golf, challenging for the accuracy, and something for you to escape a 2 hour window in.

Thistle Port Dickson Golf Club Scorecard

Thistle Golf Information

Address: KM16 Jalan Pantai, Teluk Kemang, 71050 Si Rusa, Port Dickson 71050

Contact: +606 648 2828

Fax: +606 662 7999

Websit: http://www.thistle.com/hotels/malaysia/port_dickson/thistle_port_dickson/hotel_facilities/9_hole_golf_course.html

 

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What Happened to You, Impian?

Once upon a time, when Saujana used to run it, Impian Golf and Country Club used to be one of our favourite haunts. It had one of the best greens ever, and the fairway as well were excellently manicured. The caddies were a useless bunch of nitwits though, but overall, the experience had always been very good.

For some strange reason, though, I never could score very well there. Perhaps it was due to the deceivingly tight fairways, that undulates and drops off to valleys and hills. Perhaps it’s just that some of the holes were ‘hooker’ unfriendly, meaning, lots of trouble on the left which leaves a nightmare for guys with a hook as his bad shot. Or the table top greens.

But I played there this week and had one of the worst experience of golf in living memory. No, the fairways were OK (although getting progressively worse). The greens were horribly slow. Like S.L.O.W. It was difficult to putt and to gauge, and ended up with loads of 3 putts etc. The bunkers were wet and hard.

But it wasn’t these problems. We had a group in front of us that were absolutely the worst golfers in the history of bad golfers. Not that they couldn’t hit it. But they were absolutely without ethics at all, and slowed the game down so much that I felt like buying a thousand piranhas and pouring them down each of their respective pants. I mean bad golf is one thing. Slow golf is another. Deliberately slow golf is unforgivable. We were waiting — I kid you not — almost 10 minutes between shots.

They would drive their buggy. Wait. Then some of them would get down while talking. Take out their clubs. Put back. Take out their clubs again. They would ALL wait till the first guy hits, then walk to their ball. Worse, some of them took so long to swing that I could have gone for a poop in the jungle and came back and still waited. I absolutely, unreservedly DETEST golfers like that and wish them to be tied to the 150 marker on a driving range with a thousand balls flying towards them. One of them would hit his shot, pose UNTIL his darn ball landed. As in pose. With a frozen follow through as if his photo was taken. For every shot.

Come on!!!

Soon, the flight in front of them disappeared, and they were 2 holes behind. As in at their tee off, the flight in front of them were hitting the second shot of the NEXT hole. I believe in this theory: that if the flight had a Dato, or an MD, or a big boss, and the other 3 are kiss-ass subordinates who just took up golf or smoking so they can wipe their MD’s ass: the MD/Dato/recepient of ass-wiping would invariably suck at golf. Because none of his spineless partners would dare to tell him he suck and he should go for golf lessons. None of his spineless partners would say, “Boss, can you hurry up, the 4 chinamen behind us are already lying on the fairway and opening their beer cans”. None of these gutless sotongs would dare teach their MD, instead most of them would say, “Wow, so spectacular your driver, that you can shape your drive like a pitching wedge shot”.

So there was this guy dressed in white ahead of us who was just a sorry excuse of a golfer. He couldn’t play. But you could see his 3 spineless toadies fawning near him.

Guys. Don’t kiss ass. Just play the game and tell your boss to go for proper lessons instead of messing up the course and destroying people’s lives in the process.

Impian, due to the poor marshals and governance did not manage to get these buffoons  out of the course, despite many of our pleas to have us pass through. They completely ignored us even when we all sat down and just looked at them from where we were in protest. In fact at one point, we started teeing off our balls towards the side netting on the tee box, as if we were at the driving range. I swear they actually slowed down just to annoy us.

Now I don’t like to blame people if I had a bad day at golf. But front nine played like this:

+9 from hole 2, 3,4 and 5, scoring a massive +15 overall in front 9. Back nine, they cleared out faster, because we took a break a bit and finally the marshal started doing his job: +6. My 51-42 was 9 strokes different. And my 42 included a 2 on on the par 5 on the 17th. My drive left me around 160, to the green, where my 6 iron brought me within an 8 feet putt for eagle. My stupidity and greediness caused me to roll my eagle 4 feet past the hole and I retardedly miss my birdie. 3 putt from 8 feet!!!

I suppose I am somewhat of a rhythm player. And I can’t play when I am pissed off with the front molasses. I kept duck hooking my drives in the first 9, that got me even more pissed, so it was like a never ending spiral of death. Until they cleared out in the back 9 and we could finally play our golf without stopping.

To the flight in front of us, may you never set foot on a golf course ever again, not the MD, or your boneless underlings who are supposed to be working but are obviously either too lazy or incapable, that they need to play golf to get promotion.

Better stop before I get pissed off again.

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Dawn of a new Era

As some of our most loyal readers would know, we are ridiculously, unreasonably, fanatically biased towards a guy called Tiger Woods when it comes it golf. It is an irrational loyalty to the guy who coined Sunday Red in the lore of golf. Throughout his sexcapades, we have stayed with him, remaining as one of his main sponsors, even to the point that he was unaware of it. Throughout his injuries, we stuck with him, and even continued to offer money into our Tiger Fund, which as of this date, we have -10RM, the 10 RM was withdrawn due to our group not having enough money to pay for our golf lunch. In fact we were so serious with our fanaticism for Tiger that we all had a vow of silence for 3 months, which is why you have not seen this blog updated since April. In fact we have more than 6,534 articles written ready to be posted, but due to our vow of silence, we have decided to destroy all these articles and start from scratch. Yes, we are fanatics.

But now, even Gilagolf must admit – the time has come.

With Rory graduating from a half beserk nincompoop who threw away Augusta to the actual person taking over Tiger’s throne, and with Tiger’s injury (again) flaring up again, it’s hard to see how our good friend will ever recover from this. Even if he does, he has this punk with his curly hairstyle to contend with. And unlike Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Phil Mickleson and Steven Ames, they are not going to wither like a flower when Tiger steps up to the tee. Anyone know what the heck happened to Vijay Singh?

So the truth is this: Jack Nicklaus record remains. Tiger will fall short. And despite him being more than 20 years in the circuit, golf is still a white man game. And now, the top 5 in the world isn’t even American.  Nicklaus and Palmer will be turning in their graves, I think. Wait, oops, they are not dead yet. Sorry, my bad. Need to google more.

A big congrats to Rory, but it is definitely the end of Tiger after this. It’s been a fun ride while it lasted.

 

 

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The Masters is HERE!

Despite the current pall that is sitting on the golf world thanks to our world number 1 being out of the Masters, there is still plenty to watch. It’s not to say that golf has found a way to survive without Mr Woods, because frankly, I still think it’s boring like heck when he’s not playing. I have not watched any Non-Tiger tournament this year, and I can’t even care less which of these overweight contenders won in the last tournament.

But the Masters have a different ring to it. In fact, the Masters and the Open is probably the only Majors that I would watch. Forget about the US Open or PGA championship. Between the Masters and Open, I would probably pick the Masters. Because it’s the only major to be played year in year out at the same location and with so much drama packed within 4 days in spring.

So what this year? Are we going to see the Chip that Tiger did in 2005? Or the ridiculous duck hook shot at the 10th two years back? Or in that same year, a double eagle from Louis Ooist–I don’t know how to spell his name, that guy with the gap in his two front teeth. If he had won, it would have been one of the immortal shots of Augusta, where they said, from launch to dropping in the hole, it was about 40 seconds.

So if you are a betting man, who would you pick? There is a good article for the US Masters betting preview here, where it rightly puts Rory, Adam Scott and Phil up there as favourites. But let’s not forget Jason Day, who is the second Aussie in the top 5 and the strangely revived Sergio Garcia. If I had to pick, I’d want Sergio to win it. Over the years, my stance has somewhat soften with him, and now, just want him to win that major tournament that is due to his prodigious talent.

So let the Masters begin!

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