The Koreans are in Town

Some time back, there was a comment by an LPGA player Jan Stephenson:

“This is probably going to get me in trouble, but the Asians are killing our tour. Absolutely killing it. Their lack of emotion, their refusal to speak English when they can speak English. They rarely speak.
“We have two-day pro-ams where people are paying a lot of money to play with us, and they say hello and goodbye. Our tour is predominantly international and the majority of them are Asian. They’ve taken it over.”
“If I were commissioner, I would have a quota on international players and that would include a quota on Asian players,” Stephenson told Kessler. “As it is, they’re taking American money. American sponsors are picking up the bill. There should be a qualifying school for Americans and a qualifying school for international players. I’m Australian, an international player, but I say America has to come first. Sixty percent of the tour should be American, 40 percent international.”

“This is probably going to get me in trouble, but the Asians are killing our tour. Absolutely killing it. Their lack of emotion, their refusal to speak English when they can speak English. They rarely speak.

“We have two-day pro-ams where people are paying a lot of money to play with us, and they say hello and goodbye. Our tour is predominantly international and the majority of them are Asian. They’ve taken it over.”

“If I were commissioner, I would have a quota on international players and that would include a quota on Asian players. As it is, they’re taking American money. American sponsors are picking up the bill. There should be a qualifying school for Americans and a qualifying school for international players. I’m Australian, an international player, but I say America has to come first. Sixty percent of the tour should be American, 40 percent international.”

It’s funny, because we sometimes associate westerners as the leader of the free world, but some of my dealings with them is that some of them have the most backwater thinking I have ever encountered. In America, it’s simply because they are so darn huge, most of them in the midwest have never seen the ocean before. The largest pond to them is probably the one fronting the par 3 5th hole in their local course. But Jan Stepheson is Australian, so what she says doesn’t make sense….unless she’s smoking weed while interviewing, which, as most people concluded, she was.

Anyways, racism is obviously laced in every aspect of that interview, especially, her labelling ‘Asians’ as lack of emotion, refusal to speak English, and rarely speaking, American money, American sponsors, different qualifying schools etc. That was back in the days of Martin Luther King, woman! That’s race segregation, and that’s why Rosa Parks sat on the darn bus and didn’t give up her seat to a white dude, you racist!!

The reason why I’m ranting on some news that is 7 years old, was because I tried calling up Awana and Berjaya Hills Golf Course to organise a cooling 36 hole blitz last week. The response:

“Sorry, we are closed for non-Koreans until March.”


“Yes, a group of 120 koreans have booked the morning and afternoon slots until March.”

What if I stayed over at the resort—?

“Sorry, there is no more place unless you are a Korean until March.”

Now, I know the receptionist isn’t exactly well trained, but that sounds like a racist remark to me. To play at Awana and Berjaya Hills, I need to be Korean? Please, somebody clarify.

Shouldn’t a club have some policy against people booking out the entire course 3 months ahead? Have they paid up front? You mean they are paying 60 flights a day (30 morning, 30 afternoon) for 90 days @ say RM100 average, so they paid up RM540,000??!?!?!

So suddenly the Koreans become the golf superiors like Jan Stephenson and Malaysians are left on the fringe. It’s another reason why Berjaya Hills is in the category of Waste of Time and Money (although we want to go due to the weather). It might be a good business decision of course, but what about Berjaya club members? Or people who are staying there? Shouldn’t there be a fair share of booking available every day for local non-Koreans to play?

I’ve got nothing against Koreans, in fact, some of best pals are Koreans, but come on….seriously, can you imagine Saujana closed to public for 3 months because the Sultan of Brunei decide to pay and play there all alone? What happened to the club’s civic duty to provide amenities to its members and walk in hackers like us?

Where would you bring a newbie??

Since we’re on 2010, a lot of people have resolutions to pick up golf, or restart their golf again.

And many of them will quit before the first quarter is up.

I think it should be our sworn duty as professional hackers to add more people into our elite Cangkul Club, and encourage as many people as possible to undertake this lifelong curse of golf, so that we have company when we are bankrupt and impoverished thanks to spending all our time and money on this game.

I want to start a little series on ‘Playing Golf the Gila Way: A guide to shooting what we all know you are capable of shooting, which is not as good as what you think you can shoot.

Let’s just start with the simple question:

Where do we bring these aspiring hackers and witless beginners to play so that they won’t throw their clubs into the water, or worse, throw themselves off the 14th floor after their game?

1. Jelutong Pitch and Putt Course

I’m about to write up this course after playing there last week…and it ain’t a nice review so look out for it. Unfortunately, due to newbies penchant for missing the darn ball, or likely killing an innocent passerby with a shank, it seems that this course is unavoidable in your journey as a hacker. It’s like the Online Multi Player games, where you have to kill lizards and little caterpillars with your axe before levelling up to killing goblins. This course is like you killing planktons. I.e it’s even lower than killing lizards and caterpillars to level up. It’s the lowest of the lowest of the lowest course for a newbie to play in, but like all rites of passage, they will need to go through it….for us season hackers, it’s more excruciating than having an endoscopy, colonscopy, eye surgery, removal of wisdom tooth and the amputation of your arm done all at once.

2. Bandar Utama 9 hole course

After graduating from killing planktons, the newbie will go to what we know as the Crap Course of PJ. For many reasons this course is still wildly popular due to the close proximity to civilisation and the obvious advantage for office workers to slip out during lunch time for a quick nine. It’s also the only 9 hole course in the world that feels like an 18 hole course, due to time immediately slowing down to slow motion when you play…mainly due to the 16 flights in front of you and the uncle bringing his nephew who takes 10 minutes to hit the ball 10 metres…backwards. Again, this is the course where it is understood that beginners will be playing, so if you are a seasoned hacker and you are there and you find yourself growing a beard, then just blame yourself for not going somewhere else. Or get the newbie you are forced to bring buy you a new 7-iron, which you will invariably break after finishing only 3 holes in 4 hours.

3. Kinrara

You are finally moving up the food chain. Kinrara used to be a decent course once upon a time, but I hear from my friends that it has since fell on hard times, and currently inhabited by cannibalistic hobbits. I’m not sure if that’s verifiable, but I tend to believe in whatever my friends tell me. But this is an ok course to bring a beginner, but only if he/she can tee up the ball decently and clear at least 20 metres with the ‘drive’. The crowd is decent, as in, it’s not like a stadium like Seri Selangor; but you’ll need to be careful a bit since there has been some kidnap/road rage/murder cases around the area which I highly suspect must be attributed to golfers who just lost their big bets.

4. Kundang Lakes

In contrast to Kinrara, I’ve heard Kundang Lakes have cleaned up their act abit since Gilagolf reviewed it. It’s probably a lot more decent now, and the good thing about this course is that it’s pretty decent on the price side….which is what turns out a lot of newbies. The problem with Kundang is probably the trip there (which isn’t so bad once you get used to it) and the crowd. It’s as bad as Seri Selangor and the wait time is excruciating.

5. UPM

UPM is not exactly a beginners course, because a newbie will likely lose around 150 balls hacking 18 holes. And with jungle all around, and the normal newbie tenacity to search for lost balls, they will likely die from a cobra sting as well. Which sucks, because it’s hard to play with a corpse next to you on the buggy. It’s annoying for someone to die in the middle of a round, you know. But UPM is reasonable on the $$, and the crowd is pretty forgiving as well if someone doesn’t tee past the ladies tee…in contrast to Seri Selangor or Rahman Putra, where the marshals will tranquilize the offender and feed him to cannibalistic hobbits.

6. Monterez

Ah Monterez. The course with the most human casualties due to golf balls. This is a course that strikes fear into every golfer’s soul because of the narrow fairways, the profileration of newbies and the general chorus of ‘FORE’ and ‘BALL’ and ‘OH NO, HE’S DEAD!’ resounding all over the course. Generally the course plays ok for beginners because it’s short, and the crowd, again generally understands that newbies tend to ply their trade here. But just watch out for those crazy shanks coming from all over. It’s like those arrows released from Helm’s Deep into Sauron’s army.

7. Bangi Course

Once the newbie has reached this stage, his or her rites of passage is almost complete. Because finally, they are able to play on a decent course. Bangi is highly recommended because the price range is reasonable (RM80 for Sunday afternoon, plus RM15 food voucher), and it’s actually a nice course (1st and 2nd nine that is). Once the newbie is reasonably comfortable off the tee, you should help banish the other sorry excuse of courses and just go Bangi to train.

Any thoughts on newbie courses?

Gilagolf’s New Home

After 2 and a half years of hacking, destroying and reviewing golf courses, Gilagolf has finally moved to a proper home on this little corner in the internet universe: was unfortunately taken, and negotiations fell through when they realised all we could offer them were used second hand balls and some nasi lemak if they were to come up to Malaysia.

So we had to decide on a new home and some were shortlisted:






it was important that the gilagolf branding remained, so we decided on

So, update your bookmarks and also your feeds

Keep Hacking!!

Koh Samui Football Golf


This is our first review of a golf course not in Malaysia. In fact, we have travelled far to the idyllic island of Koh Samui to bring you a review of a course that is both unique, challenging and ultimately, despite its flaws, will give you the kind of enjoyment courses like Bukit Unggul, KRTU and all those listed under WOTM and AAC category can only dream of.

We’re talking about the new phenomenon, the integration of the game we love but suck at, with the game our country love but totally, incredibly suck at it as well.


IMGA0127.jpg picture by gilagolf

Actually, it’s a good idea. Make the holes a little bigger, and voila. That’s it. You don’t need to invest in any clubs, as long as you have a leg, you can probably get started already. It’s simple. Kick using your leg (duh) and get the football into the hole. Have a couple of obstacles like coconut trees and coconut husks, and lure in unsuspecting tourists from Malaysia and charge them RM60, slice their throat and make a crazy profit margin. Maintenance is virtually nil, since you can attribute the long grass, holes, sands, nails and the itinerant cobra to all being ‘part of the course’. Just sit and watch the moolahs flow in. In fact, I don’t know why I didn’t come up with this concept. I’m off to Ulu Yam to buy a land and make it into a footgolf course.

IMGA0023.jpg picture by gilagolf

Travel (2/5)

Umm. Actually, once you get to Koh Samui, it’s pretty straightforward. I mean, if you’ve been to Koh Samui, it’s just basically turn left after you exit from the airport and keep going till you see the signs. I know, the direction really suck, but you need to be a seriously sucky driver to miss it. It’s only one road.

We’re giving it a 3, since the travel to Koh Samui, at best would be via Firefly, and once there, rent a car and it’s a breeze getting to the course.

A note on Firefly. They suck. I mean, of course, if you pay for crap, you get crap, and Firefly is the absolute poster boy for CRAP SERVICE. If you think Air Asia is bad, Firefly takes toilet class to a whole new different level.

They changed my flight without informing. Of course, they claimed they sent me an sms, which I didn’t get, and we had to cough out almost RM1000 extra just to get ourselves to Koh Samui via Bangkok and waste an entire day of our vacation. The Firefly Corporate comms lady, Alita, refused to offer us anything more than a refund, claiming that they ‘followed procedures’ and basically told me to Fly Uncle Charlie’s Kite off.

I’m not sure if anyone else had such bad experience with this stupid airlines, but unfortunately they are the cheapest. The best advice I can give is to call two-three days earlier to confirm flight times.

I’m now so pissed again with the recollection of Firefly that I’m downgrading this to 2. DANG YOU FIREFLY, YOU SUCK! And don’t get me started on MAS, because they suck as well. Crap begets crap I guess.


Price (1/5)

Being in Koh Samui means you’re on vacation. For the locals, that means, a lot of waterfish lying around. Waterfish = Sui Yee = SUCKERS.

You just need to resign to the fact that as long as you don’t speak thai, or look Chinese, or carry a camera around, or drive a rented car, or basically don’t go shirtless and have wakeboard abs, or don’t have unpronounceable names…you’re a Sui Yee. You’ll always be charged more than the locals, so live with it. Don’t fight it.

We were charged RM60 per person to play 18 holes. Yes, you go: WHAT??! But come on, if you want cheaper rates, either marry Thai, or speak their language or get that belly of yours toned down. Or you could just change your name to Thamnatiwa Pornatigerwoodsik.

IMGA0016.jpg picture by gilagolf

First thoughts

You can probably take one sweep at the course and see every thing. It’s in a pretty small acre of land, with coconut trees and some pathetically made obstacles to scare you off.

You can either wear your shoes or take them off…I recommend you to wear something at least, because the balls are not exactly made of soft stuff either. Footballs, that is. Also, where you will be most likely kicking balls, it will be in places where the sun doesn’t shine….under the trees, not sure what thoughts came into your depraved mind.

IMGA0012.jpg picture by gilagolf


Despite the obvious meat cleaver they held in their hands to chop us into RM60 for this kind of course, you gotta hand it to the Thais. They are top class in service. I only wish our Malaysian service industry, especially those buffoons in MAS and Firefly can learn something from Thailand.

As soon as we parked the car, the owners of this course came out to welcome us. There were these two elderly ladies, smiling, laughing, genuinely caring for us while they slowly carved our necks with the meat cleavers.

After 9 hole, and no doubt, feeling somewhat bad for making a 10,000% margin on us, they gave us each a free bottle of coke to quench our thirst. I wish other clubs would do it. Then again, very few clubs have their clubhouse and bar 10 feet away from where you are teeing up.

One more note is that their website is a WHOLE LOT BETTER than a lot of our local golf courses. I mean, at least they take themselves seriously. Nicely done, Mr Golf Football dude, whoever you are.

IMGA0062.jpg picture by gilagolf

Fairways, Greens and Rough

Obviously these ‘fairways’ were somewhat limited. I’m not sure where the fairways start and the rough begins. Sometimes, the fairway is lined up with rocks and such, but I think it would be a pretty unfair assessment to grade their fairways, rough and greens, so we’re just going to skip those for now.

IMGA0045.jpg picture by gilagolf

Aesthetics (2/5)

The novelty factor wears thin after probably the 12th to 13th hole. The fact is most holes looks the same. I’m not sure what you could have done to make it better, given the size of the land and the flatness of it. At times, even putting the ball down at the ‘tee off’ was considerably difficult due to it keep rolling back.

Some of the holes are definitely a little more fun, like the 1st, where you need to kick the ball through coconut trees. Or the long 17th uphill, where you can likely hit the par 5 in one kick. Which I did. Then proceed to 4 ‘putt’. Putting with your feet is definitely not as easy as it looks.

Many of the holes you can probably drop for hole in one,  or eagle it, that is the fun of the game I guess. Sometimes I wish playing on the real course would be this easy.

IMGA0093.jpg picture by gilagolf

Fun Factor (4/5)

This is a course you shouldn’t play alone in, because it will seem like you’re the loneliest guy in the world. Everyone that comes should be in a group or at least with a partner. And no, they don’t have caddies, so don’t think about hiring one and letting her coddle you. And no, they don’t have buggies where the caddies sit on your lap either. What do you think this is, Tasik Puteri??

The fun is still there if you play with that in mind. My very first kick, thanks to my close relative Lionel Messi teaching me before, was so great it rebounded off three coconut trees and entered into the hole 9 hole. HOLE IN ONE!! Woohoo! The course marshal (I.e the fat lady owner sitting at the bar stool counting her money and sharpening her meat cleaver for the next victim) immediately hopped up and down and shouted “FAULT FAULT!”. Yeah we hear you, enough already before the whole clubhouse falls on you.

IMGA0068.jpg picture by gilagolfIMGA0033.jpg picture by gilagolf

It gets thin fast if you don’t have a fun group or a fun person playing with you. At one point, I think hole 16, I decided to give it the good ol’ goalie kick, where you use your hands and drop the ball and kick it. I duffed it and it scooted into the trees and got stuck in the branches. You know, play as it lies I guess. I used my head (and a hand of God) to knock the ball down and proceeded to chip out of the jungle.

IMGA0087.jpg picture by gilagolf IMGA0057.jpg picture by gilagolf

Heck, I still shot 60! I thought I won the prize with a 6 under score, but then I saw the high scores posted were like 45, 46, with several hole in ones. DANG, my dream to being a professional football golfer has ended!

It’s fun in a group but don’t do this if you’re alone.

IMGA0041.jpg picture by gilagolf


So much for our first foray overseas. The Koh Samui football club should be recommended only if:

1)      You got time to burn

2)      You got a companion, not a caddy but an actual one

3)      You don’t mind being a Sui Yee

If these conditions are met, you can actually spend 3 hours there just fooling around. I prefer this than all those interminable hikes available in Koh Samui.

IMGA0128.jpg picture by gilagolf IMGA0126.jpg picture by gilagolf

The good: Good time waster in vacation; improve your football; get very good scores; good service with coke in between nines.

The bad: Price is meant to kill you; fairways, rough and greens non existence; no maintenance; flat and boring terrain

The skinny: 11 of 20 divots (55%). 99% of the time you’re in Koh Samui you’re on a vacation. There’s pretty nothing much to do there, so if you’re there with some mates or your wife, or someone special, this is a good way to blow your afternoon away…it might end up being cheaper than going to the shopping district.

Koh Samui Football Golf Scorecard

IMGA0121.jpg picture by gilagolf

Koh Samui Football Golf Information

Address: Koh Samui Island

Contact: 0897717498