Gilanalysis 11: Gunung Raya, Langkawi

Day 1

Handicap:20

Gross: 87

Net: 67

Verdict: This is how this darn game should be played!

Day 2

Handicap:20

Gross: 92

Net: 72

Verdict: What a difference a day makes…twenty four little hours brought the crap again…

What Happened

I have never played on one course for two consecutive days before, but in Langkawi, you don’t really have much choices. Gunung raya starts off at RM140 (weekdays and weekends), throws you into a buggy and off you go on a course resembling Nilai Springs or Seremban 3. The fairway is awful: bare, more sand than grass; the greens in a mediocre condition; but the course is open, free of people and after that horrendous experience in Seri Selangor, to have a course that allows you to play golf under 3 hours is an amazing change.

Also, the other golf courses are Langkawi golf, which is closed indefinitely, so it’s currently being overruned by man eating baboons.

The other is Datai, which the last time we played was about 300++ per person. Now, it has ballooned up to RM510 per person. We need to change our gilagolf ranking for this course…is Datai worth that much? Hmm. Let me see….NO ABSOLUTELY FREAKING WAY. It’s a reasonably nice course, but dude, RM510? What the blue crap are they trying to pull? Thanks, Datai for discriminating against 99% of the population of Malaysia. Say NO TO DATAI!

So, back to Gunung Raya. The first day, was probably the best golf I have played in AGES. Eons. The first 7 holes were bogey all the way, but the manner of the bogeys were satisfying: saving those 5 footers on several occasions, except for hole 5 where I managed to 3 putt. I birdied the eight with a putt off the green but proceeded to brain fart with a 3 putt on the tough index 1 9th. Looking back, I could have scored 41 or something, but then again, I could also have missed those critical five footers to save bogey.

Back nine, more or less the same, except I messed up the par 3 17 by hitting the bunker, but overall, the drive was great, the putter was great, the irons were so-so. But Gunung Raya allows a lot of mistakes, especially to slicers on the first nine, on a few occasions I was borrowing fairways and still managed to put in on, or near the green.

Day 2: Ah…how we would go with so much optimism only to see it fade as we revert back to our epileptic crap golf.¬† Day 2 was more reflective of my up and down golf, with big scores and more pars. The day started like a mirror copy, but unravelled with hole 2 drive into the drink, hole 3 drive into the drink, hole 4 par 3 into hazard (??!). From there, I managed to recover a little, and actually played well from hole 5 to hole 13, a string on nine holes brain-fart-free. Hole 14, I was 150 away with a six iron in hand and completely SHANKED it to oblivion. I managed to four on two putt for a six. Hole 17 again, hit into the sand and couldn’t escape, this is by far my worst hole on this course. I hate Hole 17.

Why I Sucked

Day 1 was great. Except for a couple of times my irons failed. Day 2, drive was pulling, and had some unlucky bounces here and there…but for sakes, my irons were absolutely shiitake. I kept digging the darn ground and in Gunung Raya, it was black dirt. So, cangkul it and your clubs will pop right back up and you will shank, top, thin, duff etc. Maybe my swing too steep? Some occasions I had my 60 degree for second shot and still managed to sabotage myself by putting it in the sand, fatting it, thinning it…man, it sucked.

Not So Sucked

Driver on day 1 was great, I was like a pro. Well, almost lah. But you know when we get arrogant and start twirling the stupid driver like Tiger, with one leg lifted. If it wasn’t on the fairway, it was just a little off the rough, and recoverable. Day 2: it all went south. My theory is that I wore RED on day 2, and put too much pressure to be like that black guy with the twirly driver. My putting was also quite OK, but gunung raya greens weren’t exactly very fast, or tricky and and greenside grass was so short I could put 5-10 meters away on some occasion.

What to Work On

Easy. Irons again. In no other game have I more chances than the last two, although day 2 scores didn’t reflect it. But constant duffing, thinning and one occasion, the dreaded shanking sabotaged back my game into mediocrity. I hate irons. I’m going to start putting from 150 metres in from here on.

Rain + Seri Selangor = Absolutely Astoundingly Crap

It’s rare that we do a re-review of a course, but after today’s frustrations at Seri Selangor, here’s the affirmation: Put Seri Selangor in the AAC category if there’s a heavy downpour. Some courses handle downpours magnificently, note Tiara Melaka and to some extent, grudgingly, Rahman Putra. Some handle it not so well but are improving, notably Kinrara and all the work they have been doing in the drainage, and also Perangsang.

Seri Selangor? With a maintenance budget as tight as leotards on Queen Latifah, don’t expect too much to be done. Today, heavy downpour in the morning literally turned the 18th hole par 5 into a river. The embankment overflowed and all the rubbish flowed down into the fairway. We teed off about 1 and a half hour late for our 20 flight tournament, and entered into a course that was neither playable nor fit for anyone except for people who enjoy being perpetually constipated.

I.e Seri Selangor emphatically, most comprehensively SUCK.

And this isn’t because I had a bad game, instead with a shot gun start on the par 5 5th, I played 3 Doubles, 2 Pars and 7 Bogeys before approaching the Par 4 17th. I yanked my tee shot OB after waiting for 15 minutes on the tee, and my second shot was good, smack on the fairway. Maybe a 4 on 2 putt to save double? Fat chance. The whole time our shots have been plugged, but never more than on this hole, when my drive could not be found on the fairway despite 4 flers looking for it, and a caddie to boot. So, took an 8. The fairways were in a sorry condition. Completely atrocious drainage. The bunkers were ALL swimming pools. ALL. It’s absolutely incredible how lousy Seri Selangor maintenance is. With the saving grace being the greens, the rest of the course was so terrible that after 13 holes, i called it quits and headed back…partly also due to the long wait times due to a bunch of lady golfers who think the tournament is Augusta masters and spending 10 minutes each to read the darn greens. Aiyo Auntie, just putt la…no difference la how long you read…our skill level generally means we suck anyway.

Seri Selangor, being a combat course and a ‘homeless’ golfer course, will always have an excuse to be lousy in its drainage maintenance, and will always be able to justify…but I think as golfers who pay money to play on course, some standards need to be met. If Perangsang and Kinrara can improve, why not Seri Selangor. Stop the excuses and start improving, before we cangkul your fairways into smithereens.

Anyway to conclude this rant, 3 Most Annoying things in the world:

1. When you hit a good drive, and the stupid course punishes you for it just because they do not have the basic ability or budget to have good drainage.

2. Aunties who thinks and putts like they are in Augusta Masters, and takes a few years to finish 18 holes.

3. Racist History Channel doing shows about Malaysia, and have subtitles when interviewing Malaysians speaking perfectly comprehensible English, yet, in the next show, when interviewing people from Africa and worse, Ireland, as they speak in a gibberish slang that sounds like Middle Earth Ancient Elven Tongue, they refuse to put any subtitles, because these are ‘Western’ Civilisation.

I don’t know how 3) got there, but it’s one of those things that really annoys me. I can really relate to how this guy feels:

Enjoy!

Gilanalysis 10: Seri Selangor

Handicap:20

Gross: 97

Net: 77

Verdict: Slow progress…but signs of daylight…

What Happened

For some reason, Seri Selangor always seem to play like a sadistic course. The greens in the back nine was great…very fast, but hey, that’s Seri Selangor greens for you…but the front nine, again they were sanding it. I don’t know why, but it seems to be always under some sort of maintenance or improvement, so the greens sucked. And the rough was holding on to our balls like a pitbull. Some holes, my eight iron was mashed to pieces and could only get the ball to trickle like, hmm, 20 metres?

But a lot of the screw ups were mainly self inflicted. The easy 11th, I decided to tee up with my 3-wood for safety. Note to hackers: Tee off with 3-wood is BAD ADVICE. Because of our retarded swing, it makes no difference, we’re still going to skull it, thin it, toe it etc and the only difference from the driver is how far it goes. This time, I toed it and it skittered to the right rough. Deep rough. 8 iron advanced it only as far as the tree. Another 6 iron punch into the bunker. 4th and 5th shot to get out. 6th putt missed and settle for triple on the easiest hole!

I did make up for it by negotiating the treacherous 16th with a booming drive and a 9 iron in . Chip, putt for par. Same thing on 17th, except approached it with my hybrid and chip, one putt for par.

Front nine was disastrous. The easy 8th par 3 was stupidly hit into the trees on the right…and lost it! 3rd shot skittered down to the left, one chip and two putted my way to a triple.

The only pars on the nine coming in was the index 3, that needed a good drive, and a disciplined 7 iron. The last hole, another good drive, and an 8-iron to 6 feet (which I missed of course).

Why I Sucked

I think my drive was ok, except in Seri Selangor there is no getting out of jail. Some good drives kicked into the trees etc and chances to get out is as slim as Kate Moss on a 40-day fast. But I am trying my darnest to stop my propensity to dig. I messed up a few well placed shot by cangkuling the ground into pieces. Stop the landscape business and I will get better.

Not So Sucked

Driver was hot and cold. My misses now veers to the left because I strengthened my right hand grip..at least I think that is the reason…my golf IQ is only slightly higher than an iguana’s. But a few booming drives helped me stick par in the Index 2,3 and 4 hole, something I have never achieved before in Seri Selangor. On those holes, my irons worked. I also switched my blade putter back to a mallet putter to handle the devilish greens better.

What to Work On

Aside from my landscaping business, my pitching was atrocious. On the fourth hole, I managed to amazingly skull my 3rd shot pitch from 20 metres away from the green, into the jungle behind and lost ball. Also on the par 5 18th, 30 metres from the green, my third shot plonked into the bunker face, and took me 2 to get out. Fix the pitching and stop the changkuling!

Gilanalysis 9: Rahman Putra Lakes

Handicap:20

Gross: 99

Net: 79

Verdict: Amazing! Three 99s in a row for the same course!

What Happened

Home course my foot. Again, KRPM, again, the same score, of 99, no kidding. It’s as if it’s groundhog day, every time I play this course, no matter which route I take, I’ll end up in the same score.

Today was one of the days when nature called. Every shot I am hitting seemed to be hitting a dang branch or tree bark one way or another, no kidding. I think I must have killed a dozen innocent squirrels. First hole, pulled left, escape, hit a tree branch, fell right at the tree root. A few more tree shots later and I stumbled in for 6.

Second hole, par 3, I have played +10 over the last 4 times. This time, in water, pitched my 3rd on, and two putted.  The notable escape was on the horrendous index 1 8th, when I yanked my second shot hybrid into the tree next to the green. From the tree root, I managed a lucky flop onto the top mound of the green and trickled to two inches of the hole. The next hole, played it perfect, 3 wood, 3 wood, and a nine iron stuck 3 feet from the hole, and a harrowing downhill birdie putt that entered. Aside from one par on the back nine, I was stuck again in survival  mode especially the last couple of holes.

Why I Sucked

I don’t like to blame the weather, but it was like teeing off in Mercury. The fact that my slice shot is not getting any better didn’t help. And again and again, my failing irons are completely unsynced. With these two threatening to derail my every move, it’s no wonder I don’t see any improvement in this dang score!

Not So Sucked

I like my 3 wood now. For many years, this 3 wood (old taylormade 360xd) has been in the closet but in some of the holes, notably the birdie hole and the par 5 3rd, I’ve hit the flushest shot of my life with this. Of course, just as many moments when it failed, like the final 2 holes, when it found water…but nothing is more entrancing than hitting a 3 wood off the deck, flushed. More entrancing than blasting a driver I think. But slightly less than seeing Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Yow.

What to Work On

I’m so tired of writing the same thing and not able to do anything about it. I mean, who in their right mind will go to the range instead of heading to the course to play under a mercurial hot sun, lose a dozen balls, get cramps from traisping up and down the hills and risk getting bitten by king cobras? But here it is: Driver and Mid-Irons. Figure that out.

Gilanalysis 8: KGPA

Handicap:20

Gross: 97

Net: 77

Verdict: Welcome to the Jungle, we got fun and games…

What Happened

Everytime we tee it up in KGPA, that GNR song plays in my mind because everywhere I look, especially in the front 9, it’s jungle, jungle, jungle. KGPA is in okcondition, good drainage and fairways, but the greens are horrendously slow. The first few greens we putted, it wasn’t pressed down, so you can imagine how bad a shape it was, no roll whatsoever. Compare this to Bangi, KGPA greens are in sorry condition. Be aware if you tee it up here.

I hate the second hole Par 5. It’s stupid for KGPA to put OB right of the cartpath because you have a nice adjacent fairway (hole 14) where you can possibly hit a recover shot. Note to KGPA, Nilai Springs and all these other courses that sprinkle OB stakes here and there: Let the golfers play, will you? If we can escape a bad tee shot, let it be, instead of putting OB here and there. That’s why Rahman Putra is better, because they removed the OB stakes on the par 4 16th to let the golfers play on. They grew some brains. Now, KGPA, please remove those OB stakes, your ridiculous course is already tough enough!!

I expected KGPA to be hard, and it was. We struggled, with the normal peppering of good drives, horrendous slices, great recoveries, crappy duff shots. Two incidents to note:

1) Pured a 3 wood second shot on the very tough par 5 12th. It landed near another group of golfers who had wandered into our fairway. As I was driving I saw two balls next to each other. Once i was there, the other golfer (a white guy–as in western, not pale white) had already hit his. He walked on without any acknowledgement. I couldn’t find my ball anywhere! When I ran after him and asked if he took my ball, he just went, “Mine’s a japanese ball…no take your ball!”

WHY DO WESTERN PEOPLE THINK THEY MUST TALK IN BROKEN ENGLISH FOR US TO UNDERSTAND? Seriously, do they think we are frigging idiots who cannot speak english and they need to put subtitles on us everytime we speak? I was ready to powerslam his bearded face into a pulp with my driver and shout, “China free from gwai-los! Long live chairman Mao! Please give back ball, you thief!”

The caddy apparently saw him picking up my ball and putting into his pocket. By then, I was offered a free drop from my mates, but due to my seething anger, proceeded to mess up the hole with a double bogey.

2) I like the Par 5 17th. 3 of us hit really good drives, which put us into a predicament: cross the lake and go for two or take the sissy way out and lay up. We opted to gun it with full testosterone. First guy’s 3 wood never stood a chance, his slice splashing into the water. My 3 wood was again hit very well (yes, I am a braggart, because I suck in everything else), and crossed….and landed into the bushes growing at the side of the lake….and rolled back in. AUGH! Gotta rehit! The third guy’s 3 wood suspiciously started on a very safe line and drew safely on dry land. We eyeballed him as he shrugged and said he was aiming at the water. Ya, right. Bull crap.

Why I Sucked

Well, putting struggled on the first nine, due to greens, primarily. Driving wasn’t that atrocious, but my irons was as painful as watching a monkey giving birth. I don’t remember hitting one shot that was pure with my irons. I kept pushing or pulling them, and obviously my game eventually disintegrated and went into survival mode.

Not So Sucked

Pretty proud of the ending though. The par at 16th was set up with a nine iron from a hilly lie after a terrible drive. Then the misadventures at 17th, but I hit my 4th shot 3 wood near to the green. One pitch and putt for a bogey. Final hole, I chunked my third, chipped my 4th about 5 feet past, and putted in to win the bet. So still win some money lar…

What to Work On

Irons. And drive a lot straighter. It could have been a lot worse if not for some lucky breaks here and there…including the proverbial golfer’s luck of watching your ball spinning into oblivion and hit a tree and come out. We say, “Ada monyet! (Got monkey!)” before descending into cackles of insane laughter, which shows how absolutely stupidly juvenile golf humour is.

Gilanalysis 7: Rahman Putra Lakes

Handicap:20

Gross: 99

Net: 79

Verdict: Consistently bad on home course….

What Happened

The one thing about my golf is I am at least consistent…consistently bad, that is. The last round at KRPM yielded a 99, and this time around, another 99. We teed it up on the back 9 and I immediately tripled it. But unlike the usual brainless strategy of taking out the big dog and letting it rip (and consequently into the ravine, or into the water), I wanted to think like a low handicaper and wisely teed up my 7-iron on this par 5. Second shot, I chunked my stupid hybrid (I hate hybrids…..), then yanked my pitching wedge (I hate wedges…) into the slope on the right, my fourth hit a tree, my fifth hit a tree and trickled to the front. Six on, two putt. So much for thinking like a low handicaper and playing like a hobbit on crack. After that, it was just a series of misadventures, due to my amazing drives that can bend around the great wall of China, and my absolute, completely buffoonish putting. I hate 4 3-putts in the first nine…I mean, it’s has GOTTA be the putter, ain’t it?

My back nine gave me a birdie on the first, but yet again, I died on the stupid Par-3 2nd. After some bogeys, began my descent into darkness, +9 over 4 holes. Amazingly, at least I can still say I played double digit only.

Why I Sucked

Greens were slightly slow, but that’s no excuse to an extremely sorry day of putting. Although I putted much better coming in, the 20 putts on the front nine was suicide. And what the heck happened to my drive and irons??? Just when I thought I figured it out, my irons had to turn into Jack the Ripper and murder me on almost every shot!

Actually, this portion of the analysis is quite useless, because about 99% of the time, I don’t know WHY I suck. If I knew, I’d be improving, don’t you think? I mean, it’s like having a guy that plays with you and comment on your swing as if he knows what the heck is wrong with it. He doesn’t. The only one who knows why I suck is God. And I think God probably has more important things to work on than to bother correcting my stupid swing. When we go to heaven, we’ll probably figure out why we suck so much. If there’s golf up there.

Not So Sucked

Not many things went right. Maybe my temperamant. I was pretty calm amidst the catastrophe surrounding me today. I am trying to learn how to zen out and not cause too much damage to my clubs by tomahawking them into the ground…oh yeah, bad for the course too…

What to Work On

I think back to the range (as if that will happen!!), and try to hit my drives and my irons properly. My drive now is improving, really, despite all indications showing otherwise…at least now my misses are slices. I know it sounds like I don’t know what I’m talking about…but try figuring out how to play with duck hooks, and you’ll take balloon slices anytime. Trust me, I am a hooker convert.