Ranking Caddies RHB Golf Clubs

We’ve been playing RHB clubs for some years now, and one of the things we usually struggle with, aside from figuring out the course, is why the hell do we have to end up paying for caddies when they have absolutely zero value to our golf game? Plus on top of that, we need to figure out how much to tip these guys at the end of the day.

So, here we have it, ranking from best to worse, caddies in the 6 participating golf clubs under RHB (in Klang Valley):

1.  Mines Resort and Golf Club

All the times we’ve played in Mines, it has always been an absolute pleasant experience. Of course I am probably biased seeing that I play my best games there, and our Prime Minister’s house is there, and there is usually nobody on the course, and we usually have a delightful lunch at the Sri Kembangan area. There are a lot of things to like about Mines – the course is in pristine conditions, the layout is very nice with enough challenge and variety for the average hacker. But what stands out in Mines, especially compared to the other clubs under RHB cards – are the caddies. The caddies here are caddies. I am saying that because a lot of clubs out there, their caddies are NOT caddies. They are probably trained as hedge-keepers, gardeners, plant-waterers, weed-pickers or something to that ilk but not caddies. In Mines, they are properly trained and I have never had a bad experience with any of them. None. In fact, there is one SUPER caddy there, an elderly Indian gentleman, who is like Gandalf of the Greens. In unreadable greens, he will sagely interpret the distance, the break and he is NEVER wrong. He really puts in perspective what golf is like IF you play with an actual caddy who knows his stuff. He saves you 3 – 4 strokes a round easily, and you will probably win whatever bet you have on the table. He is that good. The other caddies are also good – even those who are fairly new, if they cannot read greens properly, they do other things well, like getting you clubs to you on time etc. Mines = excellent. We usually tip them above RM80 – RM 100 per caddy, because they are good – and probably because there is so few people playing on the course.

2. Kota Permai Golf and Country Club

Kota Permai’s caddies may not be as wondrous as Mines, but they are not terrible either. Kota Permai greens are notoriously quick and the breaks are very subtle. Sometimes we get lucky and get a good caddy and he/she would guide us through treacherous greens. They also are usually fairly quick to look for balls, and they know what clubs you want and need. They pack the clubs properly after, and they make sure they clean the clubs after your stroke. They probably don’t read as well as Mines, but I don’t recall any bad experience with them, meaning they are doing their job and doing it OK. So it’s more mediocre than anything – don’t expect them to give a great read or anything, but they look for ball, get the clubs to you on time, clean it up and fix the course. Basically, no value add, but they do what they re supposed to do. A usual tip of RM50 is usually OK, although sometimes, I end up going RM60.

3. Sungai Long Golf and Country Club

From the top 2, you will find a drastic drop in quality in the remaining clubs, starting with Sungai Long Golf Club. You may be surprised at this, because our last experience with Sungai Long was with a caddy that did not speak english well and all the while had been advicing me “kiri and kanan” and almost a the end of the round I realised he thought “kiri” was right and “kanan” was left. So all breaks were wrong because of his language. We also experienced a caddy who was a trainee from Bangladesh, who just got promoted from being a weed-picker. We know this because he saw the other weed-pickers and immediately hailed all of them and they all met up like long lost buddies with them congratulating him on his promotion to caddy (it seems like it, or they are probably talking about a Bangladeshi drama series, I don’t know). But this caddy just sat in the buggy mostly, not doing shit and more often than not seemed more interested staring into space and wondering about his hometown than to caddy for us. So if this kind of crap-shit standard caddies are still number 3 on the list, you know you have descended into the toilet bowl of golf caddies in the other clubs following. Caddy tips for Sungai Long? RM40, or even RM30 if you don’t feel cool about them. For the trainees, RM0 and a slap might be considered generous.

4. Tropicana Golf and Country Resort

Tropicana has some caddies that are horrible, and we have had experience with those. Their stupidity is not so much on caddy roles (reading greens, getting clubs, finding balls, cleaning clubs and fixing courses etc). Their caddy roles are reasonable. They do their jobs. It’s their attitude that is the problem. There was a girl, who even on the first tee, already got a good scolding from my flight mate for being a pain in the ass. Basically, not getting to the tee on time, complaining and murmuring even on the first tee and just being a basic idiot when all she had to do was shut the hell up and let us play. Another experience was with a caddy who just couldn’t shut up commenting about my game, and kept saying I couldn’t hit shots and one time said: “Padan Muka” meaning, serves you right, when I didn’t listen to her and used another club and she thought I hit into water (which I didn’t). Tropicana caddies are the only caddies I really got pissed off with and scolded for just being complete useless a**holes. The reason why Tropicana is not at the bottom of this toilet bowl caddy list, is because not all caddies there are idiots. There are a few who are reasonable (not good), but not make us want to kill them. But for a club with this so-called prestige, to have caddies that are disrespectful, uncourteous and being generally as useful as a marble inside your spleen – it’s just not the way it should be. Trops should invest in a proper caddy program and not bring these idiots in to tarnish their reputation. We still tip the caddies here around RM50, but in that instance where the caddy was being sassy or stupid – I gave her RM50 still but told her to buck up or I will complain about her.  Attitude problems in Tropicana.

5. Palm Garden Golf Club

While Tropicana is a problem with attitude, Palm Garden’s caddies are just downright useless. Absolutely USELESS. They have no value there. They don’t know how to read the greens, they don’t get you the right clubs at the right time and they are complete shit at looking for balls. We had a few times where the caddy were just useless in looking for balls. One time, I hit a par 3 and my ball bounded up the cartpath to some palm trees. We spent a few minutes looking and while I was looking for it, he gave up and went back to the buggy. I told him, look for my ball and he just stood there. He literally refused to do shit. He said the ball entered into the palm tree and is stuck in the branches. Why don’t I stick a golf club up you where the sun doesn’t shine, you lazy bugger? We have had many experiences (all bad) with Palm Garden caddies. Not looking for ball, not getting clubs to us correctly or on time, forgetting our clubs and losing it and just being absolute dicks in performing what they are supposed to do. There is no reason for Palm Garden’s caddies existence, except its added cost to us. We still end up tipping them RM50 mostly, but in the case above, told him to screw off and gave him RM30. Palm Garden has absolute garbage for their caddies.

6. Glenmarie Golf and Country Club

It takes quite a lot to beat Palm Garden’s absolute shit-show for caddies, but Glenmarie manages to do so with aplomb. Glenmarie is the only club we go to where we actually fear that their caddies will rob us. Yes. It happened before, an incident where a caddy took, I think RM300 or RM500 from the wallet of one of my flight mates. We confronted and they admitted. The caddy did steal the money. So everytime now we go to Glenmarie, we had to keep an eye on their caddies. Aside from that experience, we have also faced times where they just completely suck in what they do, like the other caddies in the other clubs. We do have many unpleasant experiences with these caddies from Glenmarie. But that one single experience of being robbed by a Caddy is enough to make Glenmarie win the WORST CADDY SERVICE OF ALL TIME IN the entire world. Obviously for the thief, we should not tip and make a police report instead. For the rest, as long as they don’t get in the way, a normal RM50 tip may be enough. But please count your money first and make sure they are all there.

So in conclusion:

Mines = Excellent Caddies, worth every penny

Kota Permai = Functional caddies, no bad or good experience

Sungai Long = Language barrier, please ensure they understand what’s left or right, or simply, you learn how to speak Bangladeshi

Tropicana = Idiotic, opinionated caddies. Just tell them to shut up and not be your friend and do their job, you should be fine

Palm Garden = Functionally useless caddies, no value add, lazy, non-initiated, untrained and as useful as a piece of marble in your spleen.

Glenmarie = Absolute shit. Hide your wallets and hope for the best.

The Golf Shop at The Club @ Bukit Utama

I don’t usually endorse any shops or courses but there is this one shop at The Club @ Bukit Utama, called The Sports Shop at lower ground, opposite the MMA training place, and same floor as the swimming pool: It’s run by a very nice lady and another guy who is a bigger golf nerd than me, who collects everything from broken driver heads to Daleheads Pings.

I hate going to this place.

Everytime I go in there, I go out carrying something and being poorer, but strangely happier. The difference between them and other stores out there is that they readily accept trade ins. If you are anything like me who had amassed an obscene amount of golf stuff over the years and have no clue how to get rid of them, The Sports Shop is there to rescue you. Of course, you don’t give them rubbish – but even old sets, old loose irons etc, they are willing to accept. They probably can’t cut you a good price for these since golf equipments are obsolete the moment you buy them, but the secret here is to trade. And here’s how you win-win.

The rubbish you have at home is rubbish anyway. Seriously, if you are like me and have like 10 different putters, you honestly will use only one or two anyway. And most of these putters are in the store room, rusting and gathering dust, and one day, your wife (or husband) who does not play golf will go, “Why in God’s name are these nonsense cluttering my house, dangit?!” And you will scramble to get rid of them.

So, gather your clubs – not all of them, maybe 4 – 5 of them, or 1 or 2 sets, and bring it over to the store. The shop prefers to trade in (I think) instead of passing you cash, so if you see a driver, a 3 wood, a hybrid, a putter you like, start negotiating.

At the end, you should get a like for like, or you can top up a bit. The first trade in went like this:

My side:

a) My RAC LT which was my second set which is starting to rust + a piece of junk stand bag

b) My wife’s reasonably new but not so great Dunlop Loco full set + a good cart bag

c) My Mother’s extremely old mizuno full set + a good cart bag

e) My extremely old R5 Taylor made driver

f) My very old R5XL 7 wood

g) My second driver (I say second driver meaning I use it sometimes when I am tired of my primary driver) – Hibore XLS

h) My Callaway RAZR X 3 Wood which for whatever reason I cannot hit with it so I junked it

Pretty much all in, I got a

a) MP – 57 iron set

b) My Cobra Fly Z + Driver with headcover and screw

c) Titliest 910D 3 wood

d) And I topped up RM500.

You may wonder if its a fair trade and I have to put in RM500. But everything on my side is useless (as I in I do not use them AT ALL) – except for maybe the driver, but since I am buying a new driver, my R11 will then become a secondary, and now I am bombing my Cobra and my 3 wood is sweet as peanut butter jelly. Only the MP-57s are  a bit more difficult to use compared to my 54, but I will keep them as a second set.

And now recently I stupidly stepped into the shop again after avoiding it for a few months.

It’s like a drug den. You simply cannot come out without getting something, and getting your fix.

I’ve seen some sweet sets in there like the MP59 and JPX wood which I wanted, but resisted and then poof they were gone with the wind. That MP59 was really mesmerizing and I am so regretting making a move for the 57s and not waiting for the 59s, but hey, that’s life isn’t it.

This time around, I made it a point to avoid the iron sets all lined up at the far wall. I simply cannot afford cluttering up my place again. Instead, looked at the driver and woods in front and the putter. And man, I shouldn’t have.

I saw an old 2007 Anser 2 (Pings are perfect putters) and a Yes! Jennie putter that looked like Ping B60. I also unfortunately saw this beautiful looking hybrid that has a silvery matte club head – the SLDR S Hybrid 3.

YowZah.

So, it was time for a clearance of some really old clubs from my side.

Firstly to decide on the putters – it’s stupid to have two putters so in this case I opted for the rarer Yes putter (ping putters are a dime a dozen). So even if it sounds like a woman’s club, that C-groove tech is something I always wanted to try.

My trade in for these 2 (Yes Jennie + SLDR – S Hybrid)

a) Rossa Monza  Mallet Putter (Original One without the AGSI insert)

b) Odyssey DFX 5500 Blade Putter

c) Never Compromise Voodoo Daddy Center Shaft Putter

d) Old Pair of 3 and 5 woods R7 XR

e) Titleist 983K driver HEAD (the shaft snapped). It looks similar to the 975D driver that got famous as Tiger’s driver in his early days, but he never used the 983K, so there’s not much nostalgia attached there.

f) Top up RM100

Again, the argument here is that, I have not touched any of these clubs (and driver head) for years, except for the Odyssey, but that one is already rusting on the shaft and I really suck at it and I’ve not touched it since I swithced to the Cleveland two square putter.

So, basically, it’s clearing up my place of 5 clubs + driver head which I would throw anyway – and getting back a hybrid I would use and a putter I would use.

The SLDR hybrid would directly replace my Superfast 2.0 Taylormade burner which I have a love hate relationship with. Sometime it’s perfect and others it just hooks the hell out of everything. The Superfast goes into my secondary Set with my 57s and my R11 and Cobra LD5 wood.

In all seriousness, if anyone is around BU area, drop into the The Club. Go to lower ground and have a look at this great little shop. I guarantee you will come out wanting something, and thinking of what you can trade in!