Golf House and Kota Permai

Golf house is closing down.

Or at least I think it is.

We headed over to One Utama outlet this week and managed to get the following:

a) 1X Regular 10.5 917 D2 Titleist Driver

b) 1X Stiff 9.5 917 D2 Titleist Driver

c) 1X Mizuno S5 54 Degree Wedge

d) 1X 818 H1 23 Degree Hybrid Titleist

e) 1X Taylormade 22 Degree Hybrid M4

f) 1X 917 F2 3 Wood Titleist

g) 1X Adipower Golf Shoes

h) 4X Mizuno Golf Shirts

i) 1 X Adidas Golf shirts

j) 2 X Mizuno golf long pants

k) 1 X Mizuno Carry Golf Bag

l) 1 X TaylorMade MG Wedge 60 Degree

m) 1X 915 F 5 Wood Titleist

Total = RM3,265.00

Yes, read it again. That’s 2 drivers, 2 Wedges, 2 Hybrids, 2 Woods,  1 Bag, 5 Shirts, 2 Pants, 1 Pair of Shoes. All brand new

Drop the mic. Of course, not all was mine, these were combined with the other guys as well.

And we were late to the party. Others have cleared out the PINGs, the Callaways, the Taylormades, all putters were GONE. GONE. So I could have ended up stockpiling a lot more stuff but couldn’t.

So were these useful?

Now remember, the above purchase were ALL UNNECESSARY. Totally UNNECESSARY.

I am playing superb golf already with my Cobra Driver and my old clubs, hitting 80 the last time out to Mines.

We are what we term as itchy backside.

So I dumped all the clubs I was playing superb with, and switched and went to Kota Permai.

Using the 9.5 D2 Titleist Driver, I completely sucked. It was so difficult to adjust to it after going with the more regular, lofted and bigger head of my Cobra. But when I did contact this Titleist, as in 2 – 3 instance, my God, it was a monster. Low, boring trajectory, at one Par 4, I was literally only around 30 meters from the green after the drive. I was thinking of PUTTING.

But the misses were all right and bad. This means I am not squaring my clubface fast enough – could be moving too fast and my clubhead is too slow due to heavier and stiffer shaft. I think.

Do I like this driver? Honestly I prefer my wonderful Cobra, and I knew I should have stuck with a 10.5 regular, but this Titliest 9.5 Stiff was fitted with a Aldila Rogue Max Shaft and was the last one in the shop. How NOT TO BUY?!?

Aside from that, I took the F15 5 wood out for a test as well. Meh. Just reinforces why I don’t use 5 wood anymore. In fact, the Golf House sale, there was one thing in abundance – 5 WOODs. Nobody uses them anymore. Hybrids have replaced them.

I also gamed the MG Taylormade 60 degree to replace my extremely old Cleveland wedges. WOW. This is the best purchase I have. The Milled Grind Taylormade needs to be getting used to, but the balance was great. I was using it ALOT, for all my bunker shots, for all approach inside 90m. It’s a great club and I purchased the last 60 degree of this sucker. Looks wise, it doesn’t compare to the Titleist or Cleveland wedges – it’s not the black or oil can finish I prefer my wedges in, but hey – time to change!

So overall, I need to game my Titleist Driver more. I remember switching to my Cobra also took around 3 – 4 rounds before I actually got to controlling it. But the Cobra always had a high trajectory. If I can get this D2 under control, with the trajectory and distance I am seeing, I am going to eat up some courses.

Hank Haney isn’t racist, he’s just a dumbass

For those not aware, Hank Haney recently gave some seriously disparaging remarks about Korean women players on tour.

Firstly he predicted a Korean will win, and he doesn’t know what their names are, and he just goes like, “I’ll take a Lee. There’s a bunch of them.”

And guess what, a ‘Lee’ won! Jeongeun Lee (number 6, because apparently there are many) won the US Women’s Open. And Hank, being a twat as usual, sent out other tweets to basically say: there you go, I was right. Jeongyun Lee has won. No, Jongyon Lee. No sorry, Kim Jong Un Lee.

What pissed a lot of people of was not because Hank was being Hank, which would excuse his dimwittedness (read his book, “The Big Miss”, and you will know how small a d*ck this guy has in front of other alpha males like Tiger), but because he basically dehumanized an entire fraternity of women golfers IN THE WORLD. By saying what he said he was basically saying: Who the f*ck cares about Korean women in golf? Hell, who cares about women in golf? HELL, WHO CARES ABOUT WOMEN IN GENERAL?

He doesn’t know it, but that’s what he is saying.

He’s not being a racist, because a racist is basically acting towards a certain race. He’s not being a chauvinist, because a chaunivist lauds a particular gender, which he technically isn’t doing. He is basically being a dumbass, at best, or at worst, a serial murderer. So we’re going to go with the first.

I’ve had many experience with people like Hank before in my work place. It doesn’t matter whether they are from US, Canada, China, India, Slovenia, Japan (Ok, maybe not Japan). People are like Hank not because of thier race or country or nationality. It’s about their upbringing. They are simply not able to grasp or understand other cultures or realise that there is a world of different people beside from what they know. In other words, small-mindedness.

I once had an argument with a very superior sounding westerner who said disparaging remarks about the Chinese culture. Basically he said, before people understood how to use fork and spoons, they had to resort to using hands (Indians) to eat their food or sticks (chinese). But because westerners use proper cutleries, it shows how advanced their civilisation is compared to India and China.

What. The. Flaming. F.

I mean, it’s hard to fathom that there are actual human beings on this God given planet with unlimitless depth to thier absolute stupidity. There is literally no other words to describe people like that except, My dear God, this guy was definitely absent when God gave out brains in Creation day.

And the same is with Hank.

He thinks he’s being funny. It’s like Fuzzy Zoeller made that fried chicken remark to Tiger Woods. Everyone is a comedian at the expense of somebody else.

Hank Haney?

His instructions are stupid anyway and it never works, so let’s chalk this up not to racism but basically the small-mindedness, coccoon mentality of an elderly gentlema who is trying to be funny, but is absolutely batshit stupid.

My biggest Bottle Job: Mines and the Sub-80 round

What are the biggest choke jobs we know in sports?

Greg Norman, as great a golfer as he is, is best remembered for the epic bottle job he did in the 1996 US Masters. Discounting the time when in ’86 and ’87 in major tournaments, his opponents holed out their shots to beat him (it wasn’t his fault), the 1996 bottle job was the bottle job of all time.  Leading by six going into the final round, he ended up losing it by his own stupidity.

Jean Van De Velde – bottler on the 1999 British Open. We all knew what happened at Carnoustie. Last hole, up by 3, and bottled it due to his own stupidity.

Arnold Palmer – 7 stroke lead in 1966 US Open on the last day – bottled it and lost. Adam Scott – 2012, played +4  in the last 4 holes and lost to Ernie Els. Rory in 2011 Masters, Dustin Johnso – God knows how many times he bottled. Jordan Spieth – 2016 Masters. Bottled.

Even away from golf, 1988 FA Cup comes to mind, with Liverpool expected to eviscerate  Wimbledon. They bottled and lost.  They did make up for it in 2005 Champions League Finals in Instanbul, where they turned a 3-0 deficit to win it against AC Milan. Ironically, they bottled it again with Crystal Palace in 2013 and lost the title race for good – 3-0 with 11 minutes to go and they couldn’t win. Idiots. Brazil losing 1 – 7 to Germany in 2014. At home, in Brazil. WTF was that.

Of recent memories – PSG bottling it with Barcelona last year and this year with Manchester United, makes them officially the biggest bottling football team in history. Barcelona choking this year to Liverpool – ironically again a 3-0 deficit being erased. Liverpool loves and hates these 3-0 scorelines somehow. Ajax bottling it with Tottenham, and Arsenal doing their own series of bottling and choking this year to somehow miss Champions League and lost 1-4 to Chelsea in the Europa Finals. In Baku.  Where-ever that is.

Why am I going on with this?

Because I am a bottler. I am officially now a Choke-artist.

My golfing goals in life is simple: Hole In One (luck) and breaking 80 (skill and not being a bottler).

I have mentioned previously, the best chance I have for breaking 80 is always in Mines Golf Course – not just because it plays to a 71, but because I like this course. It’s my go-to course for great scores. My 81 last year and my other scores of 80s are all there. I don’t remember the last time I scored 90 and above in Mines, which is saying a lot.

So I had a competition round this week in Mines and we started off shotgun on the tough Hole 3 Index hole.

Hole 3: Bogey. It’s the first hole. It’s the toughest. A bogey with a 7 footer to start? I’ll take it.

Hole 4: Missed a 4 footer birdie putt. In a tournament with system 36 where Birdies means you play under. How choking is that? Par.

Hole 5: Bogeyed which is fine for a tough par 3.

Hole 6: Par, good putt from the fringe.

Hole 7: Great shot to the tough par 3, 2 putt par.

Hole 8: Almost bottled this as my 3 wood was topped and I ended up in the rough. I managed to coax this with a 4 on, and amazingly two putted from the top of a super difficult green. Bogey.

Hole 9: Almost lost ball, but instead regulation on, and two putted from VERY far away for Par.

Hole 10: Bogey. This is the one with a big tree in the middle.

Hole 11: Pretty amazing par as I chipped from very far away and had to hole an 8 footer.

Hole 12: Again, almost bottled this par 5 when I topped my hybrid the same way as the other par 5. I landed in the deep bunker but conjured an amazing bunker shot to land in front of green and navigated for a bogey.

Hole 13: Tough par 4, my first double bogey, but it’s pretty expected on this hole.

Hole 14: Par, putted from fringe.

Hole 15: Par, putted from fringe.

Hole 16: Pulled my shot but also recovered with a putt from off the green and holing par with an 8 footer.

Hole 17: Tun’s hole – par from a very long two putt.

Hole 18: Again, pulled left, and again, like Hole 7, recovered and managed to hole my par from 6 feet.

So let’s recap. At this point, after 16 holes, my scores were +1, +1,  +2, +2, +2, +3, +3, +4, +4, +5, +7, +7, +7, +7, +7, +7.

I was +7 with 2 to play. It dawned on me that I could break bloody 80 for the first time.

Going back to hole 1, I popped my drive but recovered by playing it safe. I landed near the hole and barely missed my birdie putt. Settled for another par.

I was +7 going into the final hole = the long par 5 hole 2. I knew I just needed to navigate and avoid the water on the left. I could bogey the hole and still break 80.

Amazing drive. Best I hit all day and I hit some pretty amazing drives all day. Best second shot with my six iron to land me around 120m from the green. Mission accomplished, I avoided the water on left, and had a pitching wedge in my hand to the enticing green and all I had to do was to put it on or near and I could play par and bogey and ride off into the sunset.

I had two clubs in my hand.

The 52 Gap was never going to reach the green but it would be short, and I was playing to a red pin. I would be comfortable putting slightly off the green for a par. The 52 was my go-to club. I can hit this baby with my eyes closed and with my left leg chopped off.

My pitching wedge was not so confident, but it would put me pin high. I was chasing a birdie to put my round under for the tournament.

My God, I should have selected the damn 52.

My pitching wedge dug too deep into the ground and because of it being soggy, the whole ball duffed. Not only duffed, it duffed into a fairway BUNKER. So my fourth ball was hit out of the bunker (I was already extremely shocked) and I managed to chip on for 5 – on , reasonable but it would be a snaky 10 footer downhill for my coveted prize of sub-80.

HOW THE FLAMING F*** did it even come to this??

Going for 3 bloody on with a pitching wedge and now I had to sink a 10 footer to avoid double bogey and to avoid bottling my sub 80 opportunity??

I had so many looks at this damn putt, but inevitably, fatefully, the putt slithered offline midway through and ended up low and shit – just as how my soul ended up.

9 over.

80.

Still the best round but it was the way I played to final hole that really killed me. I bottled it. I choked.

So the next time I call someone or some team a bottler – I am reminded – I bottled it in Mines, and choked my sub 80 round.

The mission in life to break 80 continues.

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!

How to Play Mines – The Hacker Version

Horses for Courses.

That saying rings ever true especially in golf. I have a friend who plays to a rather high handicap most of the time, but everytime he steps onto Tropicana, he beats the crap out of us. Another guy I play with plays his homecourse blindfolded and probably can beat me with just a driver, wedge and putter; but when he steps into other courses, he ends up like a wet towel on a walrus’ head. Which absolutely does not make sense, but it sounds like a nice saying for being crap.

And the same for me. There are just some courses that suck the life out of you even before you step on the first tee box (I am looking straight at you, Seri Selangor), but there are also some courses, that you simply cannot explain how the hell you cannot score there. The course is good, the maintenance is good but everytime you step on that course you play like a tapir who just stepped into a pile of horse dung filled with rusted nails. Palm Garden is one such course. Tropicana, for me, is another ridiculously looking easy course that I just cannot score on.

Mines?

Ah, Mines. Mines is like a warm chicken soup cooked by my mother waiting for me on a cold, rainy evening. Mines is like the wondrous smell of my favourite noodles cooked by my mother’s loving hands whenever I come home from a long day at college. Mines is like the delicious taste of my mother’s version of french toast, with eggs and butter, the way that Elvis Presley loved it – and the way my mother does it – on a Saturday morning, where I would eat the entire loaf in one go.

Ah, Mines.

Playing there after struggling a lot with my new weight loss and my complete loss of distance in my irons, I managed an 11 over 82. It was GOOD. I had a very good game with 2 near birdie misses and 2 par saves that did not happen due to me burning the hole. The last time I stepped into mines was before my game went south, it was almost a year back where I shot 81.

This time, I’ve come to accept my fate as a normal distance golfer after my weight loss. Do not tell me it’s my swing. When I was 81 KG, I was hitting my pitching wedges into 130m and my 9 iron into 150 meters. It was delightful. Now, I am using 7 irons to 150 and 8 irons to 130. So while losing weight does have its benefit, now that I am a manageable 73kg, hitting distance with my irons ain’t one of it.

So seeing I am sort of averaging a low 80s for Mines, here’s a writeup on how to navigate it if your skillset is more or less as limited as mine.

Let’s start with Hole 1.

You are standing at Hole 1, trying to loosen up on your first tee. Hole 1 is a nice broad fairway, so go ahead with a driver. Don’t aim too far right because you might end up in the first bunker, but if you play a draw like I do, then aiming at the second bunker will do. You will never reach it. Once teed off, you should be about an 8 iron or 7 iron away into an uphill green. Aim right. It’s ok. Left is disaster and anything long is disaster, so make sure you don’t end up going long. Short and right of green is fine. One chip, one putt for par or two putt to escape with bogey.

Hole 2.

This is a dastardly par 5 that curves almost like a horseshoe. The tee off is easy, you won’t screw it up. Just don’t go left. Right is fine but you may end up in the rough. The key is your second shot. Always play to the right. I don’t care if you are up on a slope, but stay away from the left like it’s a gigantic pile of cat shit. It’s all water there. Third shot, depending on where you are, I would opine to play short again. If you overhook it you are in the water. So take away the problem, play short and one chip and putt or two putt – par or bogey.

Hole 3.

Very tough hole. It’s the index. Hardly anyone will reach in 2 here, so you can take a 3 wood or a driver, but the key is to stay away from left. Right rough is also fine. For the second, you may want to lay up to a distance you are comfortable with, or like me, I usually just take a 3 wood and try to hit as far as I can. To escape again with bogey here is a big deal.

Hole 4.

Don’t go right. There is deceivingly big area to bailout on the left, so go left and go long. Even if you are in the trees, it’s sparse enough to hit out from. From there, an 8 iron or 9 iron should see you in front of the green or you can even go a bit long. This should be a par hole or even a bogey is OK.

Hole 5

This is a difficult par 3. I used to go in here with an 8 iron or 7 iron, but nowadays I need a 5 iron in there. You probably want to aim a bit right and see if you can tease it back in. In any case, a bogey is absolutely fine for this hole.

Hole 6

This is a very short par 4 and if you avoid water on the right, you should definitely try to score here. A smart play is to just hit your irons and with a wedge put it on the green. We usually go for the driver, leaving us with a very awkward flop shot which I won’t recommend. You should par this or better.

Hole 7

This is a very intimidating par 3 but actually, if you aim left at the flowerbeds with the “MINES” word, you will find yourself reasonably safe for a bogey at the least. Don’t mess with the right, bail out if necessary.

Hole 8

Very very nice par 5 and definitely scoreable. Your job is just to hit a reasonable drive that doesn’t go right, then place it to around 100m from the green. DO NOT GO RIGHT. There is a valley of death down there. With a wedge you should be able to put it on. Careful of this green, it’s devilish tricky because of the severe slope, so even you do not par, a bogey is a good score here.

Hole 9

The final hole isn’t easy because if you go right on the drive, you are pretty much dead, and the fairway is narrow. You can opt for a 3 wood to stay on fairway, then a hybrid to get near the green – one chip, two putt for bogey.

So you have completed the first 9 with hopefully 8 bogeys and 1 Par. Not bad at 44.

Hole 10

This is a tough hole to tackle because if you go too far right, you have to contend with the giant tree in the middle of the fairway. Too far left you end up in the hazard. You are better just taking a wood and steering it slightly left. You will be with a 6 iron or 5 iron and you can punch it to the green if possible. Bogey is a good score here.

Hole 11

Tough par 3. Don’t go right, that’s it. Bail out on the left, and focus on chipping on the green, two putt for bogey.

Hole 12

Scoreable par 5 for sure. It’s short. If you can avoid the bunker on the right on your tee, this hole opens up a lot. A hybrid second should set you within wedge distance to a generous green. You should par this or better!

Hole 13

Index hole, you need your driver to work here. Stay right and then try to not be aggressive on your second. Too much trouble right and left. So avoid the temptation for a hybrid but instead play to a chipping distance to the green. Chip for 3 on and if you escape with a bogey, I guarantee there will be your playing partners (fellow hackers) who will blow this hole.

Hole 14

Don’t mess with the right. Take a 3 wood and pop it to the middle of the fairway. Too far left and you are also dead. From there, either a long iron and a hybrid into the green should set you up for par or bogey.

Hole 15

You should be able to score. A 3 wood on this very short par 4 should leave you with a wedge to a downhill green. Take a club shorter, because anything long here is dead. You should par this or better.

Hole 16

Take advantage of the easiest par 3. A 9 iron or 8 iron should get you on the green – two putt for PAR!

Hole 17

We call this Tun’s hole, because you can see our Prime Minister’s house next to the green. It’s also a tough par 4. You absolutely need a good drive to the left, as right is dead. From there, a long iron or a hybrid should get you on the green…you might opt to play short to avoid the bunkers, but go for conservativism here. Bogey is a very good score.

Hole 18

The Top Glove hole because we always aim for the Top Glove sign. NEVER challenge the left! You think you can cut the dogleg but it’s hard because the OB eats into the hole on the left which we cannot see. We always think we make it but we never make it. So aim right and whack it. You probably want to set yourself up for a 3 on here and two putt for bogey.

So on the back 9, you should hopefully get 6 bogeys and 3 pars for a fairly good score of 41 because this nine is a par 35. A score of 41-44 is 85 which is a very good score for a hacker!

2019 Equipment

In all honesty, 2018 was a really good year for me in terms of golf. I’ve gotten my handicap to playing around 14 – 16 fairly consistently. I’ve shot some really low numbers like 82 and had threatened to break 80 on a few occasions. I’ve drove the ball extremely well over a few games, sorted out my retarded chips somewhat and my putter blew hot and cold.

So what now for 2019?

For one thing, RHB isn’t doing any favors with their card by limiting our golf games to the courses. Now, we can only play each course like 4 times a year or something. Which is really really stupid, considering how much money we spend on their credit card. The problem with banks is that they change their policies all the time.

So this probably means we need to play more in our own club – KRPM, KGNS – these are pretty good clubs anyway and I don’t mind playing more often if I were to pay 100+ ringgit each month. But still, first to put a minimum spending on the card and now to limit the number of times we can play on the course – screw you RHB!

I did wander into a golf store at the Club, Bandar Utama during one sunday and found an excellent place to trade in old clubs and sets and get new/secondhand ones in. Being really stupid and careless with money as I am usually, I was immediately taken into their great sales pitch and immediately set up to sell my old sets and clubs:

a) My RAC LT iron set + bag

b) My wife’s Dunlop ladies set + bag

c) My Mom’s old maruman ladies set + bag

d) My Cleveland Hibore XLS old driver

e) My Callaway RAZR 3 wood which I can never seem to get off the deck with

f) My even older R5 Dual Taylor Made Driver (one of my first, but I am unsentimental in that sense)

I couldn’t bear to part with any of my putters, but these suckers might be the next one in line for the next trade in.

I got the above all in for RM1K, which I guess is pretty OK, considering these are all gathering molt in the house anyway. However, I immediately went on to buy the following to start the year:

Boom.

So highly unncessary.

All in all, I got the above for RM1,600.00, so contra with my trade in, I paid up RM600 to get a really nice secondhand MP57 which is so not required – because I already have the MP54…but who doesnt want a MIZUNO MP57 as a spare, man!?!?

The Cobra Fly Z+ was just too good to pass up, with Aldilla NVS shaft as well. I thought it was high time to update my 2011 R11 TM Driver to a 2015 model at least.

I never played with a 3 wood and always had to crank up my Cobra LD 5wood to reach those par 5s in two (which rarely occurs). The LD is a 2007 technology! So I got the 910D (2010) to see if I can manage it. It was just too pretty to pass up.

And suddenly out of nowhere, I managed to get a Cleveland Putter Smart Square for RM100, and of course added a bit more to regrip it.

So basically by dumping a pile of stuff I never use and just up RM600, I’ve gotten myself a whole new bunch of clubs to start 2019. Onwards!

Millennial Fake Golfers

What makes a golfer?

Does playing golf well makes you a golfer?

Does driving the ball 250 – 260 meters make you one? Or holing out putts from all over the green? Or getting your second shot onto a long par 5? Or hitting bunker shots close to the hole?

Does the fact that you tell people that every putt must be holed out make you a golfer, including the 1 foot gimmes? Does taking 2-3 minutes everytime to swing make you one? Does the fact that you play to a 78 on a tough course make you a golfer?

What makes a golfer?

None of the above.

Obviously the above makes you a good player. But the only thing that makes you a golfer is integrity and honesty.

I recently played in a tournament (not named here, nor the venue), but it was a relatively tough course. I was driving ok, but since I got into this low carbs diet, and lost 4 KGs in one month, I’ve been playing terrible. I am trying to get below 100g of carbo every day, so I’ve not eaten rice, noodles, bread etc for weeks. The weight loss is there, but the energy is not. But still, coming into the tournament, I gave my actual handicap of 16.

I was surprise to find myself one of the lowest handicap declared in the group. So I joined in. The guy I sat with was an 18 handicaper. The other two declared 15 and 18. The 15 handicaper played like a 15. My 18 handicaper partner was OK, I don’t think he was 18, more like 16, but he had his jitters, but did manage 2 chip in birdies.

The one guy, who was this young guy teed off last since he was ’18 handicaper’. You knew from his swing that he wasn’t. He declared his ball brand out loud. And he thwacked his driver. He was a skinny guy, not tall, but his ball was easily 30m-40m in front of mine. And mine was a reasonably good shot, which was around 210m. His carry was 250m.

Throughout the entire game, he played very quietly, in his own zone, not offering any banter, and even though the organisers declared putter length as gimmes, he refused to give to anyone, declaring everyone must putt out. So imagine – even a one foot putt, he would walk up to his goddamn ball and mark it and refuse to putt and wait for you. Then he would go, mark ball, address and go with 2 – 3 practice, go behind, unmark the ball, address, 2 -3 practice and put in.

I had a big board meeting to go at 3 pm and by the time this showboat was going on for the 5th hole, I wanted to take a shot gun to my head and kill myself. He would routinely take years to hit his ball.

But he was good.

In fact, he was almost pro-level.

Which brings me to my topic: you can play slow, since this is tournament, I get it. You want to win. And you can play serious, I know, you want to win. You can not engage in banter, I know, you want to win. Young men all think they need to be focused assholes on the course and in life to succeed. Which is so stupid, honestly. I think mainly they are not brought up correctly. But this is still a personal opinion. There are some people who aspires to be assholes in life and that’s really their call. Nobody is stopping there.

But why the flaming f*ck would you declare your handicap as 18 when you are obviously playing around 2-4 handicap? Why would you want to destroy your entire integrity as a golfer by saying you never play golf much when the caddy herself told us he was there almost every other day the previous month practicing? Why in flaming hell would you lie about everything and then go about declaring how serious you are, nobody talks, nobody stand behind you, nobody has gimmes, and spoil the whole damn game for everyone by taking so long to hit the ball, that my kindergarten son would be graduating from college by the time you f*cking finish your game?

I don’t know this kid. But he isn’t a golfer. He was good at the game, but golf isn’t just about how good you are. It’s like the other guy I know that always cheat, but he played well. We’ve stopped playing with him, or at least stopped betting. Yes, technically you didn’t cheat in the game. But really, by over declaring your handicap by as much as the distance between earth and Neptune isn’t just massively stupid, it’s massively disrespectful to the game. It’s a complete insult to the game of golf. You didn’t cheat in the game, but you cheat the game.

This is a disease that we need to get rid of. If you are a 15, declare it. If you are single, declare it. If you are an 18 declare it. Be honest. If you are young and you are now so full of shit, nobody gives a fart about your game. You are going to grow up thinking its ok. It’s not ok. As far as we can see, that’s cheating. All is seen is a disrespectful son of a gun who doesn’t deserve to hold a golf club and play the game.  Is this prevalent in our game? Unfortunately yes.

But come on. Ubah-lah. Government also change already. Why can’t golfer attitudes also change likewise? Why must we constantly wallow in the shit of lies when we have a castle of honesty and integrity next to us?

Kota Permai Up and Down

Golf had been pretty solid for the past couple of months  but as witnessed in the last game at Palm Garden, I went into a shanking mode and I’ve been trying to shake off ever since. In fact, I played a 9 hole at KGPA in between that game and this with another beginner and I was like a hacker, because I was shanking it all over the place. I think I shot 51 or 52 which obviously doesn’t bode well.

I am trying to adjust a few things to prevent the shanks, but we’ll see if this works out on the course – Kota Permai! Despite the rain the day before, Kota Permai really looked good and the greens were in great condition.

Hole 1:  Inviting par 5, but I blasted my driver straight right into bunker. In the fairway bunker, I unluckily ended up right inside the rake line so it was embedded a bit. Managed to blast out a 9 iron but it clipped the last branch of the tree into the woods. A punch out and my 4th shot was short. From off the green I opted to putt, but hit it way too long and two putted for double bogey. (+2). I don’t think anything was at fault here, it was simply bad luck and maybe my first putt needed to be adjusted.

Hole 2: Tough hole usually, with narrow fairway. I managed to get my hook onto the fairway, and had a 9 iron in. Because of my shanks, my adjustment made my irons fly a bit shorter and almost got wet. As it was, I was off the green and my putt was short. Surprisingly, I managed to get my remaining 5 footer into the hole for par. (+2)

Hole 3: Another tough hole, but a good drive made things a lot easier and I basically had another 9 iron into the green. This time, managed to get on in regulation. But again, my first putt was short and left me with a similar distance as in the previous hole. Will it go? Yes! Another par! (+2)

Hole 4: The par 3 with water right. This time, instead of 5 iron, I opted to muscle in a 6 iron. It hooked slightly so I had a putt off the green. Learning from hole 1, I managed to hit a much better putt, but had a knee knocker 3 footer downhill left – which I hit, for escalation 3 pars in a row. (+2)

Hole 5: I was slightly feeling it now, with my putter on fire. But this drive, I popped it up and it got hung in the rough – a poor short drive, but thankfully on a relative short Par 4. I still had to hit either an 8 or 7 iron in. I opted for the latter but it flew right to the back of the green, about 40 feet away from the front pin. My lag putt was …. bad. I overshot the hole and had around an 8 footer back.

Amazingly, my putt hit the back of the cup and popped in for 4 in a row. Even I was surprised. (+2)

Hole 6: After we were forced to stop by the wonderful flights who stop to eat their breakfast at this dratted hut, I had a 5 iron to coax into this tough par 3. And I completely duffed it. I wish I could blame the idiots in front who had to stop and fill their bellies and spoiling my mojo. But the fact was, I just had a bad swing and the ball plopped into water. Reteed-and this time found the bunker. From the bunker, hit the 4th shot out, and two putted for a seriously momentum destroying triple bogey. (+5)

Irons=-1

Hole 7: Struggling to shake off the triple, I actually hit a solid drive on this Par 5. But like Hole 1, it got caught into the fairway bunker on the right. Like Hole 1, I was unluckily stuck right at the side and could only coax a 9 iron out. I still could regulation on actually as I had a 130m or more to the green. I shortsighted myself with a pitching wedge (instead of 9) and landed short. Too much grass here to work with (or so I thought), and I decided to chip for my 4th.

Bad decision because my chip is $hit. Total, crap sh#t. I skulled the ball and it skittered into the bunker. From the bunker, I hit a very poor shot due to the water if I overshot the green, and left it in the bunker again. My 5th shot barely got out. My 6th putt, because I had to charge to at least have a chance to tie with my opponent’s team went too far downhill and my come back never stood a chance. Great. Triple bogey. (+8). So after four pars in a row, I had to go spoil the game with two triples back to back.

Chipping = -1

Hole 8: This index hole 1 is long, but it’s not overly complex. I did hit my drive long, but it drew too much. Flew the bunker and I had a pitching wedge I had to carve around the trees. Curled too much and now I had the option to putt or chip off the green. Opted for the chip, but again, fell too short and did not hit the 8 footer to the cup. My first bogey of the day, not bad. (+9)

Hole 9: My drive here to this uphill green actually left me in a reasonable position just short of the bunker on the left, but with an extreme uphill to go. My 6 iron….shanked. Yup. Finally did it and got it out of my system. Thankfully the ball hits a small tree and fell back into the bunker about 30 meters from the green. The dreaded 30 meter bunker shot, which I hit a pretty good out with my gap. I had around 15 feet to navigate for sandy par, but missed. Considering I shanked the crap out of the ball, bogey is a hell of a score. (+10)

For a while, midway through the first 9, I was thinking of really going low. 2 triple laters, due to branfarts on my irons and chipping – and it’s over.

Hole 10: Crossing over to this shady par 4 dog leg left, I cut the dogleg too much and now it’s in the jungle left. My punch out wasn’t great but it was just enough for me to use my 9 iron with a little draw to the green – which was executed perfectly. Pin high, around 10 feet from the hole. Unfortunately I missed it my inches but tapped in for bogey. (+11). Its not a bad hole for recovery.

Hole 11: Blasted this relatively easy par 4 and had only 90 meters left to the green. I hit a poor 60 degree that flew to the back of the green and nestled in the rough. A 60 degree chip shot almost holed it and tapped in for par. (+11)

Hole 12: This par 5 makes me think whoever decided this monster is Index 14 probably made the decision when he or she was drunk or smoking weed. Excuse me? Thick trees and rough on the left, OB on the right, with a sliver of fairway snaking up to an uphill green with a notoriously difficult undulation? Index 14? Hello? On cue, I smashed my driver into the left trees where I can probably take up permanent residence based on the time I visit there. I chunked my punch out (2nd shot) which wasn’t great, and my next punch with a 6 iron from the rough found me around 140m to an uphill green. I used my pitching for my 4th and flew it in. It landed on the green, yes, but due to the severe undulation feeding everything into this deep valley on the left, it promptly rolled off the green. Instead of chipping, I opted to putt my 5th shot onto the green which turned out to be a smart decision and had a 8 footer uphill to save my bogey. (+12)

Hole 13: I whacked my driver but again, like so often today, did not have enough turn in it so it landed into the rough on the right after the buggy track. With no option, I had to carved a punch with my 6 iron to a uphill green about 120m away. It was hit well but still found the bunker on right. 3rd shot was one of the best bunker shot I’ve done, with the lovely “thud” sound of the sand. I still had around a 6 footer to navigate for my Sandy Par, and I did it to a fist pump. (+12)

Hole 14: Fresh from a great par save, I hit my pitching wedge slightly thin on this downhill par 3. It did find the back of the green  with a long lag putt. With my putter on fire, I two putted this hole to maintain a chance for possible esclation again. (+12)

Hole 15: Completely pummelled this ball – perfect right to left and on the fairway.  I still had around 160m to go for this difficult par 4. However, that shank back in 9 was playing in my head and got me so confused, I was like a hippo attempting to do yoga by the time I was addressing and adjusted, and I did not shank — instead I pushed it way left, hit a tree and dropped down around 60m in front. Again, like hole 12, my 3rd shot sandwedge actually reached the green but due to the undulation, it happily spun off into the rough. Unbelievable. From there, I hit a poor chip. With a 12 footer uphill putt, my bogey burned the edge and settled in for double. (+14).

Wedges = -1

Hole 16: In this narrow par 4 (second of the Evil Twins on this course) – I opted a good 5 wood. From there, I only had about 130m to go. I hit my pitching wedge but pulled it (again thinking of shank)into the bunker. While I had been playing great bunker shots, this time, I caught it thin and it flew over the green. 4th shot in wasn’t great and two putted for double. Damn!!! (+16)

Sand = -1

Hole 17: I was very frustrated by now. The last two holes were completely and utterly unnecessary doubles. I could have easily bogeyed them instead. This long par 3 required my 5-iron which wasn’t so bad but it went way too far and had a tricky putt downhill. Too tricky as I ended up 3 putting this damn hole for bogey after regulation on. (+17)

Putter=-1

Hole 18: Hopefully the final hole have reprieve – but no, dragged my driver left into the bunker (again). I did execute a great 6 iron from the bunker to put me around 150m to an uphill green. I opted for a 6-iron, chunked it a bit but it was on the fringe, around 40 -50 feet away from a back pin. From there, I finally did a great lag putt right to about a foot or so and it was super good feeling to tap in for par for the last hole.

Conclusion: Overall, scoring 89 is ok for Kota permai and my putter was really on fire today – more than other clubs. My chipping is still taking a vacation while my super driving habit in October has pretty much reverted back to its erratic self. Looking back, if I didn’t screw up those triple bogeys and double on the back nine, I could realistically shave off around 3 strokes from it. But no complaints. Great round of golf and great weather too!

Palm Garden Scoring

I’ve played Palm Garden 4 times this year and had a 95-92-88-96 scoring on it. For some reason, a course which should be easy (hardly any water), which I should be eating breakfast out of, turns into a high scoring affair everytime I set foot on it. A few things come to mind – the greens and fairways are undulating and not easy. The par 3s have two easy ones, but two incredibly difficult ones. The par 5s are almost not possible to be reached in two. But basically I just need to freaking play better.

Hole 1: I’ve been driving like an automaton lately and today started off with a bang. Cut the dogleg too much though, and ended up on the rough. No matter, an easy 9-iron took me to the green, if not a bit too far. A downhill putt which I completely misread, and left me with a par putt of around 10 feet, which I missed. 3-putt to start the day? OK. (+1)

Hole 2: Easy par 3 that I shorted with a gap wedge. Time to see how this chip is doing. I hit an ok one actually, which is surprising but still had to navigate around 6 feet for a par which i did. Wow! Didn’t expect my short game to save me! (+1)

Hole 3: Good broad fairway which I just pummeled my drive into. From there, I had an easy 9 iron again to the back portion of the green, which I put on around 20 feet away. But again, my putter was crap shit, and my birdie putt came up way short. Palm garden was playing very SLOW today, unlike the previous time. My par putt pulled and again, a 3 putt despite regulation-on. I hope this isn’t going to become a trend. (+2)

Hole 4: Really one of my favourite holes in the course. This is a par 5 which drops down to a semi island green which requires some precise shot into it. I’ve birdied this par 5 a few times and today went flag hunting again. Long drive straight down the barrel, another pitching wedge to take me to around 100m and from there, a lob wedge to a front sucker pin, to around 2 feet for a kick in birdie. Easiest one ever! (+1)

Hole 5: Back to back par 5s here. I hit another straight drive (my driver was seriously in automated mode), and then a little pulled five wood took me to around 100m away to a green which I put on with a sandwedge. From there 2 putted for a par. (+1) At this point, I was thinking if I putted well during my hole 1 and 3, I would have been one under over 5 holes! Could be staring at a sub 80 round here!

Hole 6: This is just a tough par 4 but not impossible. A good drive found the rough on the right, and I just dead pulled my hybrid (I hate this hybrid) into the bunker on the left. My out wasn’t superb and that just left me with too long a putt for par. Bogey and momentum lost. (+2)

Woods/Hybrid = -1

Hole 7: If anyone asks which is the toughest hole in the course? I would say this stupid par 3. It is LONG. It needed my 5 wood, so we are staring at an uphill 190-200 metres with a difficult green protected by bunkers and undulation. On cue, I pulled left and from there, buried under a tree, I just have to chop out, and put it into bunker. Out, missed my bogey and settled for my first double bogey of the day. Stupid 5 wood and stupid hybrid! (+4)

Woods/Hybrid: -2

Hole 8: The final two holes are really scoring holes for me, especially if the driver is behaving. And it was certainly behaving today. Drove a straight one cutting the dogleg to around 80m from the green but in a not so great lie in the rough, and mud. I managed to carve in a lob wedge to the top of the green but had a very tricky downhill. My putt was ok, wasn’t good, but managed to coax in a par. (+4)

Hole 9: This was the probably the first time I had a perfect driving 9 holes in my life. This drive was crushed right down the fairway and left me again with a lob wedge into a dangerous green. Behind the green (where my playing partner ended up) was no-man’s land, a practice green and a hill back up. Lob wedge safely on the green, two putted for a par. (+4) At +4, I was probably on track to break 80 but I would need to play a heck of a back 9.

Hole 10: Another good drive straight down the fairway. Here’s where I probably made my mistake. Instead of gunning it with a wood or at least a long iron to this massive par 5, I layed up with a 9 iron thinking it might give me a lob wedge in. I short-changed it and had a 130m uphill approach. Again, mistake with a pitching instead of a 9 and fell woefully short. Chip wasn’t great and left with too much to do. Bogey. (+5) Can’t fault my chipping though, it was really a mental breakdown here more than anything.

Hole 11: Great hole with danger on the left which I avoided with a perfect 5 wood. I was left with only a pitching wedge into the green and looked to get back on track from the previous hole’s brain fart. And then it happened.

It doesn’t happen often but when it does, it is disastrous.

The SHANK.

I shanked the shit out of my pitching. It came out of nowhere, literally. My irons the whole of the 10 holes previous were dialed in, target hunting precision and just crisp and clear pounding off the turf. Suddenly, the shank just changed everything. It landed in the trees at the right, I punched out and still could do a 4-on to escape disaster. With a lob wedge, it happened again.

The SHANK.

This time into the water. At this point, it wasn’t just bye-bye sub 80 round. It could be bye bye game, because I had no idea what was causing it. I stood there for a full half minute wondering what the f- just happened. I mean if I was playing like a monkey I would feel this is just a product of that monkey business. Instead I was playing probably the best golf I had played this whole year. So where in cold hell did this shanking nonsense come from???!

Since we were playing team against team, I declared myself out of the hole and stopped playing and went back to the buggy to try to sort out this swing. So I don’t have a number here but as a rule, all blow holes will be marked as quadruple, so I marked it. (+9)

Irons = -1

Hole 12: I was obviously in a shocked state by now and this easy par 3 should be there for the taking. Instead on the tee with a pitching wedge, I shanked it again. This time it wasn’t so bad and I could still recover, but my confidence throughout the game had taken a huge beating and I knew I was in deep shit to complete this game with a reasonable score. You can’t fix a shank. You can only compensate for it. Managed to chip on, and two putted for a bogey. (+10). If I could just bogey all the way, I would be pretty satisfied now.

Hole 13: Tough Par 5 with trouble everywhere. At least my driver was still working despite my shanking problems. Bombed it down the fairway and now I had a dreaded iron coming up. With a 9-iron, I adjusted my stance drastically, putting my right foot a full one feet back compared to my left. This funny stance will force me to swing inside out at a drastic plane, hopefully eliminating my shank (which came from me swinging over the top and coming in steep outside in), but will be problematic due to it making my draw and hooks even worse. For now, it sort of worked, because I managed to hit it (although it still had the dreaded shank sound – “thak!” of ball hitting the hosel. With a 52 degree into the green, I did the same swing, and landed just before the green. It was not a great chip for 4-on as it overshot the hole by around 15 feet. But finally, one putt did drop as this one snaked in for an extremely unlikely par. (+10)

Hole 14: Again, with the same method, I eliminated my shank, but my draw was pretty extreme into this par 3. I’ve already compensated for it and this time it worked out well. It ended up on the green and managed to two putt for another par. With the way I’m playing, pars are like birdies for me. (+10)

Hole 15: Great drive smack in the middle. With water on the right, I had to play safe a bit with the layup and hit a conservative 9-iron and had maybe 120 or so left to the green. My shank seems to be resolved now, but the problem was I wasn’t hitting my irons so crisply and this new stance had me fighting a hook everytime. My pitching wedge worked well here but didn’t hook back so left me on the green with some real estate to maneuver. I thankfully did and ended up with another par. That’s 3 in a row and momentum regained! (+10)

Hole 16: This relatively short part 4 hole always turns difficult when you cranked your drive thinking you can reach the green. I hit a reasonable drive that ended up a few feet from the bunker on the right and leaving me around 70m downhill to front pin. My pitch came up short and I was maybe a few metres from the green. Usually I would opt to putt but given that I am supposed to practice my chipping, I opted to chip. And clunked it. It barely made the green and a stupid 2 putt later for a bogey. (+11)

Chip: -1

Hole 17: The par 3 downhill with trouble on the left. I knew I was hooking/over-drawing my irons due to my stance set up to fight the shank. So I aimed right for this but apparently not enough. I overhooked it and thought it was wet. Later, found the ball literally perched on the edge of the water and managed to pitch it on the green and two putted for bogey. Lucky!! (+12)

Irons=-2

Hole 18: This final hole is just a great hole to end. I blasted my drive straight down the fairway and for once did something I don’t think I’ve ever done before: Have a perfect driving day. As in literally I did not have one single bad drive for the whole 18. I now found myself around 110m from the green and used my gap wedge. This is my bread and butter. But like the previous hole, due to my extremely closed stance, I hooked it into the greenside bunker! Frustrated, I hit another ball exactly the same spot, but with my normal stance. Stuffed it to one feet from the hole, for a kickin mulligan birdie (if that was my actual ball in play)…I realise it’s bad etiquette to play two balls but we didn’t have anyone behind and maybe the ball in the bunker rolled into water? Who’s to say?

From the bunker, I was dead. The ball was in the bunker yes, but against the grass ledge so I couldn’t take any sand from under the ball. I topped it, and only then 4 out of bunker, missed my bogey and ended up with an extremely disappointing double bogey. (+14)

Irons=-3

Conclusion: What could have been? If I wasn’t compensating for my shank I would probably play the last hole or even 17th a lot better. A swing on the 18th between a double to a birdie is 3 strokes so I could have shaved that off. If I putted better, I could shaved 2 strokes on front 9 if I hit those regulation par putts. If I’ve not shanked the crap out of 11th hole, instead of a quadruple, I could end with a bogey , that’s another 3 strokes. If I chipped better on the 16th, there is another stroke there to be saved. So overall, I could have easily done 9 strokes less. From 86, I could have turned it into a 77. Why oh why the shanks?!?!