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?!?!

Tackling Glenmarie Valley

So Tiger screwed up at the Ryder cup. Big deal. He has already come back from the dead and won the penultimate tournament against 30 of the best players in the world. He doesn’t have anything to prove now, but to shut down for the season and wait for the next. Will be a fun season next year!

This week, we went over to Glenmarie, and wanted to play the Valley. We paid everything and was on the way there, but the caddy kept telling us to go to Gardens. We said, heck no, we want valley. So on the way there, he stopped a marshal and the marshal said, “Oh! MANY FLIGHTS at the Valley!! ALL JAM UP!! Go GARDENS LAH!”

I found it very strange that they were so pushy on this, and based on our experience of the marshals and caddies in Glemarie (they are utter rubbish), I told my group, well, no harm to go and check. So we did.

Guess what?

Empty.

Glenmarie – if you want to push traffic over to Garden for whatever nonsensical reason, just be upfront and not resort to lying about it. The stupid marshal sheepishly drove back to us to ask for our payment chit and then drove off. So, not a good start.

Glenmarie after thunderstorm the previous night wasn’t great. Valley especially had very bad fairways and the greens weren’t much to shout at. I guess in some ways, they knew Valley wasn’t up to par in terms of maintenance and wanted to minimise foot traffic there. We don’t know, we don’t care.

Hole 1: It is a very difficult hole to start, especially in the morning. This requires a drive over the water, with hazard on the right. I hit my drive left, but it came down to rest at the rough next to the buggy track. From there, I was around 150-160 away and I took my 6-iron (mistake) and just drove a low ball to the greenside bunker. Or so I thought. It nestled into the dreaded rough behind the bunker, leaving me with the terrible flop shot over bunker to begin with. On cue, I nicely flopped my ball into the bunker. Out in 4, 2 putt for a poor double bogey to start. (+2).

  1. Chip (-1)

Hole 2: The valley opens up to easier holes after the opening. This easy par 5 has long been a favourite of mine but again, I pulled my shot left and found myself under the trees. I lofted my 9-iron out but it was at the edge of these annoying bushes, where I couldn’t play a full shot. So I choked down my 9-iron from around 120m and punched it to the front. Opting to putt (good choice), I then sank in a 4 – 5 footer for a par. Good! (+2)

Hole 3: A great hole. For all the shitty maintenance on the valley, the setup is really nice, and that’s why we like it. From the tee you have a good view of the hole, and a wide fairway guarded by bunkers. I whacked my tee shot finally, a good one – to right behind the bunker and had around 100m. I lofted my sand wedge on the green, routine two putt for par. Very Good! (+2)

Hole 4: A Par 3, around 145m. The caddy told me 140m because of the red pin, but it was uphill. So I was between a 9-iron or 8-iron. I chose poorly. My 9-iron never had a chance to reach the green, leaving me with a chip (which I clunked), and then a sheepish putt to put on and bogeyed. What a waste of Escalation. (+3)

2. Chip (-2)

Hole 5: I dread this one and the other one (17), because they have two similar tee offs: trees on the right next to tee box and no-man’s land on the left in the trees. Because I hook/draw so much, I had to set up right at the edge of the tee box, and aim at the right trees to draw it back. This retarded set up served me no favours as I boomeranged the ball right to left into the jungle. From there, a punch out was lucky as it hit the cart path. Then I had a downhill shot into a green which you CANNOT AFFORD to go long. So, from almost 140m, I played a pitching wedge to the front of the green. Again, my chip was horrendous, as I chunked it on, but too far away. Two putted for a bogey. (+4)

3. Chip (-3)

Hole 6: Frustrated over the constant missed chances, I hammered my drive on this index 3 Par 4 and only had, I think an easy nine iron from the left rough. I did set up to aim a little right to compensate the rough catching and turning; but Glenmarie rough (I learnt later) works differently. It doesn’t catch. And my ball happily flew to the rough on the right of the green. OK, this bloody chip better work. Yes, this time, there was contact and it wasn’t a CHUNK but there was too much juice and it skittered way beyond the hole. Two putt back for bogey. (+5)

4. Chip (-4)

Hole 7: This is a very nice hole, where it bends right and falls into the water. From the tee, I just hit a 5-iron right down the fairway and had around 140m to a slightly uphill green. Because anything short funnels down the water, most players like yours truly go longer, to compensate for any duffed shot. Instead of a 9-iron which I think I can hit, I used an 8-iron and hit a super crisp shot that flew right to the back of the bloody green. Again, chipping. And again, a bad chip ended up around 15 feet from the hole. So stupid. Two putt, BOGEY. (+6)

5. Chip (-5)

Hole 8: This is the monster par 3 (Most par 3s in Glenmarie are difficult, on Valley, except for the first one.) This one needs around 180 to hit the green. Instead of opting my trusty 5 iron I decided to use my stupid untrustworthy hybrid (the only time I am using it today). It hooked into the trees on the left. Luckily it was in a clearing, but unluckily it was buried deep. I could only chop it out to the other side of the green and from there a poor chip came up short, two putted for double. I think the chip here can’t be blamed so much, it was more of the tee-off. (+8)

6. Hybrid(-1)

Hole 9: What an ending hole to the 9. This is why we like Valley. This one is a bomber’s favourite, where the elevated tee box can see the entire hill on this hole. And bombed it I did. This was even a better drive than the one I pulled off at 6. This was so long, it left me contemplating a 52 or sandwedge into an uphill green with a back pin. I opted a 52 Gap, and landed me around 15 feet from the hole. I missed my birdie but tapped in for par. (+8)

At this point, a +8 isn’t so bad. But it’s very frustrating to know that I could have easily been 2- 3 shots better if not for my stupid chip. Hole 4 and 5 were gimme chips. While the rest, OK, if I could just be better on the back 9.

Hole 10: Hammered the drive down the fairway again, leaving me with what I assumed was an easy pitching wedge from 130m to the front pin. It landed slightly short, but very puttable. For some unknown retarded reason, I over-putted and missed the come back par putt of around 5 feet. WHY?! STUPID, UNNECESSARY BOGEY LAH! (+9)

7. Putt (-1)

Hole 11: For once my drive failed me and swung me into the trees on the left. This hole is dangerous because of the water behind the green. I punched out my 8-iron, then hit my third shot to somewhere on the right of the green and two putted for a listless bogey. My opponent in the other sixer has stuffed his 2nd shot to 1 feet of the hole. (+10)

8. Drive (-1)

Hole 12: This is such a tough par 3. It is listed as 205m and all of us have our 5-wood or 3-wood out. One guy had a driver. I hit a great, non-hooked, straight up bad ass 5-wood that perched nicely on the green. From there, it was still a tough putt across a few mountains in the green, but managed to navigate it for a two putt par. Yay! (+10)

Hole 13: Another tough tough par 4 for a hooker, due to all the trouble on the left. Hole 5, Hole 13 and Hole 17 – these are the hated trio of Glenmarie. But unlike Hole 5, this time I managed to hit a straight shot but hung up on the right. Still fine. Little on the rough. My second shot was supposedly an easy 8-iron to a downhill green. Instead, I semi-shanked, whiffed it and for once, I saw my ball slice to the right. Still ok, except … yup, chipping. By now, my chipping stance was resembling a gorilla attempting to thread a needle through a quilt. And once more, nothing. Duffed the damn ball. From the fringe, slammed my fourth shot chip over the hole and meandered a two putt for a double bogey. Again, it’s so unnecessary. This time, I blame my irons, my chip. (+12)

9. Irons (-1)

Chip (-6)

Hole 14: Scampering away from that hole we are in one of the most scenic holes on the course, the island par 5. Uphill tee off with a 5-wood took me to the fairway, an easy 8-iron left me around 120m and from there an easy pitching wedge to the green, around 20 feet away for safety, and a routine two putt for par. If ever I had a perfect hole on how to play golf, this would be it. (+12)

Hole 15: The water par 3 which everyone hates. I have to admit, mostly I chicken out. I aimed my 7-iron way right away from the hole and it landed chipping distance from the green. I did not duff my chip but I overpowered it and it went to the other side of the hole. From there, two putted for bogey (+13). The guy who stuffed his birdie with an iron to within 2 feet earlier? He bombed his birdie putt from 40 feet away this time. Luckily he is now partnering me!

Hole 16: This is a nice looking hole but all the slicers hate the large body of water on the right. For me, I just bombed the drive to the left, and from the fairway, pushed my pitching wedge slightly to the right. Thankfully it held on to the edge of the green and from there, it was just a two putt par. (+13)

Hole 17: Ah, the last of the terrible three. This time, I managed to avoid the trees on the right and hit it so long that it was around 140m to the green. Mind you this is a 380m par 4. Because of the severe downhill and the punishment of water for over hit approach, I opted for a chicken pitching wedge which got me to the green but very far away, around 40 feet or so. I don’t know why, but I rammed my first putt way past and still had 8 feet to putt back up the hill to save par. Nope. Three putted for bogey. (+14)

Putt (-2)

Hole 18: The final par 5 hole is a fitting end, although not as grand as the front 9 end hole. I bludgeoned this one right down the fairway. From there, i carved out my 5 wood but it landed into the final fairway bunker, around 50 meters from the green. This meant with two shots, I covered around 430m of real estate. Not to say anything but I am really loving my driver right now. And hating my chips. However, my bunker out was poor and from there, I hit a half hearted, chip/flop (I don’t know anymore how to describe these) to the center of the green and two putted (almost sank the par putt) for an ending bogey. (+15).

So if you look at it, technically, my putts weren’t that bad. Of course, it could have saved me two strokes on 17th and 10th, but otherwise it behaved. Not great but not bad. Driver was on almost the whole game, except for hole 1 and 2. Irons were reasonably great, except for the few times it got tricked by the rough — scoring 87 on Valley where it could have easily been 3- 4 strokes better is a very good day for me.

What about the Chips? Chipping is like the employee in the whole company that does shit and drags everyone down. Driver, gone to work, yeah. Putter, you ok, meeting numbers? Ok, no problem, keep it up. Irons, you guys working ok—no issue, ok? Chipping?

Chipping?

Chipping, WTF are you doing in the bloody pantry eating donuts while the others are out busting their ass for the company?!?!

Palm Garden Pain

Palm Garden in Putrajaya is one of those golf courses where you take a look at it and go, “OK, I can score on this one. Why not, it looks so accessible.” The old Palm Garden way back before they built this one was a popular one with easy holes, rolling hills and great greens. It hasn’t changed much since, but for some reason, scoring well is never the agenda here.

Hole 1: This is a great hole to begin, an uphill tee shot to a dogleg right green. I hit a so-so tee shot that pulled left into the rough. I was in too deep and didn’t catch my second shot and still had the dreaded 50 metre pitch. Which I pulled again into the bunker. Fourth ball out, two putt for a bad double bogey start on a relatively easy hole. (+2)

Hole 2: This is an EASY hole with no excuse to fail. And I failed. I pulled again my gap wedge into the bunker, but it wasn’t an easy one. It had to clear a high lip and I just took too much ball and it sailed to the other bunker. Third ball out, two putt for a double bogey again. (+4). I am thinking there’s a lot of dates with Sandy today.

Hole 3: Apparently a difficult hole, but I managed to slam a great drive that left me about 140 or so. Using a 9 iron, I hit it pin high (for the last two holes, I was hitting pin high as well, except I pulled), slightly pulled to the left, on the fringe. I didn’t hit my putt hard enough (Palm was playing its slowest greens I ever played today). Settled for a par to steady the ship. (+4)

Hole 4:Into everyone’s favourite par 5, with a semi island green. Once more, I pulled my drive into the flower bed. Took a free drop and landed by wedge to around 120 or so again. I had an option to either take my pitching wedge which I would fly the green or take the risk with a gap. I hit a very good shot, but as expected, it was short, bounced near the green and landed around 10 inches from the water. Sometimes, Luck shines down. From there, I navigated a two putt to go par-par after a double-double start (+4)

Hole 5: Another par 5. Didn’t hit a particularly good drive though, but it still ran a bit. Took out my hybrid, landed it left a bit. I was in a very clear area with a pitching wedge to the green, but somehow I didn’t manage to draw it back and it landed just outside the green – instead of pitching, I opted to putt and had a 4 footer for my third par. I missed it. Missed the escalation par and got really pissed. (+5)

Hole 6: Long par 4 which I drove furious. The drive left me with a reasonably simple 8 iron to the green. For some heck of a reason, I pulled it again. AGAIN. It should be the perfect time to hit a good chip but instead I skulled the damn ball almost over the green. Putt for par missed, settled for bogey. (+6) Such a waste of a good drive, honestly.

Hole 7: This is a very long par 3 which I almost never do well. This time I hit my hybrid (I’ve replaced my old 7 wood with a newer burner hybrid with varying success and failure). I pulled it to the left, but had a lucky bounce. I hit a reasonable 60 degree chip which just hit a small knoll on the green and skittered past the hole. I had to charge for my par as my partner was completely hacking the hole, taking 3 shots from the bunker. So I charged my par putt way past the hole, missed the comeback and settled for double. (+8)

Hole 8: I don’t like this hole because they set the tee boxes far right, and with my draw/hook shot, I had to aim to start right, which in this case, is straight at a damn tree. I can’t fade/slice to save my life, so I had to tee right at the left edge of the box, with my standing outside the tee ground. True enough, I hit the same shot but this time escaped the tree, and landed around 50m from the green for my pitching. I didn’t hit a good one, left slightly short of an amazingly inclined green. I didn’t reach the hole for my birdie try, and had around 4 feet to navigate for par, which I promptly missed as well. Furious bogey. (+9) What a far cry from my putting at Mines 2 weeks ago.

Hole 9: Whatever I escaped in Hole 8, karma came back and bit my ass. Again I started to draw this right to left, but my tee shot slammed into the tree on the right, dropped. My caddy (who sucked) said he saw it drop. After 5 minutes of searching, I had to angrily return to my tee box, reload and promptly whacked one to the right again that never drew back. I punched out my 5-iron 4th shot over the green. Flopped back near the green for my fifth and two putted for my TRIPLE BOGEY. (+12). I was pretty mad, because I couldn’t believe we couldn’t find my first ball.

+12 over 9 holes isn’t cool. But as bad as you think I play – it was that triple bogey that sucked the life out of the 9 hole and those short par putts that really annoyed me. It wasn’t as if I was playing bad, but like all golfers, you tend to blame the breaks.

Hole 1: I hooked my tee shot abit here on this long par 5. I still had a reasonable lie on the left rough and looking to punch it out again. Unbelievably, my five iron hit the only tree in front of me – which wasn’t even close – and bounded out of bounds on the left. It’s exactly the same occurence a few rounds back on the par 5 4th, Hit the only damn tree in the vicinity and goes left. Dropped, played it out, my 5th shot still had a long way and I had to hit my 5 wood which ended up near the green. I duffed my stupid chip for six on but so far from the hole. Two putted for Triple. Back to back. (+15)

Hole 2: The downhill hole. Hit my driver controlled and left with a pitching wedge into the green, which was strangely short. I was left with a reasonably easy chip, sitting uphill sort of chip, which I hit it too hard. I really cannot chip for nuts. The par putt almost went in and unfortunately settled for bogey. At least I stem the leak a bit. (+16)

Hole 3: Hit what I thought was a perfect gap, but since it drew, it trickled down the left side and left me with a horrendous lag putt to climb a hill and go straight down another. My other partners putted and couldn’t stop the downhill rolling 15 – 20 feet past. I hit probably my best lag putt ever and had a 4 footer (which I have been missing all the time) for a par, which I finally – FINALLY – hit. I even did a fist bump here. (+16)

Hole 4: The Hateful Par 5. I hit a safe driver – not long, but at least dry. Then took a 9 to hit to around 120m. Finally hit a great approach, pin high, uphill putt around 8 feet. Birdie time? Hell yeah. First birdie ever on this hole, I think! (+15)

Hole 5: I hit a solid 9 iron into this green that was teeing off at the white tees with red pin at the front. It was perfect, and dropped to around 6 feet of the cup. It was very close, closer than my previous birdie. 2 birdies in a row again? I think it got to me, because I just rammed through the break and lipped out. It was horrible par. (+15)

Hole 6: Despondent over the horrid miss, I hooked my drive far left to the next green. From there, I hit a 5 wood that almost sailed past the trees but caught the last branch. It still dropped to around 150m for a shot on the green. With my 8 iron, I hit a shot that never drew. It landed on the bunker. I hit a great bunker shot that left me around 6 feet of the hole. This to get my escalation and sandy par fringe! Did I hit it? NO. I hit it SHORT amazingly. Another par missed within 8 feet! It was so damn frus! (+16)

Hole 7: I think I never recovered from there. This is honestly an EASY hole, if you tee off with a wood or iron and land it to the 100m marker. The problem was, our ego always dictated that we try to drive the green, because it was downhill and around 290m away. ALWAYS. I hit mine pretty ok, but too left and into the bunker. My out was not great, but depending on my chip after that – which obviously is undependable. I duffed it AGAIN, and while it was on, it was too far away for a chance for par. I slammed my par putt way past and couldn’t get my return bogey and settled for a messy double on the easiest hole ever. (+18)

Hole 8: This par 3 downhill, I used a 9 iron to try to coax it in there. It was hit cleanly but it didn’t reach, landing to the chipping zone. My chip this time went too far and my par putt brush the hole, settled for another bogey due to my inability to execute the simple CHIP. (+19)

Hole 9: Finally on the last hole. This is the signature ending hole, which I promptly hit a good drive finally. I was now center of the fairway with a pitching wedge in hand. What did I do? Whacked it too far right into, yes, the chipping zone. Did I end up hitting a great chip? The answer is no. It skittered too far and my comeback par putt ended up nudging the hole. My chipping was good a while back but now back to this stupid ineptitude. (+20)

Conclusion: +20 on palm? That’s BAD. Look, its mainly a few things: Last 3 holes could have save me 3 shots. The missed short putts, probably another 3 shots. Palm is all about “What if”s. Also, Palm garden’s contours on the greens are horrible difficult to judge. Additionally, contours on the fairways make this golf course sometimes unrewarding even if you are on the fairway, as you could be on a slope. If we can navigate this, we can navigate through Palm’s defences. As of now, the chipping continues to hurt.

Tropicana Crash and Burn

The amazing thing about golf is that you can be playing amazing one week and the very next game play like an African Gibbon. It’s very strange in that sense that it’s like a roll of the dice week in week out. You think you got it all figured out and golf just whacks you in the ass the next time and go, “Screw you, you know nothing about me, sucker!” and you are left wondering why the heck you continue to play this torturous game.

After last week’s 81 in Mines I was thinking I can go to Tropicana and score a really good score. You know, since I am playing “well”, and I had 3 birdies the last time out. Tropicana shouldn’t be an issue, right? We’ll see. We teed up at West 3, and then Cross Over to East 1. And boy, was I in for a hiding.

Hole 10: So in the West 3 – East 1 combo, West 3 is technically the back 9, so we started off on this relatively easy par 4, 10th hole. I hit a really good drive – honestly, it was good – great shot shape, but it drew in a bit and caught just the tip of the bunker, like maybe a few centimetres from safety, and rolled back in, right next to the high lip. From there, I could just do an easy out and 3 on. But I thought I was so good from last week, so I did a jackass thing in trying to reach the green with a 9 iron. Obviously I couldn’t carry the lip and it landed back in. Idiot. Took my medicine, out with my sand wedge. From 100m, I pulled my gap wedge 4th shot way left. I did hit a reasonable chip to on and one putted for a double bogey. (+2) All the loving feeling for golf is gone in one hole.

Hole 11: Trying to shrug off Hole 10, this is an impressive Hole 11, with a dogleg right to a downhill green. My tee shot was left a bit in the rough and around 120m from the green. I thought since it was downhill, front pin, with water at the back, I could muscle my gap wedge in there. Bad decision again. The rough was too thick to get purchase, and my ball hit the leaves of the coconut tree and ambled around 30m from the green. A mediocre chip found me around puttable distance, which I put on and one putted for bogey. Hey at least, I’ve one-putted my first two holes! (+3)

Hole 12: With an 8-iron I flew this too far right almost to the flowerbed. Took a drop and hit a reasonably good chip to around 8 feet and sank in the par putt. Yes! Another one putt! (+3)

Hole 13: This was a struggle, because I teed off with a 6-iron and had around 130m to go. I was caught between a pitching or a 9-iron and since it was an uphill green, I opted a 9-iron and hooked the hell out of this ball. It landed at an impossible downhill slope near the flowerbed, with no drop, so I had to semi punch-skewer the ball to the green area with my third shot. I hit a bad putt for my 4th and two putted for my double bogey. (+5). The hits keep coming.

Hole 14: Once more, a very bad swing and my shot hooked into the water on the left. It was a good thing it hooked, because I managed to drop it around 150 or so from the green. My third shot with a 9-iron found me right at the front of the green and from there navigated with a putt to put on, and another putt to hole it for bogey. (+6). Another one putt!

Hole 15:Again, my drive was pulled (I am struggling today with drives) and almost entered the water but stayed dry. This was a routine pitching wedge to the green but instead I skulled it and it shot left. Thankfully, it caught the greenside bunker that prevented it from entering the water. From there, one out and two putted for another bogey. (+7)

Hole 16: This should be a straightforward par 5, but as I expected to hook again, I aimed it too far right and it caught the tree. I used my 9 iron to lay up to about 100m and hit a mediocre gap wedge to the center of the large green. Unfortunately I three putted, with my third putt missing from 4 feet. Sucks. Bad bogey. (+8)

Hole 17: This is a good par 3, front pin and easy. Or so I thought. I was going in with a gap wedge and still conjured to miss the green left with a pull. From there, I hit an awful putt that didn’t even reach into the green. From the fringe, a two putt left me with another bogy (+9)

Hole 18: Already sort of fuming at my game, we reached the last hole this 9, the difficult par 5 uphill. I always struggle here, but this time, a perfect drive left me with the thought of going for it in 2. Wisdom overcame me — for once, and I just layed up to about 100m, and then with a gap wedge, took my third to the green and routine two putted to end this nine with par. (+9)

As I crossed over, I have reasonable feeling with putter after hitting some good distance putts. My driver wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible either – I’ve had a few good whacks with it that really flew. It’s my irons that’s struggling, as I can’t seem to get the proper distance this time around – and also my short game – chips etc around the greens. No surprise there. Last week I was +10 over 18. This week, I am +9 over 9. That’s golf.

Hole 1: I completely whacked the crap out of this hole with my drive as I landed around 130m from the green. This is a long one, with a very steep green uphill. I hit a pretty good 9 iron to be honest, but it just held the straight line too long and didn’t draw enough. It hit the side of the green just a few feet from the back flag and rolled back down into the valley. With my chips resembling a blind hyena, I decided to putt uphill (I am obviously not on the green). The uphill putt is around 50 degrees tilt or so I think, so I hammered it through the green to the other side. Two putted for my bogey. It’s such a waste after that drive. (+10)

Hole 2: This hole I usually take out the driver, but decided to use a 5 wood this time and see if I can navigate it better. Not a good hit, landed in the rough on the left, around 150m away from the green. Since it was front pin and down hill I thought a 9 iron can get me home. I pulled it and it yanked to the left, to a valley similar to Hole 1. Once more, I opted to putt with the same result – I blasted it through the hole. This time, my putt came around 4 feet short and I missed the short putt. First three putt for double bogey. (+12)

Hole 3: Never play a par 3 when pissed. I was pissed and with an 8-iron I duffed my tee shot, leaving me an awkward lie with ball above feet, around 80m from the hole. To balance my duff, I skulled my second shot into the water behind the green. My 4 on putt was fantastically bad and I had to two putt for my triple bogey. (+15)

Hole 4: This time, I whacked a perfect drive to the right on this long par 5. I wanted to see if I can reach the green 230m away with my 5-wood, until I calmed down a bit and saw the stupidity of such an endeavour. Instead, I layed up behind the water, and put it on with my 3rd shot gap wedge. The downhill first putt left me around 5 feet to save par, which I did. (+15)

Hole 5: Traditionally a tough hole wit water on the right. I hooked my ball left, leaving me a very difficult lie. I could only punch out and left with around 40m to the green. Instead of pitching, I opted a bump and run (from 40m). The only place I could hit this was at the slope fronting the green and coax it onto the green with red pin. Which I did. I probably hit the best bump and run chip of my life. I still had to navigate 5 feet of green for a par save, which miraculously I managed to. (+15). Things are looking up!

Hole 6: And just as it looks up, it comes crashing down again. This is a par 5 that I usually can score. However, this time, I hit a drive so straight and long, it ran out of fairway and bounded to the slope on the right, which was OB land. I reloaded, and hit almost the same shot. God darn it! When I went to look for the ball, I found both my balls, near each other. However. One was OB. The other one was in the drain, which according to the caddy was a free drop.

Now, the last time out in Trops, we had a contentious drop. Here, this was the problem. I used Maxfli balls to tee off. The whole day I’ve been using Maxfli with the number 4 (because I want play 4 strokes on every hole). My backup ball usually is Maxfli 3. Now unfortunately, for this hole, I did not take the time to identify my second ball which I reloaded. Because the OB ball was number 3, and the ball in the drain was Number 4. The caddy said, your first ball is the one in the drain. The second provision ball was in OB.

I asked, How do you know? Because I did not identify my ball before I hit the provision. (I didn’t think I would lose it the same spot as ball 1 but it’s a stupid excuse. We must ALWAYS ID our provision ball!). He said, based on ball flight, and the fact I am always using ball 4 for all my other holes. My buggy partner came up to me and said, he can vouch I tee off with number 4 as he saw my ball a few holes and saw the number, from the putts etc. But again, I did not identify my tee ball OR my provision ball. And both are almost identical except for the number.

The question I asked myself: Caddy was sure, partner was sure, but was I sure? I was 95% sure that my first ball was in the drain and not in OB based on ball flight and playing habit throughout the day. But was 95% sure the same as 100%? This is the same story where this week, Sung Kang, a PGA golfer was accused of cheating with an incorrect drop, where he said he was 95% sure he was correct.

95% ain’t 100%. And in golf, you need to be 100%. Especially if we are playing for money, which we were, as usual.

So I told them, ah sh*t, I will just take the OB ball because that’s 5% and I can at least sleep at night. So I dropped the OB ball in the rough and whacked what must be my best 5 wood for a long time, which sailed almost onto the green. Unfortunately, from that prime position to at least save double, I managed to duff my chip into the bunker. Six out to the green and two putted for an ugly (but God honest) 8. (+18)

Hole 7: After the long hold up, I approached the par 4 seven, which had trouble left. As my swing is so retarded, I decided to hook it into OB! So previous hole was a push right into OB, now, a hook left into OB. WTF!!! Reteed again, wallop it perfect, a 9-iron second shot landed in the rough near the green. 5-on with a remarkably mediocre chip, and two putted for my second triple bogey in a row. (+21)

Hole 8: Par 3 downhill 110m. This looks exactly like hole 17. And my shot also ended up the same place as hole 17. I hit a good shot, but it bounced on the green, and slipped down the valley on the left. Again left with the familiar uphill putt up the valley, I finally executed ONE correctly. It left me around 4 feet to par, which I did. With a fist pump! (+21)

Hole 9: Final hole, I pulled my drive a bit to the left rough but was reasonably ok. My gap wedge found the green, but unfortunately on the top shelf, where the putt was so devastatingly quick, I only touched the ball and it rolled 6 feet past the hole. My return putt wasn’t high enough and ended the day with a bogey 3 putt. (+22)

Honestly, I didn’t feel my game was way off. It was a touch off, but it was all that was needed in Tropicana. Trops biggest defence are the greens. Most of the greens are tabletop, where a slight miss will send you down some Valley of Doom where your chip needs to be on (not like mine, which is perpetually OFF). Whereas Mines, when you miss the greens you can still putt on and get it close, it’s nearly impossible to do the same in Tropicana when you are faced with an uphill putt to a green, with a slope at 60% angle. My putting is still feeling good, and aside from a few bad decisions, I feel this 94 could have got down to 88 or something. On the OB drop hole – I lost about 2 strokes there for playing my OB ball. Well, at least I can say I play an honest 94, much better than a contentious 88.

Mines Golf Course: The Sub-80 round challenge

By far, Mines Golf Course is turning into my favourite golf course of all time. This is the third round for the year here, the first in which the 17th hole is now facing our current prime minister’s home. On February, I scored probably the best score I ever had in a long time – an 83 despite losing 5 balls. And despite having a hopeless short game at that point. The next round wasn’t so great as I played 88. But Mines was also the place where back in 2015, I litted up the course with 2 birdies on the back 9, and 9 pars  overall. So you can see this is definitely a course I love playing – its probably because of the broad fairways, the slower greens, and the problems set up for the hooker is less here. It just suits the eye for a lot of holes. and gives me confidence.

Hole 10: So much for confidence. We started off on the 10th, which isn’t a great hole to start, as the big-ass tree sits right in the middle of the fairway. The best position is on the left, but too much left, you end up in the hazard, which I promptly obliged with a horrible hook tee shot. I dropped and hit a 9 iron to the left rough, and I knew today wasn’t the day where I would excel in chipping, as I skulled my 4th shot to the back of the green, missed the comeback and started with a double bogey. Great. (+2).

Hole 11: This is a difficult par 3, uphill, around 160m, trouble on the right. My 6-iron barely clung on to the side on the right fringe, and a devilish downhill about 15 feet. I did not expect much from this, as I started the ball too quickly. It would have flashed by the hole 5 – 6 feet easily – but luck as it was, it slammed into the flag and dropped into the hole for a birdie out of nowhere (+1). OK!

Hole 12: The relatively easy par 5 which I have hit the damn tree on the right of the tee box everytime this year. It’s becoming a joke. They are going to name the tree after me. And yes, this time I hit it again, although barely rustled the leaves and my pushed drive landed into the fairway bunker. My 6-iron out was good, and left me with a nice 130m to the green. Stupidly I short sighted with my pitching wedge which I didn’t hit proper. It landed short, around 15 feet from the green, and I opted to putt. I could still par from there and get my score low. I was 4 on, with around 6 feet to navigate for par. I missed it, as the putt grazed the side of the hole but did not fall. Should have parred, but instead, bogey! (+2)

Hole 13: This and the next hole are killers – I wish I can escape with bogey for both, I would be happy. I hit an ok drive, straight on the 4th – but short. So much so that my second shot 6-iron landed a good 20 feet from the green. Without an option to putt, I tried to do my second chip of the day and duffed it. My chip is once more struggling, not as bad as before, but still….Chipped on for 4 on, and two putted for a stupid 6. I should have saved a stroke here if my chip was on. (+4)

Hole 14: Funnily, this hole – which is probably the rare holes in Mines that does not suit my eye – yielded my best drive. Dead straight, and perfect position around 140m or so. I used a 9 iron to muscle it there, but landed short. A reasonably good putt from off the green gave me just 3 – 4 feet which I navigated for my par. Finally didn’t screw up the hole! (+4)

Hole 15: This is a great hole to drive. Short hole, trouble right and if left, the hill usually carries the ball back down to the fairway. You can launch it for this one without fear if you don’t slice. My drive was so good, I only had around 50 – 60 meters to the downhill green. This wasn’t optimal as I struggle these distances. I had to opt for a save shot, and landed my 60 degree almost 20 – 25 feet away from the hole. Snaky downhill putt? No problem. Amazingly, I putted it in for my second birdie in this 9. YOW! Some serious scoring today! (+3)

Hole 16: Simple par 3,around 140 and the easiest par 3 in this course – my pitching wedge, which I thought I could muscle in – landed slightly short about 8 – 10 feet from the green. Luckily it was a red front pin. So I opted to putt. Guess what? The ball rolled in for my second bird in a row, and third overall this 9, after 7 holes! The caddy then told me I should try to go Q-School now. Yeah, right. (+2)

Hole 17: Tun’s hole because the green front’s Tun M’s (Our prime minister)’s house. The irony here is that a few blocks down, our FORMER prime minister has also bought a lot and currently building his fortress. It looks like a pyramid, and Fort Knox. Another good drive still left me around 175 – 180 meters to the uphill green. My driving and putting was seriously on for the first time today. My 5 iron second shot wasn’t great, but I was left with a puttable distance. My first putt was poor, as I thought it was downhill but it turned out to be uphill. Par putt grazed the side but had to settle for a bogey. It’s an ok score on this difficult hole, but it’s just that I’ve been scoring on this hole so well in past games. (+3)

Hole 18: Final hole this 9, I thought I hit a perfect shot that curved, following the fairway. But this is a tricky hole. Too much curve and it would be OB, so need to be careful next time. I was lucky that the ball didn’t end up in OB this time around, as it hugged the fairway on the left next to the jungle. But with no way into the green as blocked by trees, I had to muster a draw/hook shot around the trees. I did try, but I hit a great draw which wasn’t enough. Landed pin high, but on the right fringe with severe slope back to the green. Again with no confidence in the chips, I opted to putt off green. Which  overcooked and had to two putt back for an easy bogey. Ok. (+4)

Looking back at my first nine 39 score, I looked to be on track for some serious consideration to break 80 for the first time. My best ever score was many years back in Damai Laut for 80, and then I had a few 82, 83 here and there, but never in the 70s. My first 9 could have been  a lot better if I had capitalise to save 2 strokes on the 3rd and 4th where it was just missed short putt and duffed chip. But you know, that’s how golf is. How did I birdie 3 of 9 holes? Good putting, ok, but lots of luck too. So, as they say, Golf giveth and golf taketh away.

Hole 1: Started the back 9 with a solid straight drive that was a few feet away from the second fairway bunker. I was in the rough, with an uphill of around 110m. This is a green you do not want to go long as it drops into hazard after that. With a pitching wedge, that’s exactly what I did, but amazingly, the ball stayed up on the fringe, inches away from dropping into the valley. From there, a routine two putt for par. Golf giveth here. (+4)

Hole 2: This is a great Par 5. It has water on the left all the way and shaped like a boomerang. I hit a straight drive – but I was aiming way right thinking I would draw, so for the second shot, I was in deep rough. Couldn’t muscle my hybrid out and ended up behind the trees. A punch out to 100m and I could still hit a good approach – only I didn’t. I skulled my sand wedge to the back of the green. It was a 40 foot downhill putt, which I almost got it into the hole, missing by a few inches. Tapped in for bogey. Putter is feeling it. (+5)

Hole 3: Tough Par 4, index 1. It’s a long one, so even after a straight (but not very long) drive, I found myself around 180 to the green. My hybrid was pretty good, and I found myself around 10 feet  from the green, and puttable distance. Unfortunately, my off the green putt was bad, and shot past the hole for a 15 footer comeback. Missed, and tapped in for bogey. (+6).

Hole 4: This is relatively an easy hole if you can avoid the water on the right. Anything left is fine, which was what I did, put it on the fairway with around 100-110m to the green. Gap wedge it in to around 20 feet, and from there two putted for routine par. (+6).

Hole 5: I suppose this was where my sub-80 round unravelled. It was just one of those moments where it’s like sliding doors – IF ONLY I had chosen this, instead of that. In this case, I was holding a six iron staring at a flag around 150m or so away, but with water fronting it. For some reason, I then opted for a 7-iron. As I hit it, it was hit well and good, but the wind must have picked up because I missed the front of the green by a few feet, at the WORST possible spot, where it rolled down and down to a valley, and all the way to the edge of the water….stopped there for a few seconds…and plopped into the drink. If I had stayed with the six, I could probably have saved a shot. As it was, a drop, overputted it and two putted to the hole for a double bogey, my first double since the 4th hole. (+8)

Hole 6: Hole 6 is a great risk and reward par 4. It’s drivable, and I’ve actually driven it before. But because I hit a draw, in order to get this to the hole, I have to aim to the water on the right and hope it draws back. Being +8 now, I couldn’t afford to drop any strokes if I wanted to break 80, so I opted to aim straight instead. Sure enough, I drew it and the ball landed almost pin high but behind the greenside bunker. The worst shot ever for me. My chip didn’t even reach the green and my second chip finally got on, around 10 feet. Amazingly, the putter worked and I saved par. Still in the hunt! (+8)

Hole 7: And so the challenge ends. I skulled my 5 iron on this difficult par 3, which requires a carry of around 160 or so over water to the green. I should have bailed out on the left, but you know – wisdom being easier on hindsight. My ball ended up in the water, and from the drop, I put it on – two putted for double bogey, and ending all hopes for a sub 80 round. Unless I birdie the last two holes (+10).

Hole 8: This Par 5 is always nice to play. A good drive found me around 220-230m away from the green, which has a valley in front of it. There was no way I could reach it as I only have my 5-wood (no 3-wood) with me. Even so, I had to go for it, so I hit the 5-wood – well – but short, and ended up in the valley front of the green. A mediocre chip up found me on the fringe and another mediocre putt into the green had me to navigate around 8 feet of a curling left to right. Just like hole 6, my putter again worked magic and dropped the ball in for par. Nice – but not enough. (+10)

Hole 9: Final hole. And for once, a bad drive that faded as opposed to drew. But it was so long that it cleared all the trees and was on the rough right of the buggy track, around 140m from the hole. It was deep – and I could only muscle my 9-iron out to the front of the green, where it is puttable. I’ve been putting all day from this distance (just off the green), so why not. My birdie attempt again, was inches from dropping. Tapped in for par on the final hole (+10)

So I ended the best game this year with an 81. And the irony of it is that if only I managed to get two strokes back. Hole 12 and hole 13 comes to mind – both holes I could have saved a stroke. On the back 9, it was Hole 5. If I only had stuck with my 6-iron, I would have at least reached the green and maybe saved a stroke or so. But on retrospect, there were putts and birdies out there I had no right hitting and 6 pars + 3 birdies (all on the front nine) is a bloody good score … so Golf giveth and golf taketh away!

Tournament at Rahman Putra

We had a small tournament with around 18 flights, 71 people at Rahman Putra. Not my most beloved course, even if I have been a member there for more than 12 years.

Hole 1: Worse possible start. Not sure if it was just the jitters on the first tee or the morning stiffness, but I sent my first tee way right (slice, which is extremely unusual). Taking a drop, I duffed my 9 iron into the pond again. 5th shot to around 100 meters. 6th shot was just on the fringe, 7th shot on and putted in for a quadruple to start. (+4)

Hole 2: Didn’t get better with this horribly long par 3. Hooked left with my hybrid, which was the first time I was using this club for a long time. I should have stuck to a 5-iron. Flopped to just behind the bunker, and my chip wasn’t very good, as it just passed the bunker to the edge. 4th short putt on, but was so short. 5th missed, and putted for a triple. (+7). I am 2 holes in the tournament and I was dead last.

Hole 3: The Par 5 gave some respite, and the thing about Rahman and my game is that when I do get a lot of streaky play here. Once I lit up this course with 9 pars in a row. With a good drive and a strangely good hybrid (straight at least), my 3rd shot with a sandwedge left me only around 10 feet for a birdie. I missed it right, settled for par. Great. (+7)

Hole 4: A good drive left me around 150m to the hole, which a 9-iron took me on, not as near but reasonably close for a routine 2 putt par. (+7)

Hole 5: Par 3, and I hit my 8-iron way short on this 150m hole. However, managed to put in a very good chip (!) to around 5 feet and sank in the par. 3 in a row, escalation! (+7)

Hole 6: This hole traditionally is a struggle due to trouble left and right. There is a small window to hit a good drive to and as it is, I got into that window with a good one. I had only a pitching wedge into a downhill green, and put it on. My first putt wasn’t great and left me with around 5 – 6 fee to navigate for my 4th par in a row. Which I did. On a streaky roll now. (+7)

Hole 7: This is not an easy one, and my drive pulled left into the rough didn’t do any favours. I had around 150 – 155m in the rough to the green, and with a 6 iron, I whacked an arrow out that just managed to clear the greenside bunker, bounced luckily twice into the fringe that took the speed out and trickled dead onto the green to around 5 feet of a front flag. Awesome and a great look at birdie. I don’t know why I played the break from 5 feet, but I did, and I miss a sitter. Which sucked the wind out of me. Still, a par. (+7). So first two holes=+7. Next five holes = +0.

Hole 8: This is the longest drive hole (and the most difficult on this 9). I hit to about 220m, which was a bad hit, since I popped the ball. But later, I found out all the big hitters cranked up and all missed the fairway, leaving only me at 220m distance and I won the novelty prize – a brandnew stand bag. This must be the shortest winner ever! Anyway, from around 170, I pulled my hybrid again to the left and around a few feet to a difficult green. I was still in a great position, but my putt from off the green was about 5 – 6 inches short of entering the green. The slope is so severe that once you enter the green, it just rolls all the way down. So I was 5-6 inches away from a perfect putt. As it was, my fourth shot putt couldn’t brake and rolled 15 feet past the hole. Two putted for double bogey. (+9)

Hole 9: I hit a perfect shot with my 5-wood. Then as I was hitting my second shot,  I don’t know why I didn’t opt for my 6 iron, but maybe because I was feeling it with my 5-wood. I completely whiffed the damn ball and it splashed into the water fronting me. 4th shot was pulled to the rough, fifth shot out of the rough to the side of the green. Six shot was a skulled chip (struggled with my chips yet again) to the other side of the green and two putted for a triple 8th on a relatively easy par 5. Dang! (+12)

So there you have it, 5 great holes sandwiched between a quadruple, a double and two triple bogeys. This was typical streaky play, but at least I’ve played myself back up the board a bit and have a bit of chance going into the back nine.

Hole 10: And that bit of chance bit the dust. I pulled my drive into the hazard on the left. Dropped for 3, hit an absolute cracker with my 5-wood to about 60 meters of the green. I was supposed to hit a great pitch to get at least 4 on, but no, I chunked my 60 degree to around 20m of the green. A poor chip resulted in a 5 on and too far to do much, so two putted for double. On another easy, scorable par 5. (+14)

Hole 11: My 5 wood was crushing today for some reason. Good tee, but my hybrid yet again pulled like a bloody boomerang. 4 times used, 3 times boomeranged left. With about 10 m from the green, I chunked my chip again short. Horrible day chipping, after all the good vibes over the past few games. I putted on and managed to at least sink my bogey. My first bogey of the day. (+15)

Hole 12: This is a good par 3 with trouble on left. I hit a good six iron but it didn’t draw enough and was just caught in the right rough near the green. Routine chip would have set up a good chance for par, but instead I yipped it across the green to the other side rough. Stupid chips! I managed to at least hit a good return chip with my 60 degree to around 8 feet, and save bogey. (+16)

Hole 13: This is a scorable hole. But I ballooned my drive and it hit the edge of the bunker on the right and trickled back in. So unlucky – but this was my first time I think hitting this bunker because I usually take it out of play with driver. Bunker out to about 60m from the hole, three on with a lob wedge and didn’t hit a particularly good par putt, but was good for the 6 footer comeback bogey. (+17)

Hole 14: This dual green hole today had upper green for the pin. I hit a drive but couldn’t clear the grass bunker in the middle. The rough was too thick in there, and I just barely chopped out, with 50m left. My ball was literally next to a decomposing dead rat on the fairway (or squirrel, I don’t know which), that had flies and maggots all over it. I asked for relief, which my partners kindly gave (though I am not sure if in actual tournament it is allowed). I think it should have been a penalty drop, but because our tournament was somewhat friendly (we give putts within putter length, we allow OB drops, and one guy even had a Bushnell Range Finder out every hole), my partners were fine with me just moving the ball slightly back so I wouldn’t be standing in a heap of dead maggots. It didn’t really help anyway, since I skulled my lob wedge to the back of the green. Seeing how shitty my chipping was, I opted to putt off the green. It wasn’t a good putt at all and I two putted for a double. What a carnage hole. (+19)

Hole 15: The easiest par 3. An easy 9-iron got me within a good range for a routine two putt par. (+19)

Hole 16: The last 3 holes are horrendously difficult, especially if your legs are wilting. This one, I sliced my drive like the first hole and left me with a difficult 160-170m to to the green. I pulled my 5 iron slightly and landed to the edge of the greenside bunker. A bad out with my lob wedge. I was still 3 on, but I navigated the downhill putt poorly, and ended up too much to do for my 10 foot comeback. I think, my first 3 putt of the day. Double (+21)

Hole 17: A very good drive left me with no choice but to cross the water around 170m. My hybrid for once was hit very well and straight. Problem was I was aiming way right thinking it would boomerang again. So, for my third shot, I had to stand against the pine tree and just hit a prayer. And God answered, because it was probably the best I could have hit it. It landed softly and trickled to around 10 feet of the hole. I missed my par, settled for bogey. (+22)

Hole 18: This needed a good drive to have a prayer to cross the water with my 2nd. We were playing off nearly the maximum back tees, so even with a good drive, I was looking at maybe 170m to cross. My 5 wood was hit the best I could have hit it. I was around 100m away from a uphill green with my 3rd, and my gap wedge found the green. A not so great first putt still left me around 4 feet to put in a very good par on the final hole. Which I did. (+22)

With a gross score of 94, it was one better than my previous game, but because I blew up 3 holes, on the handicap of the day of 18, I scored a miserly 33 points on Stableford, miles away from the top dog who scored 40 points. In fact, from 71 players, I was placed a mediocre 27. Those 5 pars in a row make for good reading though. Honestly the 5-wood was jamming today (except for that hole 9 nonsense), and my putter (which I have changed to a mallet now) was very good. My chipping was nightmarish and my drives were probably mediocre as well. Ah well, at least I won the stand bag for the longest drive!

Failing at Kota Permai

We haven’t played Kota Permai for a very, very long time. So much so that I was surprised at the new refurbished front and locker rooms, which has been done quite a long while ago. To my memory, Kota Permai has been reasonably a good scoring course, except for a few holes that I totally detests, especially those with hazard on the left, which for some reason, a lot of holes have this.

Hole 1: This is a broad and friendly par 5 to start the day with, which I promptly pulled my tee shot to the left, but it wasn’t that bad. This pulled drive will be the flavour of today – after driving so well for the past game, I thought I had my drives figured out. Well, not. Apparently. From the left trees, I carve a low punch to the rough around 150m from the pin. My 9 iron was just slightly short to the fringe and I opted to putt onto the hollow-tined greens. Bad first putt, and then two putt to start with a bogey. (+1)

Hole 2: This is a difficult hole for me, made so by the large body of water lining the left side, skinny fairways, no bailout on the right and trees in front of my tee box that prevents me from drawing in. I did hit the tree with my tee shot (again) but miraculously escaped but plopped very short distance. Faced with a 160m or so to the green guarded by water, my 7 iron failed to turn in and plopped into the water. Dropped for 4th, on the green, two putt for double. (+3)

Hole 3: A fairly difficult hole, which I hit a drive right that never drew back. Under the tree, I had to punch a five iron out to trees on the left. A poor 60 degree overshot the green for my third. Chip back wasn’t great and two putted for a really ugly double bogey (+5).

Hole 4: A long par 3 (all par 3s in Kota Permai are long), which a 7 iron almost reached, but dropped into the greenside bunker. A routine out and two-putt for bogey. (+6)

Hole 5: This should just be an easy drive and easy iron into an accessible green. But the three of us literally hit it at the same place in the fairway left bunker. Same, that we had to mark our balls because they were inches away from each other. With a high lip, there was no chance to go for green, so it was out to 100m, a sand wedge in and two putt for bogey (+7)

Hole 6: Finally, a good shot into a long par 3. Five iron right to the middle with a bit of draw, and two putted for routine par! (+7)

Hole 7: This isn’t a terribly difficult par 5 but it’s made worse if you pull your drive. Which  of course, I did. Hit a tree on my second, my third out to around 120m. Fourth with a PW to the edge of the green. Fifth on, not a good putt and two putted (missing a three footer) for a really, really disgusting double. (+9)

Hole 8: The toughest hole on the course due to its length. Pulled another drive into the bunker. Again, the high lip makes it impossible to do anything but to just plop it out. My third pitching wedge from 120 was so pulled it entered into the greenside bunker. From there, out for 4 on and two putt for ANOTHER DOUBLE BOGEY (+11)

Hole 9: At this point, I knew the drive was struggling. To abbreviate the follow through helped me keep it straighter, but it also caused my drive to be very short. In this hole, it was fairway hit but a massive 150m away to a very uphill green with back pin. With a 6-iron, I finally hit one of those shots that makes you want to play golf forever. It started right, slightly drawing into the green that slopes remarkably into a valley on the left. Even landing on the front, it almost rolled off. Pin high, uphill putt, around 10 feet. Birdie time? Nope. Missed it slightly left, but at least ended the 9 on a high. (+11)

As we make the turn, my scorecard has 4 double bogeys against two pars, which wasn’t great. Except for the 2nd, all the doubles came from bad drives, which should be avoidable, but you know, it’s part of my game (or lack thereof).

Hole 10: This should be a visually appealing hole for me (one of the rare ones) as we look to shape this right to left. However I started all wrongly too far left and pulled deep into the woods. So deep that it crawled back out the adjacent hole fairway. A punched five iron actually was very good to around 10m from the green. This should technically be a routine chip but I fluffed it! Second chip got onboard and bogeyed but that fluff chip was so unexpected, after a series of very good chips in previous game. (+12)

Hole 11: This is to me the easiest hole, as all the trouble is right (which is hardly existent for me). A slightly pulled shot puts me around 90m from the green on the left on the fairway. A good sand wedge ended up pin high on the left which trickled down to around 6 feet from the cup. Birdie? YES, finally. (+11)

Hole 12: I don’t know how or why Hole 12 is Index 14. It’s notoriously difficult to hit the green because the elevated tee shot is so daunting. OB on right and jungle on left. I pulled again my drive and once more, like Hole 10, faced a tiny hole in the trees to hit out of. Managed to sneak it back to the fairway but almost 200m away to an extreme uphill green. My 5 wood left me around 50m. I was still ok to this point, because a 4 on will put me in position for a bogey. I didn’t hit a terrible shot, but the 60 degree just ballooned high, landed on the green and rolled back into the left “Valley of Death”, an enclave where a majority of the people hit from, judging by the divots existing there. I skulled my 5th chip over to the bunker, buried at the slope. Duffed my 6th, still in bunker. 7th out and holed for 8th. Horrible hole. Especially right after that birdie. (+14)

Hole 13: Finally striped a great tee shot and was left with around 120m to an uphill green. I opted for a 9-iron in, but did not hit a particulary good one. It drew too much and landed left, in a mini enclave, not as bad as Hole 12. With Hole 12 fiasco still fresh, I opted to put upwards from this valley though. It wasn’t a great result but still left me around 10 feet for par. Missed, settled for bogey (+15)

Hole 14: Love this little par 3. It’s the only par 3 on the course that you can hit with a wedge. Around 130 downhill, it was really between a muscled gap or an easy pitching. I don’t have any in between clubs. I chose the muscled gap. Because I like muscling things instead of controlling. The gap wedge hit perfect, landed just past the front bunkers but for some stupid reason didn’t release to the green. It was still an easy lag putt, and a par (+15)

Hole 15: Hate this (and the next) hole. Because water left. Index 2 and 6 side by side. These are named the Hateful Twins. I had to start my drive way right, and challenge the trees due to my retarded shot shape. Remember Hole 2 where I escaped a right block with a drive through the trees? The course takes back. Same shot, but instead now clips a branch and falls right down, before the ladies tee. A five iron sets me up to where everyone else is. Another five iron found me at the front rough of the green. A reasonable chip got me to around 5 feet and a double bogey. (+17)

Hole 16: The second of the Hateful Twins. Was switching back and forth between a five iron and the driver and just decided to heck it with the driver. It was a good choice, because, without any trees near the teebox, I managed to stripe this right to left with the best drive of the day. It left me around 100m and a sand wedge to the green. It was slightly pulled but no problem navigating for a par (+17). Not bad!

Hole 17: LOOOONG Par 3. My 5 iron was pulled slightly and ended up in the backside of the green. Not an easy shot. My second shot couldn’t clear the lip (inches away) and trickled back into the bunker, my third duffed and again rolled back into the bunker, and only 4th came out. Two putts and left with a bad tasting triple bogey (+20)

Hole 18: Feeling the pain, I pulled my final drive of the day. From the left rough, a tragic 7 iron did not draw and left me deep rough on the right. I couldn’t get any purchase on it, and my fourth shot from 90m with a gap was also duffed into the greenside bunker. Ironically, I used my gap and hit the best bunker shot of the day. a perfect shot clearing two bunkers and slipping into the green around 10 feet below the hole. I couldn’t end it with a bogey save though and settled for a double. (+22). I played +5 over my last two holes, which just about sums up my misadventures at Kota Permai.

So there you go. Plenty of doubles, plenty of triple and let’s see: hitting out of 6 different bunkers today. Not a great date with Sandy.