Gilanalysis 4: Kinrara

Handicap:20

Gross: 92

Net: 72

Verdict: Moments of awesomeness in between bouts of severe stupidity and crappiness.

What Happened

After literally being abused by the two most devilish courses this side of the world, the constipated Seri Selangor and Rahman “Watery Grave” Putra, we thought of expending some of our severely limited talents to some courses we call “Self Esteem Courses”, meaning, they were supposed to help boost our completely devastated self worth in this game. We need some of these courses now and then to ensure that we are still alive and that this game is worth spending money on. Kinrara, with its stunted par 4s and wide fairways definitely fall into this category, so away we went, hoping (like any other time we tee up this white ball) to play the best game ever.

This game had its moment of awesomeness, none more than the first hole, when a good tee shot saw myself about 90 meters from the extremely accessible green. 3rd shot pitch with my 60 degree landed soft on the green, and then saw my friend jumping up and down like a tasmanian devil on heat, shouting: “It’s IN! It’s IN! It’s IN!” while doing an Apache Indian Rain Dance. Welcome 2011, and welcome Mr Birdie.

The par 3 5th was almost the same, where a lousy tee shot saw me 30 meters away from the green, again, a 60 degree flop (by luck more than anything) nearly dunked the hole, and a 4 feet return putt for par.

The last hole 18th: again, a bad tee shot (see where the trend is heading?) ended up in the jungle rough on the right. It was another stroke of luck (an 8 iron through a web of trees) to get the ball out into the landing area before the huge drain fronting the green. I probably hit my best shot of the day, a pitching wedge that barely cleared the bunker, landed on the front of the green and tricked to 5 feet from the hole. Ensuing par and we were done for the day.

Other parts of the game? 3 putts on 4 holes, including the ONLY GIR hole on the 16th. Bad driving, and the only positive was that the triple bogeys were avoided.

Why I Sucked

Kinrara’s greens were in a very sorry condition. Sandy, and at times, almost unputtable, it looks like management is running out of moolahs maintaining this course. Hole 7 par 5 fairways were all hacked up due to creation of drainages, that it was almost unplayable 100-120m from the green.

But the blame of a crap game falls on the annoying shoulders of my driving. It was lamentable, and other aspects might be improving, but without any good drive, even a ‘self esteem’ course like Kinrara will eat you up and spit you out of its colon.

Not So Sucked

Irons are getting a lot better, especially 8 iron in, and no longer feels as if I am swinging an anaconda everytime. My pitching improved slightly but I’d attribute that to dumb luck, because there were embarrassing moments of duffing and topping as well. Also, my scrambling and recovery seems to have improved somewhat as well.

What to Work On

Driving, definitely. It looks like I jinxed myself a few games back when I bragged about hitting 9/14 fairways. I might hit 6/14 here, but a grand total of 0 on the back nine is an indication of a swing still in its original crap mode.

Gilanalysis 3: Rahman Putra Lakes

Handicap:20

Gross: 99

Net: 79

Verdict: I seem to be getting worse the more I play…

What Happened

It’s a strange phenomenon of this game where the more you play it, it more steps back you take. Golf is as such: The euphoria of having the next 4 hours of freedom on the course; the optimism that today, this game will definitely be the BEST GAME EVER; the mental exercise of going through hole by hole in your mind the day before and how you plan to score below 90, or below 80, whichever that you know your skill can shoot; the tension on the first tee; the dismay of seeing your ball plop into water, or hooked into oblivion; the joy of dunking down your birdie putt; the anguish of losing money because you played like a piece of guano in your last 3 holes….the whole range of emotions is there. Such is golf.

Anyway, I was pumped up to shoot better than my previous score of 93, and I have figured out a lot of iron and short game, so away I went. I promptly hooked the first ball, double bogey. The second hole par 3 once again murdered me as I deposited my ball into water. In fact I was +9 over 4 holes, and the optimism was all over by then, and I was yet again in survival mode. I managed to right the boat a little with 4 straight bogeys before ending with a double, and a massive 51. Forget about breaking 90. I needed to stay double digits!

Back nine, I started promisingly. My first tee shot sliced into the water, my third shot 3 wood was hit FLUSHED to about 100 meters, where I deposited my pitch to 5 feet and putted for par. Likewise, the next hole, I almost holed the chip and putted 4-5 feet for par. The par 3 12, I topped my five iron and it zinged into the little mound fronting the green, and softly landed about 8 feet from the hole.

From there on, my luck ran out, and basically went back into my sucky golf.

Why I Sucked

Rahman was in a so-so condition. In fact, the greens were quite bad, considering Rahman’s reputation of maintaining good greens. But it was basically problem after problem with my drive. I was hitting my irons and 3 wood very well, so that saved me, but seriously, what the heck is wrong with me? It’s as if my clubs are taking turns to take leave, and I don’t know who the heck will be showing up on any given day!

Not So Sucked

Irons continue to improve, and I have decided to not use my 60 degree unless absolutely forced to, and chip and pitch with my 48 degree. It works a bit, several times I managed to almost save par, but for my retarded putting in the back 9. So I’m hopefully slowly improving….

What to Work On

For some forsaken reason, my driver has decided to go nuts on me again, after playing so well with it. I’m toeing it again and struggling massively to find the fairway..considering 9 from my previous game, to 5 this round!

Gilanalysis 2: Rahman Putra Lakes

Handicap:18

Gross: 93

Net: 75

Verdict: Classic Case of Can Drive, Cannot Arrive Disease!

What Happened

KRPM Lakes is always a huge challenge even on a good day, so shooting what I shot was pretty satisfying, considering how south my game has gone so far. KRPM Lakes is also known as the championship course. Or more fondly as most contractors who tee up on the awful trio of hole 16,17,18 and facing acres of water to cross on their tee and second shot: “What the %^$% kind of course is this, hah??!?”

People say that if you are handicap 18 in Rahman means you are a 12 handicaper elsewhere, and usually these guys are either folks that never played KRPM before or their ability in driving is probably on par with my terrier’s ability to hump my labrador…if anyone is wondering, obviously without raving success (have you seen a terrier before and how much bigger the darn labrador is??!)

I mean, KRPM really isn’t extremely difficult, because it has so many landing spots. There’s not much OB in the lakes, and if you play often enough, you kinda know where the ball should land and how the greens will break. And no, I still play like a raccoon on marijuana on other courses, so the theory doesn’t work.

KRPM condition wasn’t good. Greens were so full of sand, and the grass was freshly mown, means dirty balls and dirty pants. We teed up on the back nine, immediately hooked into the hazard, and played the first nine at 49! Most of it was due to extremely bad chipping and yes, pitching again. Par 4 14th played ‘upper tier’, that means easier, yet I managed to duck hook again into the woods on the left.

I call 16,17,18 the Amen Corner of KRPM. Because you are always praying for the ball not find water there. It’s just an awful stretch and I am bound to find a triple bogey in one of these holes: and I did!

Front nine was much much better. The only mess up was at Hole 2, the ‘Second hardest hole in Malaysia’ or something. It’s a long par 3, with woods on the left, water on the right and a bloody hard time finding the green. The bunkers are opposite each other, sandwiching the green between, so a bad bunker shot will enter into the other bunker: like me. RATS! I hate this hole!

The only other screw up came on par 4 8, index 1. I was on the fringe with my second after a good drive and a great hybrid. Chipped to about 3 feet, downhill curling putt. Yaay, right? No, brain-farted, hit my par all the way down the hill and three putted. Hate BRAIN FARTS.

Why I Sucked

I always say to my pals that when my drive come in, I will be back to being a reasonably good hacker. Well, my drive came in but for some unfathomable reason, my stupid chipping and (of course) pitching was horrendous. My chipping was duff, top, duff, top all the way. To a point I was putting 10 meters away from the green. In KRPM, that’s like going into battle with the Persians in the movie 300, armed with a toothbrush and your renoma underwear.

Not So Sucked

My irons definitely improved from my Seri Selangor experience. I was hitting very good iron shots (except for the occasional hook creeping in). Likewise, my driver managed to find 9/14 fairways! That’s a heck of a statistic! Compare to 3 from my last game, I can say there is daylight from my current epidemic of hooks and OBs.

What to Work On

Pitching is still awful, chipping is getting to be worse as I play, so perhaps more time on the practice green as opposed to the driving range…


Gilanalysis 1: Seri Selangor

Due to the fact that I hardly get to play on any new courses these days (save for our recent Johor bout), I’ve decided to have more frequent (and shorter) updates into this ever frustrating battle with this wretched game of golf.

I call this Gilanalysis. It’s quite a smart wordplay, isn’t it?

Anyways, it’s basically a run down on the recent games (recent could be as far back as my memory would allow), in these courses, and how I managed to screw it all up and how I manage to improve.

If this proves interesting enough, I’ll put in more as I try to find more time to play.

So first up, Seri Selangor, a game I managed to slip in due to the new year slow down everywhere else.

Handicap:18

Gross: 99

Net:81

Verdict: You know why now they call it gross score? Most of the time, it’s darn gross!

What happened

Under overcast skies and a marathon rain that began at 5 in the morning, it was the worst possible weather to play golf, but we were cautiously optimistic that the greens would perhaps be slowed down by the rain. Not that it made much difference to hackers like us. Seri Selangor would always be a tough cookie and we actually wanted to play at an easier course like Kinrara to start the year. But it was just a half day session and we all had to go to work and you know….

Seri Selangor was ok, but the greens were being sanded, so be warned. It sucked in roll and consistency, and being the great putters we are, we all struggled on the sandy greens.

I actually had a good start. From 1, I landed on the left bunkers and my eight iron found the fringe. Unfortunately, I had a bad bad chip and two putted to start. The index 1 was horrible. Drove in the woods, got to the green in 4 strokes, two putt. Next hole, water. Another mistake at hole 5 where after a good drive, I laid up badly and stuck my 7 iron into water on the left.

First par of the year came at the difficult 7 where I hooked left, and it hit a tree and bounced onto the rough, and I only had about a 9 iron. I hooked my 9 iron, one chip one putt. The rest from here was pretty routine. The dogleg 10 was a tough one, where I managed to weasel a par with my hybrid from 160 uphill green.

Par 3 12? Oh yeah, hooked the ball into the small drain on the left, dropped and double bogeyed. At this point, I was playing my par 3s 5 over, and would play it +7 at the end of the day. I really suck at my irons.

14 onwards and it all unravelled. Duffed chip. Hole 15, shank (with my hybrid) into OB. 16, three putted after 3 on. 17th, lost ball off the drive. 18th, drive into the hazard on the left.

I played the last 5 holes at +12, and lost a lot of money. Happy New Year.

Why I sucked

Easy. My 7 irons onwards were terrible. I kept hooking it and when I didn’t I duffed it. I also had a hard time driving on the last few holes. I wasnt confident enough to stick with 5-wood or 3 off the tee, and the driver kept killing me. And of course, my hybrid shanked. Actually, it wasn’t a shank, it was a toe. But the result was the same, ball skittering to the right, into OB land. Why am I toeing it? Too narrow takeaway?

Not so sucked

Driving was pretty good. Even if I just hit 3 fairways, but I felt confident and I was at least hitting it centre consistently. To the ones who had played with me, I was awful the past few months, because I kept toeing it. Now, it’s centred, but long doesn’t necessarily mean good in Seri Selangor and especially if your irons are crap.

My putter rocked in the front 9, but putted like a dog in the last holes. Maybe I’m just not a good gambler. But I feel pretty comfortable with the putter in hand. Go Odyssey!

What to work on

Obviously, irons. And also, a bit of the driver. And my lousy pitches. I pitch like a retarded mongoose. Anything 50 meters in, and I would prefer to putt. Seriously. Any advice to a hooker and a lousy pitcher?