We’ve been playing RHB clubs for some years now, and one of the things we usually struggle with, aside from figuring out the course, is why the hell do we have to end up paying for caddies when they have absolutely zero value to our golf game? Plus on top of that, we need to figure out how much to tip these guys at the end of the day.
So, here we have it, ranking from best to worse, caddies in the 6 participating golf clubs under RHB (in Klang Valley):
1. Mines Resort and Golf Club
All the times we’ve played in Mines, it has always been an absolute pleasant experience. Of course I am probably biased seeing that I play my best games there, and our Prime Minister’s house is there, and there is usually nobody on the course, and we usually have a delightful lunch at the Sri Kembangan area. There are a lot of things to like about Mines – the course is in pristine conditions, the layout is very nice with enough challenge and variety for the average hacker. But what stands out in Mines, especially compared to the other clubs under RHB cards – are the caddies. The caddies here are caddies. I am saying that because a lot of clubs out there, their caddies are NOT caddies. They are probably trained as hedge-keepers, gardeners, plant-waterers, weed-pickers or something to that ilk but not caddies. In Mines, they are properly trained and I have never had a bad experience with any of them. None. In fact, there is one SUPER caddy there, an elderly Indian gentleman, who is like Gandalf of the Greens. In unreadable greens, he will sagely interpret the distance, the break and he is NEVER wrong. He really puts in perspective what golf is like IF you play with an actual caddy who knows his stuff. He saves you 3 – 4 strokes a round easily, and you will probably win whatever bet you have on the table. He is that good. The other caddies are also good – even those who are fairly new, if they cannot read greens properly, they do other things well, like getting you clubs to you on time etc. Mines = excellent. We usually tip them above RM80 – RM 100 per caddy, because they are good – and probably because there is so few people playing on the course.
2. Kota Permai Golf and Country Club
Kota Permai’s caddies may not be as wondrous as Mines, but they are not terrible either. Kota Permai greens are notoriously quick and the breaks are very subtle. Sometimes we get lucky and get a good caddy and he/she would guide us through treacherous greens. They also are usually fairly quick to look for balls, and they know what clubs you want and need. They pack the clubs properly after, and they make sure they clean the clubs after your stroke. They probably don’t read as well as Mines, but I don’t recall any bad experience with them, meaning they are doing their job and doing it OK. So it’s more mediocre than anything – don’t expect them to give a great read or anything, but they look for ball, get the clubs to you on time, clean it up and fix the course. Basically, no value add, but they do what they re supposed to do. A usual tip of RM50 is usually OK, although sometimes, I end up going RM60.
3. Sungai Long Golf and Country Club
From the top 2, you will find a drastic drop in quality in the remaining clubs, starting with Sungai Long Golf Club. You may be surprised at this, because our last experience with Sungai Long was with a caddy that did not speak english well and all the while had been advicing me “kiri and kanan” and almost a the end of the round I realised he thought “kiri” was right and “kanan” was left. So all breaks were wrong because of his language. We also experienced a caddy who was a trainee from Bangladesh, who just got promoted from being a weed-picker. We know this because he saw the other weed-pickers and immediately hailed all of them and they all met up like long lost buddies with them congratulating him on his promotion to caddy (it seems like it, or they are probably talking about a Bangladeshi drama series, I don’t know). But this caddy just sat in the buggy mostly, not doing shit and more often than not seemed more interested staring into space and wondering about his hometown than to caddy for us. So if this kind of crap-shit standard caddies are still number 3 on the list, you know you have descended into the toilet bowl of golf caddies in the other clubs following. Caddy tips for Sungai Long? RM40, or even RM30 if you don’t feel cool about them. For the trainees, RM0 and a slap might be considered generous.
4. Tropicana Golf and Country Resort
Tropicana has some caddies that are horrible, and we have had experience with those. Their stupidity is not so much on caddy roles (reading greens, getting clubs, finding balls, cleaning clubs and fixing courses etc). Their caddy roles are reasonable. They do their jobs. It’s their attitude that is the problem. There was a girl, who even on the first tee, already got a good scolding from my flight mate for being a pain in the ass. Basically, not getting to the tee on time, complaining and murmuring even on the first tee and just being a basic idiot when all she had to do was shut the hell up and let us play. Another experience was with a caddy who just couldn’t shut up commenting about my game, and kept saying I couldn’t hit shots and one time said: “Padan Muka” meaning, serves you right, when I didn’t listen to her and used another club and she thought I hit into water (which I didn’t). Tropicana caddies are the only caddies I really got pissed off with and scolded for just being complete useless a**holes. The reason why Tropicana is not at the bottom of this toilet bowl caddy list, is because not all caddies there are idiots. There are a few who are reasonable (not good), but not make us want to kill them. But for a club with this so-called prestige, to have caddies that are disrespectful, uncourteous and being generally as useful as a marble inside your spleen – it’s just not the way it should be. Trops should invest in a proper caddy program and not bring these idiots in to tarnish their reputation. We still tip the caddies here around RM50, but in that instance where the caddy was being sassy or stupid – I gave her RM50 still but told her to buck up or I will complain about her. Attitude problems in Tropicana.
5. Palm Garden Golf Club
While Tropicana is a problem with attitude, Palm Garden’s caddies are just downright useless. Absolutely USELESS. They have no value there. They don’t know how to read the greens, they don’t get you the right clubs at the right time and they are complete shit at looking for balls. We had a few times where the caddy were just useless in looking for balls. One time, I hit a par 3 and my ball bounded up the cartpath to some palm trees. We spent a few minutes looking and while I was looking for it, he gave up and went back to the buggy. I told him, look for my ball and he just stood there. He literally refused to do shit. He said the ball entered into the palm tree and is stuck in the branches. Why don’t I stick a golf club up you where the sun doesn’t shine, you lazy bugger? We have had many experiences (all bad) with Palm Garden caddies. Not looking for ball, not getting clubs to us correctly or on time, forgetting our clubs and losing it and just being absolute dicks in performing what they are supposed to do. There is no reason for Palm Garden’s caddies existence, except its added cost to us. We still end up tipping them RM50 mostly, but in the case above, told him to screw off and gave him RM30. Palm Garden has absolute garbage for their caddies.
6. Glenmarie Golf and Country Club
It takes quite a lot to beat Palm Garden’s absolute shit-show for caddies, but Glenmarie manages to do so with aplomb. Glenmarie is the only club we go to where we actually fear that their caddies will rob us. Yes. It happened before, an incident where a caddy took, I think RM300 or RM500 from the wallet of one of my flight mates. We confronted and they admitted. The caddy did steal the money. So everytime now we go to Glenmarie, we had to keep an eye on their caddies. Aside from that experience, we have also faced times where they just completely suck in what they do, like the other caddies in the other clubs. We do have many unpleasant experiences with these caddies from Glenmarie. But that one single experience of being robbed by a Caddy is enough to make Glenmarie win the WORST CADDY SERVICE OF ALL TIME IN the entire world. Obviously for the thief, we should not tip and make a police report instead. For the rest, as long as they don’t get in the way, a normal RM50 tip may be enough. But please count your money first and make sure they are all there.
So in conclusion:
Mines = Excellent Caddies, worth every penny
Kota Permai = Functional caddies, no bad or good experience
Sungai Long = Language barrier, please ensure they understand what’s left or right, or simply, you learn how to speak Bangladeshi
Tropicana = Idiotic, opinionated caddies. Just tell them to shut up and not be your friend and do their job, you should be fine
Palm Garden = Functionally useless caddies, no value add, lazy, non-initiated, untrained and as useful as a piece of marble in your spleen.
Glenmarie = Absolute shit. Hide your wallets and hope for the best.