Swing Overhaul Part 2: First Range

So out to the first range after doing just indoor swing testing and out in the garden. For the indoor testing, I simply stacked up a pile of pillows together against the table leg and swung my pitching wedge with this new style.

It’s weird.

For 16 years of swinging from the right and shifting to the left…to stay stacked on left the whole way through is not natural to me and the tendency to shift and move the head is always there. But I do get the drift of it. The turning of the shoulders enable a really strong and firm whack into the pillows.

So to the first 100 balls – and it was an unequivocal…disaster!

Conceptually I understood some parts of it, just staying stacked on the left, so instead of putting my weight on the right, I mirrored it to put most of my weight on the left.

Now for short irons from 9-iron inwards, it was fine. Because naturally on shorter irons, I set up stable 50-50 or even leaning to the left side a bit like chipping and pitching. I didn’t see much difference there.

But come to the longer irons and the wood, hybrid and driver – nothing came out of it. I was chunking, clunking, bashing the ground. The ball was coming up left, right, high, low etc. It’s very frustrating to go back to the beginning, after this many years of golfing ‘experience’ down the drain.

Conclusion of first 100 balls: I may revert back to my right side and move to the left. Or maybe even do a bit of both – as in Stack left for short irons and longer irons/woods to favour my previous swing. The problem with this approach is that my body may not be able to adjust to both separate swings and might end up making its own decisions independent of my brains (which sometimes do happen). In this case, having two swings – I may not be smart enough to do this, so it’s a risk.

I may also be missing some parts of this stack and tilt thing and I need to back to the basics and read up more and learn more.

The only thing encouraging so far, is that for the short irons, I am hitting it crispier. I can sense that, as it comes off hotter on the clubface, because I am assuming, my weight is already shifted (or rather, stayed) on my left side and I am just hitting through the ball.

But overall – it’s discouraging. Very poor results and disappointing, after feeling really positive on those air swings at home and whacking those pillows (much to my wife’s utter annoyance).

Well, another good news is that, I am suddenly motivated to go to the range again, since now I have something to work on!

Swing Overhaul Part 1: The Reason

So here we are, stuck in CMCO again till December (and likely extended) with minimal golf all round. While the golf courses seems to be full, the preference is to avoid (for now) as there seems to be absolute idiots all round who are supposed to be self-quarantined but instead gallivanting around the golf courses playing. Utter stupidity is the actual disease here, not COVID-19.

I thought this might be a good time to explore something I had wanted to do for a while: a swing overhaul.

My swing, as I always say, has an expiry date. I’ve been having this quackery of swing for 16 years now. It has gone through a few changes, a few updates but overall, I think its broken. It’s not a swing I can count on, as evidenced when I just had to bogey the last hole to break 80 in Mines, and I screwed up from 70 meters for my third stroke on a par 5 and ended up double bogeying. I don’t even know why I screwed up. I generally have an excessive wide take away, move my weight almost fully on my right side and try to shift back my weight to the left for maximum power.

Recently, I’ve adopted the ‘Hogan Elbow’ after a random browsing of a YouTube video (which I don’t even know which one now) – basically to ensure the right elbow (or trailing elbow) is tucked closer to the body, with the inside of the elbow pointing upwards.

It was pure desperation to get something going. This was around late 2019 and I started to hit my driver a little bit better, brought my scoring down to somewhere mid 80s. I was still shifting my weight all around, but it became clearer that I was a little more consistent and more trusting with this Hogan Elbow thingy.

From there, I began to explore the concept of the Hogan Swing, which brought me to this concept of Stack and Tilt , which goes against everything I have learnt to play this darn game for 16 years. Instead of moving the weight to the right and then move to the left for power, Stack and Tilt tells us to keep our weight on the left all the way, keep our elbows tucked in and shift our hips lateral for speed through the ball.

This is very, very confusing to me.

In all my years of playing shitty golf, I have always thought the source of power is from having a very wide swing and arch, hence my takeaway especially on the driver is to separate my arms from my body as much as possible, something that we see a lot of pros doing.

I can actually get some distance on my driver with this, as I completely shift to the right and try to finish off on the left, like a guy throwing a punch. The problem here is that often when my timing is out, the shot becomes either a really bad push or an absolutely horrendous duck hook or whatever in between that resembles a monkey wrestling with a snake.

Exploring the concept of Stack and Tilt, I am drawn by the fact that the body itself stays relatively still, and it acts as a central ‘cog’ in which the body, arms and ultimately the golf club circles around. That word circle is intriguing, as I often struggle with an over the top cast swing where I just drop the club and completely chunk the crap out of my irons and even 3 wood. I can never hit my 3 wood or long irons with any degree of consistency.

The Stack and Tilt ensures you turn your shoulder, while keeping your head relatively still, and the distance of your head to the ball consistent. It relies on your shoulder to turn down as oppose to across. Its very conceptual, and I would recommend to read the book “The Stack and Tilt Swing” by Michael Bennett and Andy Plummer.  It beats the hell out of reading about IT security during this CMCO period.

To throw out 16 years worth of ‘knowledge’ to overhaul my swing is based on two motivations:

a) To have a more consistent golf

b) To ensure I can still play this game when I am 60 years old, when my current swing has expired.

And since I am not going onto the course for the forseeable future (or more accurately, not going to be betting on golf), it might be a good time to hit the range and try out these concepts.

Some of the good YouTube proponents of Stack and Tilt are

a) Nick Taylor Golf (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoskRiKxy06HM5kXxhNiQ1w)

b)  Saguto Golf

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC62Ygv4OmSNZBFkL6A7KDQg

c) Rob Cheney

https://www.youtube.com/user/robcheneygolf

Of the 3 above, I enjoy watching Saguto the best – this is a Paul Rudd lookalike who is so damn funny and also hits bad shots like us.

Stack and Tilt or whatever you call it is about keeping the weight on the left instead of shifting around like you are stirring a cup of coffee each time you swing. It appeals to me because I am turning old and still playing shitty golf and I am just tired of hacking my life away and getting pissed off all the time.

Only time will tell if anything turns out well from this!

There is a ball of a difference

So before the lockdown, I managed to squeeze in a few games of golf in Mines, Palm, Glenmarie and Kota Permai. It was good to be back out on the course again for sure – and while this second CMCO isn’t half as bad – the fact that we have the kids home with us makes it more difficult to take the whole morning/afternoon off for a game. Plus golf courses now seem to be a hotspot in itself, with Tropicana having a number of COVID cases.

It was during my round in Palm garden where I scored an 84 that I realised my game has somewhat reached a level where playing the shitty golf ball that I picked up from the bushes may have a difference in how I play. I was gaming the Inesis 500 Soft 2 piece ball that day and for some reason or another, my drives were just hopelessly short. It would be carrying a huge amount of spin and dropped off the sky like a rock and land very short from where I know I should be hitting. I game the Inesis mainly because it’s a cheap ball (I think like RM50 for a dozen) and I like the matte finish. And also because I was using this when I scored 80 on Mines about a year back.

But after researching a bit, I took it out from my bag and started gaming the Srixon Z Star and the Z Star XV from a very reasonably priced second hand seller – the new ones were just a bit too expensive for now – and I took it to Kota Permai.

Wow.

Yes, I did score 92 instead and mainly because Kota Permai greens were so crazy fast and I was tweaking my 917 Titliest 4 different times, to adjust the loft, the weight etc. And I was horrible from my bunkers, which isn’t usually the case, so I easily lost 3 strokes on bunkers, and 3 strokes from putting like an idiot.

But the ball was a huge difference. The time it stayed in the air, the trajectory of it – boring through and landing and rolling for miles – it 100% confirms to me that I will not be gaming any more Inesis moving forward (although the 900 Inesis had very good reviews, so I may use that). For now, it’s Srixon Z Star (XV) for me.

Just as I was getting used to it, the game ended and two days later, the CMCO was announced, slamming shut another golf window for a few weeks. Hope to get back on track at least in November, or the very least in December.

Till then – stay safe everyone!

AND WE’RE BAAACK!

Just thought to write something on this blog after so long.

It’s been almost a year since a post but that doesn’t mean I’ve not been doing anything!

Golf obviously has taken a back seat due to the Covid-19 and frankly, gives us a time to ponder how life is. To all the front liners, risking their health and life to keep us safe, kudos and thank you.

For all those other jokers who decided to break their quarantine and make trouble to everyone during the MCO, shame on you.

To all fellow golfers walking out of their homes like blind bats living in a cave for their whole lives – welcome back!

Golf has basically started ok since the lockdown. Been playing a lot at the home course – but the RHB courses hopefully will start playing next month onwards.

In terms of skills – rusty is all I can say, but surprisingly, the chipping has improved due to the countless hours of practicing at home due to the lockdown.

So now – back to golf, but keep your distance!!!

Maid Contract Renewal 2019

Another year, another headache. Since the article on how to renew maid VISA + contract received so many hits, I thought of just updating it to reflect the most current procedures.

a) Fomema

Fomema now has given options to do alternate year after the third year of checkup. So for instance year 1,2 and 3, then year 4 you can skip, year 5 do, year 6 skip and so on. Else, if you are like us, just do it each year. It doesn’t take a lot of effort and health is everyone’s rights.

So head over to https://portal.fomema.my/

Register worker – for some reason, workers registered previous year is not saved.

You can’t use worker code. So remove worker code and re-register again and it should work.

Pay online around RM191 and if you are like me, paranoid about credit card, just use FPX and select your bank.

Once paid we are done, print the invoice and details. We will need also the Fomema medical form by clicking the trans_id in red.

Make sure your insurance for the maid has been paid as well.

Check the portal again after a few days and you should see “Suitable, please proceed to Immigration. Thank you”. DO NOT PROCEED TO IMMIGRATION. There is nothing for you there. It’s a trick.

b) Renew VISA

There is not much difference from previous procedure. Just go over to the Myeg website, login, click on immigration and “Maid Permit Renewal”.

There you need to key in all the details of your maid, make sure you get everything correct. Including your IC, which has ‘-‘ in them.  I would suggest to collect through the e-service centre due to convenience.

You will end up paying around RM631 for the maid renewal.

MYEG may call you or they may not, but within a week, you should go ahead and just ping them to check. Once the Visa is ready you can head over to their new office @ Empire City. Just take your IC and maid’s passport, no need maid.

It takes a little getting used to. When you drive into the parking, just drive straight all the way until you hit a junction.  You will see a sign in front of you.

 

 

Like all things in Malaysia, do not follow this sign. Just park your car around here, and walk to the right of this sign, going diagonally. You will eventually come upon the entrance to MyEg. You need to register with the guard, get a tag then take the stairs to downstairs one flight, then take the elevator to Ground from there. It’s a very roundabout way to enter the building, so obviously its very poorly thought of. Empire City seems like a real mess.

Once on the ground, just enquire one of the guards for MyEG and he will direct you to the turnstiles where you use your tag and just head towards the new office.

MyEG new office is super different from their old place. Their old place in BU was like a trashy public motel that charges per hour. This new place is VERY professionally done and super impressive. Even more impressive was the service (granted I went on a weekday, off peak). Just take a number, and get called, pass the maid’s passport and your IC and you are done. Wait for around 15 minutes or so, and they will ping you and you now have a new VISA. SUPER! Well done, MyEG!

c) Renew VISA

Renewal of contract needs to occur every two years. I’ll admit, you probably can get this done yourself, but it depends. For me, it just seemed more convenient to get the agent to help out. I paid around 1.5K all in, which, again, could be saved but I think it’s fine.

So Contract. First of all get your documents ready.

a) Most recent contract, original, not photocopy. To be save, just bring all the past year contracts

b) Current insurance certificate (renewed)

c) Current insurance receipt

d) Current maid passport (and any old one if she has)

e) Employer’s IC

f) Maid

Photostat all of it (not the maid of course, silly) It’s important to bring the maid because you need to sign!

Set apart one day – Unfortunately I got held up in a jam and only arrived at the embassy at around 9.30 am. Previously we did it in half a day before lunch we were done when I reached at 9 am. By 9.30am the embassy was full and we were in trouble.

Don’t wear slippers! Wear shoes!

Once there, I met up with my agent, she gave me a bunch of forms to sign and so I went ahead and signed. She basically settled everything for us, including submission etc. As employer, you can leave already and go back to work. The maid technically can also leave but she needs to stay there in case her signature doesn’t get through. Also, if both of you leave, you need to arrange with your agent to get back the contract and passport. What I did was to just leave after signing and then arrange Grab for her to go back. She finished almost at 1.45 pm. So the moral of the story is to GO EARLY!

So another year is done. It’s not cheap! The whole process sets me back almost 2,300MYR, but thats the cost of upkeeping a maid these days.

Lesson Learnt: Don’t Binge Buy

So after struggling for two games in a row with the 917D stiff shaft, I decided to go and see a Fitter at the superstore MST along Federal Highway. Now, do note that I didn’t play that badly in my second game at Glenmarie. I scored 89, but struggled with my irons a bit and just completely sucked at my hybrid. So my driver wasn’t half bad – much better than my previous game, but I just felt like I was wrestling with a snake and I am not sure why.

So I thought maybe I could change my shaft a bit, hence went to the Fitter.

He brought me to a Trackman (I think it was another brand but I don’t recall) and here are my launch stats average:

BallSpeed: 137.9

Total Spin: 2475

Carry: 212m

Total: 230m

Club Head Speed: 96.2mph

Those are really decent numbers, to be honest. I thought I was higher in my swing speed but at 96.2, I am not a slouch either. According to this helpful chart below:

I should be playing to a 9-12 handicap which is what I’ve generally been playing to on great days – on normal days, maybe to 13 – 15 range. But banging it fast doesn’t mean I can score well. Case in point, in the few games I’ve missed absolute sitters for birdies – 3 footers, 4 footers just completely missing the putt. But overall, according to the stats I have above, I don’t seem to have an overall concern to my swing speed.

Funny thing, when I changed shafts to regular shaft (I tried a variety), the improvement was negative!

I was averaging 94 to 95 on the regular shafts, total carry distance wasn’t even past 220m and my spin was all higher. True, it’s probably because I was progressively getting tired, and maybe I was over compensating, but I was NOT hitting the ball better with the newer shafts. So maybe I have to stick back to the old shaft, or better still go back to my old Driver for the next game and see if there’s any improvement in the game.

Golf House and Kota Permai

Golf house is closing down.

Or at least I think it is.

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

a) 1X Regular 10.5 917 D2 Titleist Driver

b) 1X Stiff 9.5 917 D2 Titleist Driver

c) 1X Mizuno S5 54 Degree Wedge

d) 1X 818 H1 23 Degree Hybrid Titleist

e) 1X Taylormade 22 Degree Hybrid M4

f) 1X 917 F2 3 Wood Titleist

g) 1X Adipower Golf Shoes

h) 4X Mizuno Golf Shirts

i) 1 X Adidas Golf shirts

j) 2 X Mizuno golf long pants

k) 1 X Mizuno Carry Golf Bag

l) 1 X TaylorMade MG Wedge 60 Degree

m) 1X 915 F 5 Wood Titleist

Total = RM3,265.00

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

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

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

So were these useful?

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

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

We are what we term as itchy backside.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What. The. Flaming. F.

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

And the same is with Hank.

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

Hank Haney?

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

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

What are the biggest choke jobs we know in sports?

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

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

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

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

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

Why am I going on with this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hole 6: Par, good putt from the fringe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hole 14: Par, putted from fringe.

Hole 15: Par, putted from fringe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I had two clubs in my hand.

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

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

My God, I should have selected the damn 52.

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

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

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

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

9 over.

80.

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

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

The mission in life to break 80 continues.

Ranking Caddies RHB Golf Clubs

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

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

1.  Mines Resort and Golf Club

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

2. Kota Permai Golf and Country Club

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

3. Sungai Long Golf and Country Club

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

4. Tropicana Golf and Country Resort

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

5. Palm Garden Golf Club

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

6. Glenmarie Golf and Country Club

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

So in conclusion:

Mines = Excellent Caddies, worth every penny

Kota Permai = Functional caddies, no bad or good experience

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

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

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

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