2 good games


It’s quite rare that I actually am able to string two decent games together. I don’t recall doing it at any point of time in my hacking career that I shoot sub-90 rounds in a row. I know, some of you are probably wondering why am I so happy about this – for those following this blog, you would know me to be someone who is constantly suffering this love-hate relationship with this game. I never seem to get better, because nothing seems to come together – if my driver is pure, my irons suck. If my irons are heroic, my putting is a lump of camel crap. If everything is going well, the game is stopped due to thunderstorms.

The first game was at Kota Permai. I shot a ho-hum 47 on the front nine despite hitting 5/7 fairways and driving superbly. I kept messing up my approach shots and my irons. It was just killing me. The only par I mustered, strangely was on the index 1 long par 4, where I got regulation on with a thunderous drive and an 8 iron in. Kota Permai greens were playing at speed 10 – which were knee knockers on putts. This is evidenced by my first 4 putt in the longest time.

The back 9 got much better. I scored a 42 – and that’s with a 4 putt double bogey regulation on there. It could have been a 40 if I putted better! But overall, Kota Permai was perfect condition. I had a great end where the 17th, I strung my 5 iron to the right and ended up under the trees with barely a sight to the elevated green. I thought of bump and run but decided to just flop it. I never execute good shots consistently but this was the greatest flop shot ever created as the ball shot up, missed the branches by inches, dropped on the top of the fringe and meandered down the quick slope to 3 feet from the hole. Never had such an amazing par before.

The final hole was also great, where my second shot 3 wood left me with a tricky shot over the bunkers into the green, which I flopped again with my 60 degree to the fringe and a putt to around 1 feet to save par. I am going to continue with this Ping 60 degree until I start shanking it like I did with my Cleveland (now banished into the closet!)

The second game was KRPM – my eternal nemesis. A quick check showed I never broke 90 before for the longest time. It started on the back 9, where 2 doubles and 1 triple were offset by 4 pars – 2 coming from the tough ending holes 17 and 18. I hardly get par for 17th and I managed to regulation on with my 7 wood – for once.

The back 9 started poorly with 3 double bogeys in 5 holes, including on the par 3 5th where I shanked my 6 iron and almost killed the next flight on the 4th hole. From there, something clicked and I just began to pepper the flag with my approaches on 6th (SW third shot from 80m to 3 feet, 8 iron second shot from 150m to 5 feet and missed birdie). The index 1 was navigated with a drive to the middle and then a six iron in to around 20 feet and two putts.

So there you go – although not low 80s, two games in the 80s are very very motivational for me!

Posted in Gilalogy, Gilanalysis, GilaStats | Leave a comment

Ramadan Golf Promotions 2015 in Malaysia


I noticed I got a lot of hits the past few weeks on a post on Ramadan golf promotions I did way back in 2011.

I feel it’s a bit unfair to draw traffic to my site through an old and expired post, so here is the new updated post of golfing promotions for this fasting season (please call clubs direct):

Beringin (18/06~16/07)

WD (am/pm): RM37

WE (am): RM62 (pm): RM47

Inc g.fee,buggy & ins


Monterez (01/06~31/08)

WE/PH (pm): RM58.30

Inc g.fee,buggy,ins & tax


Tsk Puteri (18/06~18/07)

WD (am/pm): RM80

WE & PH (am/pm): RM120

Inc g.fee,buggy & ins

*caddy compulsary RM59 per flg

*compulsary use promotion rate



Bkt kemuning (18/06~14/07)

WD (am/pm): RM70

WE (am/pm): RM118

Inc g.fee,buggy & ins



KGSAAS (18/06~17/07)

WD (am/pm): RM110

Inc g.fee,buggy,ins & caddy



Seri Selangor (18/06~16/07)

WD (am/pm): RM84.80

WE (am/pm): RM127.20

Inc g.fee,buggy,ins



IOI Palm Garden (18/06~17/07)

WD (am/pm): RM240

WE (am/pm): RM335

Inc g.fee,buggy,ins & caddy



Danau (18/06~16/07)

WD (am/pm): RM68.90

Sun (pm): RM79.59

Inc g.fee,buggy & ins

*caddy compulsary RM45 (twin-sharing) when available



Kota Permai (18/06~16/07)

WD (pm): RM193.45

Inc g.fee,buggy,ins & caddy


Impian (18/06~16/07)

WD (am/pm): RM80

WE (am): RM120

Sat (pm): RM100

Sun (pm): RM85

Inc g.fee,buggy & ins

*Hollow Tining 22/06~22/07



Glenmarie (18/06~16/07)

WD (am/pm): RM162

Inc g.fee,buggy,ins & caddy



Tropicana (22/06~15/07)

WD (am/pm): RM180 without buffet dinner/ RM220 with buffet dinner Inc g.fee,buggy,ins & caddy



Nilai Springs (18/06~16/07)

WD (am/pm): RM90

WE (am): RM150 (pm): RM115

Inc g.fee,buggy,ins & caddy



Sg Long (18/06~16/07)

Tues to Friday (am/pm): RM169.60

WE (am): RM302.10 (21/06~19/07)

WE (pm): RM206.70

Inc g.fee,buggy,ins,caddy & tax



KGPA (18/06~16/07)- for Malaysian only

Mon (am/pm): RM75

Tues to Fri (am/pm): RM85

WE (am): RM140 (pm): RM120

Inc g.fee,buggy,ins



The Mines (18/06~16/07)

WD (am/pm): RM960 per flg

WE (am/pm): RM1160 per flg

Inc g.fee,ins & caddy

*RM100 set meal for 4pax



Berjaya hills (18/06~16/07)

WD (am/pm): RM98

WE (am/pm): RM148

Inc g.fee,buggy & ins

*unlimited rounds



Orna (19/06~16/07)

WD (am/pm): RM60

Inc g.fee,buggy & ins



KLGCC (18/06~16/07)

WD (am/pm): RM260.75

WE (am/pm): RM366.75

Inc g.fee,buggy,ins & tax

*caddy compulsary RM53(twin-sharing) when available



WD RM89.00

WE RM159.00

Include green fees, buggy fee (twin sharing) and golf insurance


Go forth and start HACKING!!!


Posted in Malaysian Golf Courses | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Rasa Sayang Pitch and Putt



One of the advantages of playing golf is that generally, wherever you go, you can find some sort of random course for you to hack in, which makes for some great time wasting opportunities especially when you are on a family holiday and you just need to escape for an hour or so.

One of the first things I do when I go on a holiday is to do a perimeter check around the area to see if there are golf courses and zone in on this, if I’ve played or not played before. It’s more exciting if it’s a course that I’ve never played, so I could test it out and write some sort of review. Yes – write a review. People love reviewing food and all sort of things, and this guy reviews golf courses. For no money. Simply as a stress management tool especially if the golf course is a piece of crap (Like the famous TUDM Kuantan, and its famously agitated members)

So anyways, I ended up staying in Rasa Sayang Shangri-La in Batu Feringgi, Penang. Now Penang is like our second home, but strangely I’ve hardly played on any courses in Penang.

Among the northern courses hacked – Kulim, Bukit Jawi, Harvard. It’s strange, because I’ve never stepped anywhere into Bukit Jambul (now called Penang Golf Club) or Penang Golf Resort at the mainland.

It’s probably because we are too busy stuffing ourselves with food. In fact for this trip I ate so much, I am going on a 6 month detox program eating only lentils and cabbages.

Anyway, you think these were the other two courses?

Think again.

Because if I was a bird, I would see this suspicious looking terrain at the place I am staying and immediately zone in on this opportunity for escapism.

Travel (NA)

Now this review is going to be a short review – not meaning the capacity of the writer, but the fact that the review is not a full review. Simply because nobody would actually travel 200 km to purposely come and play this course, unless there’s something wrong with you or something special about you and you travel around the world searching for the greatest pitch and putt course to play on. So there will be portions where the normal review points are not applicable.


Ah heck, it’s just for fun anyway.

Price ( 3/5)

The price is RM25. If you think about it, it’s pretty ok for a nine hole course. But once you take a look at the scorecard, it’s not even a pitch and putt. It’s more like a chip and putt. Or a putt and putt. Because some of these holes are at 20+ meters, and my absolute retarded short game, there’s no way I can hit that distance accurately. The total yardage is at 324 meters, around the length of an average par 4.


It’s a very very tiny course, not comparable to the other pitch and putt reviewed – that awful junk course at Jelutong, but it’s a resort feature for crying out loud. Some of the readers is probably going – give it a break, will you?


I think it’s ok to pay 25. I would imagine a pricing around RM15 would make more sense but you are already paying through your nose for the resort anyway, so at 25 to escape an hour? I think it’s fair.


First thoughts

Umm. You take one look and that’s it.


The whole course is built on a space that was possibly reserved to build toilets I think, because it was a very cramped area. However, kudos for the hotel to actually put in a course here, as opposed to those pathetic mini golf where you need to putt through the windmill and stuff. There’s even a practice green in there and a nice club house (hut), with a bunch of rental clubs and balls for you.

Service (3/5)

The gentleman servicing the club house was a nice friendly guy (maybe because so few patrons actually come by the golf course). He was actually refreeing a putting competition with two foreigners there and asked if I wanted to join. It was quite obvious the two gentlemen had been practicing on the green for some time, but I said sure and paid the RM10 entry fee and proceeded to randomly select a half destroyed putter circa WWII and putted for the first time on a very lousy green.


The clubs there are very old, very rusted and probably used by Vijay Singh’s great grand father. But it seems like an overkill to bring your shoes and your own golf bag when the other folks there were dressed in slippers, shorts and a Chang Beer singlet, you know.


Anyway, I came in second, which isn’t bad because the guy that won actually sank 2 15 footer putts.


Fairways (NA)


Greens (1/5)

You probably can’t expect much, and you won’t get much. The greens are well…just flatter and have shorter grass than the rest of the course. The roll is non-present, but again, this is a resort feature, so why get mad? Let’s just park a 1 in there for effort.

Rough (3/5)

The rough – primarily the few bunkers featured in the whole course – is surprisingly well kept. In fact, these are better than some of those monkey courses like Kinrara or Bukit Unggul. Kudos Rasa Sayang! Then again, they only have to take care of like 3 bunkers so how difficult can it be?

Aesthetics (1/5)

The whole course more or less plays the same. You need to get our pitching up to speed and all holes look alike – tee box, maybe a bunker here and there and a bad, hairy green. What more do you expect?

Fun Factor (2/5)

You probably won’t organize a full flight here. Unless you are seriously demented. If you are anything like me, you will probably stumble into this course (located inside the resort and following the cryptic ‘Golf’ signs’) and you will be using rental clubs and balls. However – it’s quite a good place for you to get better at your chipping/pitching (not putting). It’s like a big backyard for you to practice. You can wear anything except your underwear I guess, and even after the game, you have a water dispenser and a cool towel at the club hut.


The only hole where you can probably hit anything more than a quarter swing is the last hole, measure at around 64 meters. Even that, I flew my 60 degrees with a half swing.


At least I got a chip in birdie! But as you can see from the scores, my short game is absolutely flawless like how an iguana would be flawless dictating Charles Dicken’s Tale of Two Cities.


The novelty kind of wears of after the 4th or 5th hole, and you are like, “I could be in the pool with my kids instead of suffering trying to flop this stupid shot onto this stupid green and then trying to sink in that stupid putt.” If you are good, you will be bored to bits. If you are anything like me, with a short game resembling that dictating iguana, you will generally be in constant pain. I played all holes with a sand wedge and a chipping stroke but the feeling was similar to when I was extracting both my wisdom tooth at the same time. Short game is a pain, but it’s necessary. I paid RM25 to remind me of that.


The good: It’s escapism for an hour or so; the service is friendly like what you expect from a top grade hotel.

The bad: This is a pitch and no-putt course because the greens are bad; the rented clubs are what you would expect from rented clubs created in the 1930s; the course is very short and cramped, with workers lounging around pretending to be your gallery; makes you want to go back to the pool after the 5th hole.


The skinny: 13 of 30 divots (43.3%). I won’t say this is a total miss. If you are in Penang, you are probably too busy eating so this golf course should only be tried if you have absolutely nothing better to do. Otherwise you probably want to take a dip in the pool, relax at the spa or go Penang Road and eat some solid Char Kueh Teow and Chendol.

Rasa Sayang Pitch and Putt Scorecard

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Sungai Long Golf and Country Club



There are two golf courses in peninsular Malaysia designed by Jack Nicklaus – Sungai Long and Legends in Johor. In the East, there is Borneo Golf and Country – but as it is, Gilagolf has never hacked in the east before, so I’ll just stick to West Malaysia golf courses in discussion.

Now, Legends was great. It’s a very nice course and we all had fun on it – the only problem there was that the buggy cost us RM174. And the fact that the people there didn’t tell us that promotion was going on and we could get a lot cheaper than what we paid for with a voucher – like RM2 cheaper. But it was the principle that mattered – and because of that Legends was given a 1 in service and a 1 in pricing and 0 in travel. The people running Legends were twits. But the course itself was really really good and highly recommended.

So what now for Sungai Long? As the first Jack Nicklaus course in Malaysia, where does it stand in the Gilameter?

Why did it take so long to play this, pun intended?  For one, for some time, it was considered a ‘private’ course, that means only by invitation and with a member or again, you will be shot on sight for trespassing. I suppose recently they have seen the fallacy of this concept, because they have opened it up to RHB card members like us. So let the hacking begin!

Travel (4/5)

I honestly think this portion of the review does not have any sense anymore. Now you need to understand this blog was started in 2007, when google maps were not really that great and the Waze founder was still in his mother’s womb. So, generally GPS was not publically available and we used this section to draw crude maps and give crude directions to the course – of course, now with the advent of GPS anywhere and everywhere, only a chimp with Alzheimer will get lost trying to locate a golf course anywhere on earth. This was apparently taken for granted because strangely two of our guys got lost. One guy – excusable, he was on his superbike, so it’s not like he can whip out his phone to check GPS (although I would imagine it’s mountable) – the other guy was a 40 plus fler whom when we ask, don’t you have waze?, looked at us with a general puzzlement you would expect from an Alzheimeric chimp, locked in a cave for 20 years and with a bare recognition that the item he is holding in his hand is more than a phone and not simply a Nokia 5110.


To be fair, he got lost at the Fork of Bamboozlement. The Fork of Bamboozlement (or FOB) for short is this fork in the road when you are taking the Cheras highway to Kajang. It is existing there to simply cause distress and pain to non Cheras residents. Now Cheras is this great place to find food to eat, but it is also home to roughly 3.6 million people, or roughly 15% of the population in Malaysia. It is known as little Shanghai due to the sheer volume of humans gathered in one place.

Of course, the historical accuracy of what I just wrote is a little suspect, since I came up with that history primarily just by watching the cars stuck in traffic jam on the other side of the road going into KL. I swear, Cheras people are probably the most patient people in the entire world.

Anyway, back to the FOB. Once you go past Connaught, you will need to follow the road signs to Kajang/Semenyih. Go under the overpass as shown below:

After the overpass stay far right as you go up the hill as below:

When you come to the FOB, don’t panic, like my friend, who immediately swerve left and found himself inside Cheras and lost for another half hour navigating the traffic to get out. Escaping Cheras is like escaping from Alcatraz or Hotel California. You can check in but you can’t ever leave. Stay far right on the FOB and you will be ok, you should end up on the right highway leading to Impiana/Sungai Long.

From there, follow Waze based on traffic. It will either tell you to turn off at Sungai Long or earlier, depending.

Once you are in Sungai Long, the course is almost next to the entrance. Just turn right after entering the main arc or Sungai Long and you should see the course on the left. Easy peasy.

Price ( 2/5)

The price is this:

RM220 for green fee+RM71 miscellenous all in (caddy, insurance, buggy – assuming buggy fee is split). After the astronomical charges for buggies at Legends, we were really glad the buggy here is RM76. But still, you are paying a weekday rate of almost RM300.

Honestly, we wouldn’t be playing these courses (palm garden, Mines, Sungai Long) without our Infinite Cards, which waives the green fees for us. And once the green fee was waived, and we negotiated not to have a caddy, we paid a grand total of RM56 with a food voucher of RM10 per pax, so effectively it was RM46. The food voucher is forced upon you whether you like it or not.

Now, of course, I am assuming not everyone has the infinite cards, so going by the normal pricing, it’s still way too expensive for a course like this (as later you will find out). However, I am willing to concede a slightly higher score because of the thought they had in allowing us to not have a caddy, but then they offset that with a forced food voucher on you. But hey, RM56 for a Jack Nicklaus designed course? Nobody is complaining!

First thoughts

Standing at the verandah overlooking the course, I honestly can say the first impression was a little underwhelming. We were expecting the course, being private and designed by Jack Nicklaus to be some sort of wonderment to us – with fairy dust twinkling in the sunrise and an amazing spectacle of a course in her full array of beauty before us.

What we got was a rather flat looking course, with a LOT of workers.

I mean, the amount of Bangladeshi workers here was amazing. Even when you drive into the bag drop area, you will see around 8 – 10 bangladeshi lounging around just talking. I think they are caddies, but I am not sure. However, it’s slightly intimidating because you think you just went through a wormhole and came out on the other side of Dhaka instead of KL. Suggestion to Sungai Long – please build a nice area for your caddies to chill, and not have them congregate at the bag drop area.

On the course itself, while flat, we were willing to give the benefit of doubt that it would be a supreme course, and hopefully can get to the Died and Gone to Heaven status that NO COURSE has even come close to achieving. This is definitely a DAGTH candidate and we had such high hopes for Sungai Long.

Service (2/5)

The service and ameneties were not grand. To be honest, the changing room looks a little run-down. The lockers were oldish lockers that were half the lenght of normal lockers, so when you hang your shirt in there, it sort of crumples because there’s no space. No aircondition, which I suppose they purposely built it that way to harness the energy of nature. Compared to Mines, Sungai Long changing room was like comparing Scarlett Johansson to a rear end of a llama.

Anyway, just as we were going off to the course, the caddy master came and ask – would we like a FREE caddy who is a training caddy, accompanied by a normal grade caddy?

FREE??! Hell, yeah, as Malaysians, that four letter F word is our favourite word.

So we took up this young man, and he had an older mentor on the other buggy and off we went.

Note to all Gilagolfers: DO NOT TAKE UP THE TRAINEE CADDY. I know he’s free, but soon you will find that he had it a bargain to NOT pay US for caddying for us. And we ended up giving tips!

The trainee caddy, BY LIGHT YEARS, was the worst caddy we have ever encountered in our collective lives, and if we had past lives and future lives, it would also be in those past lives and future lives. On the first hole, when asked whether we were using yards or meters, he just looked at us blankly.

At first I thought he didn’t hear, but when repeated, I tried using Malay and English and elicited no response, but a blank stare. Great. He was dumb. As in not stupid dumb, but non-speaking dumb. I tried using sign language but then he uttered something non decipherable. Great! He speaks but does no speak our language. That’s a bummer.

So I told him, ok, just make sure you handle our clubs and pass clubs to us when we need it.

Through out the game, we had such a stressed out time teaching him about caddying:

  1. When we were all searching for balls, he would be sitting in the buggy staring into space and day dreaming of his life back in his hometown
  2. When we were on the green, we would be texting on his phone (this is the first time I’ve seen a caddy more busy in business than us)
  3. When our balls are on the green, he would be standing to the side, not bothering to clean our golf balls for us
  4. He constantly brought us the wrong clubs
  5. He could never find a ball – he would just wander around, following you looking at the exact place you are looking and when you ask him to scamper off, he would grin and just continued following you. I hate to demean a fellow human like this, but honestly, my pet terrier who is now dead, took better instructions that he did.

On the 9th hole, my friend flipped. His ball went right and missing and we all went to search including the other caddy. This trainee caddy took the buggy and drove all the way to the green while we were literally all searching for the first drive.

He confronted the caddy and said (in not so nice terms), that if he wasn’t interested in caddying or even learning, he could leave and go back to wherever he came from for the back 9 because he was an utter useless piece of crap.

He improved a little after that, but was still atrocious. He would step on our putting line, forget to remove the flag etc. There was once, I was lining up to hit a provision shot, he literally walked in front of me to search for my lost ball. I had to go Christian Bale on him. Then, when I was still pondering what irons to use, he would GRAB my irons to take it from me before I was done. I was shocked. It was as if he wanted to steal it but he was just trying to be initiated and clean my clubs, but still it was unnerving to be leaning on a club and then suddenly got it yanked away under you.

He also would clamp my clubs under his armpit as he carried them. And not at the shaft but at the GRIP. He would put my grips under his armpit and then once he removed them, there would be a line of sweat on my putter grip which just made me go, “ You know what, just give me the damn clubs and go back to the damn buggy.”

This guy is a legend. If you guys go over there, don’t fall for this free caddy nonsense – unless they are paying you. However, we generally talk a good game, but we are actually very compassionate inside. We ended up tipping him RM40 anyway because we didn’t have change, and because it was Ramadhan and we finally felt sorry for him.

I mean, if I were in a foreign land without my family or girlfriend (whom I am constantly texting while these chinamen putt on the green), and I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink and kept getting barked at by these chinamen in a language I didn’t understand – I would feel suicidal. Being a little generous despite sh*tty service was something we all could do to make things better for this guy.

Fairways (2/5)

Darn, that was a long detour from golf!

Anyway back to playing the course.

The fairways were disappointing. Really. For a course with a price range and expectation like Sungai Long, we expected at least Mines/Palm Garden sort of variety. Instead, we got something a little better than Seri Selangor/Bangi but no where close to the top tiered quality.

At first, I thought these were divots that other groups were playing that day. Until I realize we were the only ones on the course. The multiple sandy patches we experienced through the course were probably because that area of the fairway was bald or grass wasn’t growing. Nowhere close to our expectation at all.

Greens (3/5)

The greens were functional. It wasn’t as slow as the Mines and generally had a good roll, but it wasn’t amazing. It was well kept but something that you would expect in a course with this sort of prestige.

They also had a few shared greens, which makes them slightly interesting when you are faced with a putt that is like 60 feet long or something. The breaks are there, but not subtle like Saujana and generally, there wasn’t too much to complain or be in awe of. Functional being the key word.

Rough (3/5)

The rough was tough. Like Mines, any misses from the fairway and you are punishable by a broken wrist. It was devilish difficult to carve any sort of shot from the rough, let it be an iron, or hybrid or wood or anything. You could just pick the ball and throw it and you would probably get more distance. But that’s what a rough should be. So there are no complaints on it.

The bunkers (and there are a huge number of these suckers) were another challenge, and they littered the entire course. While you would think Sungai Long (Long River in English) would have water as its primary hazard, the bunkers were the ones that will befuddle you a little, making hitting the fairway a definite must in this course (unlike the friendly Palm Garden).

Aesthetics (2/5)

If you are looking for an awesome looking course – Sungai Long is not for you. Which is strange. Because Legends was an amazing looking course. Sungai Long looked like its ugly step brother. Then again, you’ll need to give credit to Jack by sticking to the name ‘Sungai Long’ (pronounced Soong-ai Long, not Sun-Guy Long, for our foreign readers). He could have named the course something like Everglade River Course or something but decided to stick with the not so glamorous name of the township. I think he learnt his lesson because Legends (which was designed later) wasn’t named Kampung Kulai Golf Course or something.

But the looks of Sungai Long was simply not amazing. The first tee was a flat looking par 4, and it doesn’t really improve after that. Again, this seems to be a limitation of a course built within a township – like what I wrote about Perak Golf Club etc, because the terrain there is limited, and basically we will need to depend on the designer to make it interesting.

Did Jack do a good job? Honestly I have no idea. We just played the course as we would play any other course and really had no appreciation that it was designed by Jack. It seemed to play normal except for some inordinately long par 4s and bizarrely difficult par 3s. Otherwise, it was normal – not too bad, not exceptionally great. I have a feeling this is a course that requires a few runs at it to have a better appreciation.

Fun Factor (3/5)

As long as we were playing in our normal group, we would probably still have fun playing a bombed out course in Afghanistan. The course itself offered its unique challenge. The first hole gave us hope, because it was fairly easy. The next hole is very long par 5 which would be amazing if you hit in 2. Hole 3,4 and 5 are the 3 headed hydras that completely monkeyed my game. I scored double/triple/double for an index 5-1-3 combo. The long par 3 at index 5 is one of the tough ones, but could be made easier if you bailed out to the fairway on the left. Since we were all neantherdal men who had not evolved too much in our brains, we declared to go for the tough pin position on the right and challenged the water. Obviously I failed miserably with my shot whirling into a wet grave. The index par 4 is actually navigatable. But because at 400 meters you think you need to whip an amazing drive, I ended up slicing it into water on the right (which technically should never come in play). OB left was more normal. The next par 5, at around 515m was a very long and tiring par 5, which I struggled to a double bogey again.

Strangely, Sungai Long is measured at around 6000 meters. That’s actually considered short based on many standards. I was for the first time carrying a slice which was very strange as my shot shape is usually a draw. So imagine the craziness in lining up right to left and your shot goes left to right, or simply a huge push right. I missed most of my fairways but still managed to recover a fair bit.

Another strange thing we had was the interpretation of ‘flower bed’. We get free drops on it, but when asked, the caddies had no idea about how flower bed was defined. So we generally took a liberal view of a flower bed – if it was a bunch of bushes that had flowers in it, it was a flower bed. Not that we hit a lot (I only hit into one flower bed once), but probably with a better caddy, we could understand the course a lot more. It’s actually a poor excuse, but it’s not like this review is going to make it to GolfDigest so who cares.

Hole 9 is a very pretty hole that I put my second near the green using my wood – I hit a terrific drive and still had 170 plus to go and maneuvering a river running across the fairway.

Hole 15 is actually a nice par 5 and like 9, with a river running through the fairway around 300 yards. I flared mine right again but still managed to get back on the fairway and messed up my sand wedge into the bunker. Stupid.

The fairways are slightly tight, so you need to hit them to score better. It’s really not a difficult course I think. Except for the 3 holes that are tough, the rest plays pretty straightforward, which begs the question on why we still cannot score.

The last 3 holes were played in blinding rain. There are no sirens or warnings apparently so we basically just make our own decisions on our lives. We decided to play in the rain and risk being struck by lighting, and our scores basically reflected that. We did take a temporary shelter when it got really, really bad – as in Hurricane Katrina bad — whereby our caddy decided to have a long chat with the course workers, adding to the suspicion that his previous vocation was probably plucking out flower beds on the same course before being promoted to a non-speaking, non-working caddy.


So how did Sungai Long fare?

Well, it’s functional, but unfortunately functional is not good enough for the price they are charging. The fairway has been taking a fair bit of hit, although the rough and greens are reasonably good. The course itself – and here’s where we give a mulligan – I believe we will need 2 or 3 more rounds here before we decide on whether the design is good. Just because it’s the course that Jack built doesn’t give it a free pass for hackers. Otherwise, the rumour on Sungai Long is that it will go down the road of Perangsang and Kajang Hill: the membership is being bought over by a property developer who will be tearing the golf course down in favour of an eco-development that will benefit the entire world and cure World Hunger. All property developers will generally market their products like that. And you can trust property developers as far as you can throw a cement truck. Of course, these rumours are unsubstantiated, but looking at how golf courses in Kajang area are being destroyed, I won’t be too surprised if this rumour turns out true. So I suppose we will put in a few more rounds in there.

The good: Travel is generally favourable and not too deep in the housing area if you can navigate the FOB properly; greens and rough are challenging, if not just slightly average; it’s a quiet course so you typically can blaze through your round pretty good and there’s always great food to eat around there or just down the road at Balakong area; it’s Jack Nicklaus designed.

The bad: Pricing is still too high, even if Jack had a hand in it; the free caddy is horrendous, and the regular caddy wasn’t that great either; the fairways are very underwhelming with a lot of sandy patches and probably a few grades lower than Tropicana or Palm Garden; aesthetically quite average and no real shout out loud holes to remember.

The skinny: 21 of 40 divots (52.5%).  Like all the over priced courses in Malaysia – IOI Palm, Mines etc, if you are going to fork out RM300 per pax for a weekday, its recommended to give it a miss unless you purposely want to set yourself up for a disappointing 4 hours. However, if you have some discounts or a free green fee like us, it’s a no-brainer and it’s a go. As for the caddy,  the only way I would recommend the free version is that you want to test your patience – for instance if you are going to have a child soon and you just want to see how it’s like; or you adopted a puppy and you want to train yourself to control your anger. Or, if you are feeling particularly evil, just go for the free caddy for comedic value. Send him to the other buggy and you will have barrels of laughter over their misfortune.

Sungai Long Golf and Country Club Scorecard

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Navigating Seri Selangor


Seri Selangor has consistently bedevilled me despite playing there a thousand times. I have only broken 90 once there, and my average there generally hovers around the high 90s, with occasional explosions into the 100s. This year, I played it four times, with the score, 97, 99, 96 and 97. Yup, that’s around 97.25 score, almost 11 strokes more than my average at Mines. There is a reason. Seri Selangor is damn. Hard.

The greens are devilish, the fairways are tight and the jungle is unforgiving. It’s like the death star, Bobba Fett, Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader rolled in one.

The most recent game I played, I had the worse 9 hole score ever in Seri Selangor. I teed up at the easier front 9 (easier because generally the fairways are wider). However, my driver was horrendously out of sync. My first triple at hole 4 was a bad drive that skittered 60 meters, and a 3 wood to the right, and then a pull to the left. I decided to putt up the green and it didn’t even make it. Stupid.

On the back to back par 5s, I actually dunk my shots in the drink – my second for Hole 5, and my drive for Hole 6 but yet managed to carve out bogeys on each hole thanks to some luck and good irons. I tripled Hole 7. It is by far the worst hole I ever encountered, a tight uphill drive with OB right and left, and a narrow fairway to hit and a crap hard green to hit. I average almost a triple bogey for that hole for the 4 times I played there.

But then when I made the turn, I made two adjustments.

I didn’t give a sh*t anymore and just dumped my 3 wood and decided to use driver all the way from the tee, and secondly, I shortened my driver significantly, holding it almost at the beginning of the grip, near where the grip meets the shaft.

And I drove perfect. The two drives I missed the fair way on 16 and 17th were perfect drives that rolled too far and nestled just a bit in the rough and I parred both. The two triple bogeys were from great drives, but just lousy approaches that ended up either in the bunker or woods which I proceeded to have a short game meltdown. The final hole I went for green in two and just pulled it a bit into the water.

Final 9 was 5 pars, 2 triples, 1 bogey and 1 double for a 45. It could have been much much better but it was the best score I ever shot for a 9 hole at Seri Selangor for a long time.

Oh, I also had my six iron buffed out. It looks bad, but not as horrible as previously. Got it done by a guy named Shan at the KLGCC repair shop.


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This is why I cheat


In an earlier post, I still concede I don’t play a 100% honest golf.

This is the reason.

In most cases, when my ball is nestled in the rough around tree roots or rocky ground, I’ll pick it up and drop at a better area. Yes, I do it, and no I don’t penalise myself, so yes, technically, that is dishonest.

But today I played in a tournament in Seri Selangor. So there is no such thing as picking up my ball etc, and my ball ended up in the jungle (which is normal for Seri Selangor). The ground was rocky and there were roots, but it seems ok, tiny rocks, which I suppose would just scrape my beautiful Mizuno irons.

I hit my 6 iron to punch out – and lo and behold, there was a huge brick buried beneath my ball and when I hit the ground, my ball flew, and the large back cracked in half at the impact and rocks splatter all over.

The horrifying dent on my 6 iron is now for all to see. Thank you, Seri Selangor for burying bricks and destroying my club. AUGH!

Does anyone know where such huge craters on my irons can be fixed or buffed out? Any recommendations of golf repair shop in KL/PJ area?

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Tiger Woods Memorial 2015 Round 3 Highlights

For those interested in how bad Tiger played, the final hole was this:

a) Pulled 3 wood into river  – Stroke 1

b) Drop and hit to front of green – Stroke 3

c) Duffed chip hit false front and rolled back – Stroke 4

d) Screwed up flop that went back into the greenside bunker – Stroke 5

e) Blast out of bunker to 20 feet – Stroke 6

f) Missed putt – Stroke 7

d) Finally ball goes in the hole – Stroke 8


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I beat Tiger Woods this week




Before anybody says anything, do note I am a super die hard Tiger Woods fan and believe that without him, golf will still be played by white guys who are all 40 years old and above and drives around 160 meters and tournament winnings will be slightly over USD1,000. Tiger changed the way golf was viewed by the world.

But I beat him this week. Or at least, I beat his round 3 scores.

Granted, it wasn’t on the same course. And obviously Muirfield is much much tougher than the Mines, but hey, he has over 17 handicap strokes on me so I suppose we are all even stevens on this. He scored a 42-43, while I scored a 43-41. We both had one birdie, he had more pars but had a quadruple bogey. And OK, we both shot +13, since Mines is a par 71, but hey, my gross score is lower than Tiger Woods! How often can I say this??!

I might be the last to admit it, but if he doesn’t make it back by end of this year, I think his goose is finally cooked.

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Gilalogy: Slope and Course Rating


One of the questions I had when I was starting golf was: what the hell are course and slope ratings that keep appearing in the scorecard that’s supposed to mean something?

Of course with the advent of the internet, everyone can find out what these numbers are and Gilagolf is probably the last website you would go to for any golf lessons.

But here’s the simple explanation to it:

a) The course/slope are used for handicap calculations, so we generally leave it to the experts. However, we do have an auto handicap calculator per USGA method in our gilastats area – unfortunately the Gilastats now is closed, as I was getting too many public requests and 99% of them were fake and for spam.

b) The course rating is simple: the average that a scratch handicaper will shoot for that course. OK, so if John Doe is a scratch handicapper and shoots 72, the course rating is 72. Of course the rating is rated over many rounds and some other strange rituals like considering the color of your underwear etc. Of course not. I don’t know. As long as you see a course rating, that’s what a pro would be shooting.

c) Now there is also a rating for bogey golfers called the bogey rating, but nobody knows about it, but its there. It’s basically what a hacker like us (18 handicapers) will shoot on that course. That being said, there is a slope rating to make up for it.

d) Slope rating is just a complicated rating created by USGA or the St Andrews guys or whoever just to make them look smarter like mathematicians. Slope here is counted as course rating – bogey rating X 5.381. So say our favourite course Mines has a course rating of 70.30 and a slope of 126. This means we have a bogey rating of around 93.8. I.e we’re supposed to score 93.8.

e) Why don’t they just put a bogey rating of 93.8 instead of all this nonsense of slope is beyond me. And why is there a magical 5.381 in there? Well, apparently, it’s 113/21 = 5.381. Which begs the question, why 113 and 21??

Apparently, 113 is the average course rating determined by these guys. And 21 is the average handicap index. So both these numbers are literally plucked out from the air. Without any explanation. Why is 21 the average handicap index? Why not 20? Why 113, why not 112? It’s a mystery.

How does all this mean? Should we be looking at course rating or a slope rating when we approach a course? Well, most of the cases for us gilagolfers, we are looking at the price. If the price is good, then we google for the food around the area for lunch. After that, we probably will look at the weather, and then the aesthetics, and then whether there is a tournament. Probably the 28th criteria will be the course and slope rating.

If I may venture, the course rating is probably a good way to gauge how ‘hard’ the course is. The slope rating will gauge how much hackers will enjoy the course.

Say for instance, the course rating is very high. Clearwater Sanctuary is the highest we played at 74. Saujana, strangely is 73 even though its around 120 meters longer. You can expect high course rating courses to be reasonably long courses, but length is just one aspect. Seri Selangor at 73.7 at 6266 meters is pretty average or just slightly above. But it’s high also because of other aspects – rough, greens etc. But in general, don’t expect courses like Bangi to have any semblance of respect in terms of course rating. At 68.50, it’s easily one of the lowest ratings we have played, so if we have a birdie or eagle in there, it’s no big deal.

Now higher slope means it gets progressively harder for hackers like us to navigate the course. Now expectedly, the Cobra Course is the highest slope we have played at 140. This means guys like us will shoot around 99 there. Strangely, another course at 140 is Tiara Melaka Meadows and Woodlands. Which is strange because I don’t remember Tiara Melaka being so difficult. Then again, usually in Melaka the only thing we remember is the food after the game.

A higher slope would also mean it gets very difficult for bogey golfers. If you see a high slope you can bet that it’s probably either a lot of water clearance at 180m, or bunkers around the green/fairway or just wooded courses, where wayward drives will be penalised. Scratch golfers probably won’t face this too much because they always hit the fairway (unless you are Tiger). They probably get troubled by small greens or tricky greens.

While all this might start to mean something when we play more golf, it basically just gives us a very rudimentary understanding of how we should approach the game. If the slope is high, you can probably argue that you need to be careful a bit because scores will escalate pretty quick if the mistakes pile up. If the course rating is high but slope is low, you probably want to work on your drives as it will be straightforward course but long.

Frankly, mostly we just try to avoid the following: slice, duck hooks, whiff, tops, submarine and shanks.

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Royal Perak Golf Club



I chanced upon this golf course by accident. I was on the way to play at Clearwater Sanctuary during my short trip to Ipoh, but it was already around 3.30 pm (we had a long lunch…it’s IPOH, how can you miss the food??!), and halfway to Clearwater, I decided to swing to Royal Perak Golf Club (which on Google Map is strangely marked as Ipoh Royal Golf Club – I suppose their old name).

As with all ‘Royal’ golf courses, I would expect some sort of tradition, and some old clubhouse, expensive fees and not so great course – see the review on Royal Johor golf course as a perfect example.

As I rolled into the Royal Perak, the clubhouse was surprisingly new and looked almost grand. I was accosted by the very serious guard outside who sternly told me to park at the visitor car park – which is probably a good 200 meters away from the clubhouse. I was fine, of course, but I did see some cars (non-members presumably) clamped at the members parking so they really take rules very seriously here.

Apparently, this used to be a pretty busy tournament course, hosting many events in its heydays. Since then however, it had sort of not gone with the times and hadn’t made much improvement, and not many big tournaments are held here anymore – instead at ClearWater Sanctuary. It’s a pity, because this is a really conveniently located golf course.

Travel ( 5/5)

Compared to the awful travel time for Clearwater Sanctuary, we stayed at the Weil Hotel – and from there to Royal Perak was a breeze. Literally, only 4 km away, around 8 minutes drive. Problem is, what if you don’t stay at the Weil? Well, Ipoh is a very small town, so if you aren’t at the Weil, you’re probably at Syuen, which is right next door to Weil and also around 5 km away from the club.


This is like KGNS or Royal Selangor Golf Club – it’s in the heart of the city and you don’t get much better than travel for this.

Price ( 1/5)

Right after the great travel, I was rudely brought down to earth by the pricing of this club. Now I know you used the word ‘ROYAL’, but it doesn’t mean you have to charge fees that are reserved for ‘ROYALTY’ only! I mean, here’s the price list:

A Weekday WALK-IN is RM180++. ++ here denotes caddies and also buggy. The buggy fee is RM80. And caddy fee, I don’t know – around RM40, plus maybe RM40 tips. So if say, there are two of you, you are paying around RM260 with tax for a weekday game. If let’s say you are alone, like me, it would be a stratospheric 360+ with tax. Weekday.

Now would I have played there just to write one stupid review? Nope. But thankfully I had reciprocal with my KGNS membership and only had to pay buggy fee (I begged the lady to not have a caddy), and ended up with RM92 all in (buggy is forced) with tax.

Now for RM92, it’s definitely a worthwhile jaunt. For RM260 – RM360 for a weekday spot, and based on the course value? No, of course not. It’s way too expensive.

I do have a feeling that, it’s purposely set up like this to make it exclusive to members or members guest and avoid itinerant Gilagolfers from coming in and reviewing and hacking the crap out of their Royal Fairways.

First thoughts

Not that impressed, unfortunately. The problem with these city golf courses (and I’m saying it even for Royal Selangor), is that terrain is pretty bland. Most of it is flat, with just features on the greens like tabletop etc. Elevation is minimal, and although RSGC makes up for it with a great course design and devilish greens, Royal Perak doesn’t seem to hold that much beauty.

Also, cowgrass seems to be the choice for most Royal Courses. Since most of these courses are very old (this was built in the 1930s), they shared the course with grazing cattle, hence the name cow-grass. This is of course based on historical analysis from our Gilagolf archives, that has a historical accuracy of around 2.5%.

What I am saying here is that, on the first tee, a ho-hum par 5 with a nice broad fairway, we don’t get too much excitement from it. Obviously with the tee off only 10 meters away from the payment counter, you might be still jittered over the exorbitant sum you paid to play here.

Service (3/5)

There’s really nothing much to say on the service as the only experience I had was the counter lady who was friendly enough and who listened to my begging her not to give me a caddy so I can save money. I rushed off after the game so I didn’t experience any of the royal toilets with the royal flushes.

Fairways (3/5)

Cowgrass fairways was generally OK. Quite well maintained although nothing compared to the Palm Gardens or Mines back home. There is minimum undulation, but the course is devilishly tight. After the first hole, basically, everything gets kind of cramped in. Also, many holes have suspicious doglegs where a member might be able to navigate based on familiarity, but for a first timer like me, I got caught out a lot. Like Hole 2. I watched everyone tee off with an iron for some reason. Then it said 192 meters there is a drain. I’m like OK, let’s tee up with a 7-wood then. I flew the drain like 10 meters. The yardage isn’t exactly right then. If I had clobbered my driver, it would have been way across.

The narrowness of some fairways places premium on your drive. I was carrying an awful hook all day and it was expected that I struggled mightily to a 93. Most of my drives ended left in the woods. And in Royal Perak, like KGNS and other matured courses, woods = bad. Most of the time I was killing trees trying to get out with my ball.

Greens (1/5)

For the price paid, awful. The first nine, all nine holes were being sanded. I know there should be some maintenance done now and then, but I am in the school of thought whereby if you do maintenance, you should inform the customer or at least discount the pricing a little. It’s a fact. If I were to rent you a car with a punctured tyre, wouldn’t I discount a little so you could change the tyre yourself or at least inform you about it?

The greens got better in the back nine, but still, it wasn’t amazing and I was already mightily put off by the front nine greens, some of which was unputtable.

Rough (2/5)

The rough was typically cowgrass rough, the type you generally will see in courses like Bukit Beruntung, or what comes to my mind is Kundang Lakes, for some reason. It’s deceptively difficult to find the ball. One – because of the maturity of the course, leaves are all over the rough and also the trees are thick in some areas. You think it went in, but it bounded out. Another reason is that you will spend a lot of time in the rough due to the narrow fairways and the subtle doglegs. From the score card, it looks like it plays straight but it doesn’t, the course generally meanders here and there and if you overkill your drive, you end up with a visual like the one below.

Aesthetics (2/5)

There’s just nothing much to root for. The visuals are ho-hum at best, and the only pleasing sight is the distant mountain range on the back 9 first hole and Hole 14. The thing about Ipoh is, I suppose why many Ipohians love it – is that the mountains make it look as if you are in another country. This should be exploited as much as possible, but unfortunately the front nine was devoid of the ranges, and in the back nine, only a few holes had a peek of it.

An interesting par 4 Hole 12 had an extreme turtleback green. I had the misfortune of landing my second shot very short right at the bottom of the hill and struggled to a double bogey there.

Besides that, the rest of the holes are generic looking, without much attraction like the ones we are used to at Palm Garden or even the Mines.

Fun Factor (2/5)

If you had the misfortune of being stuck behind a VERY.SLOW.FLIGHT like me, all Fun is basically out the window. The front 9 I thought I had an open field to myself. I teed off a very good first shot, and saw in the distance a group putting out on the green. I thought this might be a fast group. I hit a great 3 wood, but duffed by 60 degree into the bunker. From there, I managed a double bogey and…wait, the group in front of me were STILL hitting their second shot only! I caught up already with that group.

The problem was, the group in front of them were also slow, so from the second hole onwards, I was waiting and waiting. To give an idea, I teed up around 3.45 pm. I only managed to finish the 18th at around 7.15 pm. Now I know it’s not anyone’s fault, but it still doesn’t make it more fun. It’s a full walking course for members – hence all members will obviously walk, and it seems like a perfect course for walking. Not much incline or steep slopes and holes clustered close together. But see, they force guests to take the buggy. I would prefer walking so that everyone can be at the same pace – but I ended up playing so fast, and there was no one I could bypass the group in front because all the groups were clustered together — I ended playing Chor Tai Di on my phone for the good part of the 4 hours on course.

My point is – if the groups are clustered together, at least let the reciprocal member have the option to walk – it would have been so much better.

I do put a 2 here because around hole 15, 2 members from the front flight left – so I immediately asked to join them and they agreed. From there, I shot bogey, par, par and double bogey. The final hole was just a small mistake — over clubbing at 90 meters – with a 60 degree. The yardage is just off. I couldn’t get out the bunker. But once I joined them, I suddenly started playing better. I wasn’t waiting anymore and it helped that the members were really friendly. Over 4 holes, we bonded quite a bit and I can just imagine if I had a full 18 with them.


Royal Perak wasn’t as bad as Royal Johor – but nowhere close to Royal Selangor. So it’s kind of in between. The course is actually quite functional and the proximity to the city is just unbeatable. The course is deceivingly hard. The members I played with said, “This course sure very easy for you one!” once they found I was a KGNS and KRPM member and playing around 17 there. But I disagree. At 6376 meters, it’s easily one of the longest 18 holes I’ve played. Comparably to the ridiculously long ClearWater which is at 6462m or Cobra Saujana at 6610 meters. It’s definitely not a pushover like Bangi, which plays almost a kilometer shorter.

Furthermore, the course rating is at 73.6. That’s worse than Saujana Cobra or Bunga Raya and higher even than KRPM Championship. KGNS championship sits at 72.90. Of ALL the courses, only the crazy Seri Selangor is harder, at 73.7. But the slope for Royal Perak is at 136, compared to Seri Selangor’s 131.  Anything over 130 for slope is generally on the harder side of playing. So Royal Perak is definitely statistically one of the harder courses a hacker can play on. Gilagolfers beware.

So I didn’t really feel that bad with my scores at the end. I did struggle with all the waiting, but at least I improved my Chor Tai Di skills.

The good: The location is unbeatable in Ipoh, compared to the harder to access Clearwater Sanctuary or even Meru; the toughness of the course is challenging and puts a lot of pressure on good drives which should make you appreciate the subtlety of the course; the members are very friendly and accessible – try to join up with a flight there and your fun factor should be multiplied.

The bad: Unless you are a member or reciprocal, I don’t see why anyone would pay so much for a course like this; aesthetics are generic at best and mundane at worst; the fairways and rough is reminiscent of courses like Kundang but the price is reminiscent of courses like Palm Garden.

The skinny: 17 of 40 divots (42.5%). Royal Perak is a go for Gilagolf because of its location and a reciprocal at KGNS. If you are a non-member or reciprocal, I think other things can be more worthwhile than spending that much money on a course like this. Clearwater is even cheaper than this and its championship material. The thing is, I doubt Royal Perak actually gives a crap about non-members (evidence by the 1000 mile hike to your car after the game), so there won’t be any changes anytime soon.

Royal Perak Golf Club Scorecard


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