Amverton Cove Thumbs Down

As the year winds down, 12 Gilagolfers headed off to Amverton Cove, a previously reviewed golf course with a ranking of Not Too Shabby. Well, we are revising it. It is VERY shabby. You can tell from the picture that it has been badly photoshopped. The golf ball is the size of a basketball. And the fairway looks nothing like that.

It was supposed to be the ultimate golf game to end all golf games for 2014, so we decided to take the day off and head off far into the outer reaches of civilisation to Amverton Cove. Now, we have already mentioned how far this Amverton Cove is, but the previous experience of it has been reasonably good. It wasn’t a great course and certainly not worth RM138 they want to charge unsuspecting golfers, but we had a bunch of seniors with us who could get cheaper and we dumped all our premier vouchers in there so the game itself was around RM110 per person. Which is still pricey but I thought should be fine.

I scored a birdie and overall 90. This included a triple bogey out of nowhere on a par 5. I played reasonably OK – it wasn’t the worst game ever, but again, about 4 -5 iron shots I had were from the fairway into the green and I just completely mishit it with my MPs. These suckers are really hard to hit. But when you hit it, you hit it.

The other problem was the course. There is a difference between a course set up to be tough and a course neglected. Amverton is the latter. It’s pretty sad to see a promising golf course turn into a turd-bath just because

a) There is not enough money, so no maintenance

b) There is enough money but not enough maintenance

Of course b) is speculative, if you know what I am getting at – but in either case, the once reasonable looking course turns into a UPM look alike. Still, black waters like the ones you find in Mordor litter the course. One hole, I swear, the whole black pond (which is not moving at all) is probably full of shit – because that’s what it smelled like. My ball was near it and I just couldn’t hit because of the smell – it was like my 2 year old’s diaper filled with 2 weeks worth of crap. The rough – unhittable – if you can find it. It was just allowed to grow so there is no first cut – fairway and then bam – ridiculous rough that is so heavy you cannot get out nor find your ball. I am sure whoever owns Amverton will say that this was purposely done – but yes, in the same way North Korea purposely set up their country so they can test how human beings have limitations to nuclear exposure. Of course. Come on – it’s neglect. Let’s just call it that. Setting up requires effort. Neglect means, let’s forget about this darn course.

Recommendations for 2015 – avoid Amverton. It’s not worth the trip and it’s trying to pass as a premier course. Let them knock the price down to around RM80 and then it would be more of a fair shake of a course that is slightly below the standard of KRTU. Amverton people – you have a nice course in your hands. Why don’t you manage it and get your maintenance program going? And get rid of that darn shit-lake!

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Tis the year to change your Iron Set – MP-52

I have had my Taylormade RAC-LT for more than 8 years now. I like it. It’s a great iron to hit, and I’ve hit some ridiculously good shots with it. It’s not too difficult and only occasionally gives me the duck hook on the long ones simply because of my horrendous swing. I had no intentions to change it, until a good friend of mine asked if I wanted to switch with him.

He bought a Mizuno MP-52 set and couldn’t hit it. He’s a half beginner of sorts, and the MP-52, is really not easy to hit. Really. I tried it and I shanked the devil out of it.

But oh, it looks good. So good. It’s like a car that will definitely get you a speeding ticket. It’s like a durian that will cause you a heart attack. It’s like a girl that will definitely get you into loads of trouble with her extended family and have her brothers murder you for breaking her heart.

 

So I said yes.

I traded away the RAC which had been so ingrained in my muscles that it was like an extension of my arm, for a really really, ridiculously sexy set of irons.

I would love to say that I played like a king when I teed up a few weeks back. The truth was, I sucked. My drive was fine. My wedges were ok. My irons? My gawd. It was awful to a point no return. See the MPs are is a different beast. While the RAC is like a comforting friend whom you can be so natural with without any effort – the MP requires the utmost concentration when you swing. Be careful not to let the head drop. Be careful not to cross over your right hand. Be careful not to overswing. Be careful not to stab it.

The MP head is way, way heavier than the RAC, so I had a bad time adjusting to it. Many, many iron shots were stubbed into the ground like 5 feet away from the ball (exaggeration obviously), resulting in wet earth pounding further away than my ball. On most of my par 3s, I duffed, either ending up in the water or before the ladies tee box. On some par 3s where I remembered to extend a bit more effort in not letting the head drop, and I pured it —heaven. The 5 iron I hit to 10 feet on one hole was a thing of wonderment — straight, no slice, no hook, just pure straight, with a bit of feedback residual on the NS PRO shaft.

Problem was – I only bashed like 10% of that. The others were like horrendous.

And then distance. Now, on paper, one of the reasons why I agreed to the MP was its similarity in loft with my LT. Both are tweaked slightly lower loft – for instance, PW to 47 degrees, as opposed to 48, which most of the Cleveland wedges I have is tweaked to. Then again, some irons like Ping tweaks the PW to 46.

The problem here could be the lie angle. I won’t lie. I have no bloody idea what difference it makes. And of course the offset. For the six iron,  it’s about 0.2mm less, and the lie angle is 1 degree less…I suppose it just means it’s flatter, which…I have no idea what it does to me. Slice more? Anyway, I was very comfortable hitting my LT, and with the MPs, it’s just all over the place. That being said, I think I’m one of those guys that are not so good, who will adjust to the club as opposed to having a swing consistent enough for the club to adjust to.

As you can tell, this is not much of a club review. The fact is, I don’t really know. But I’ll just put some fancy specs here to make this site have more dignity in the golf community.

The RAC specs:

 

MP Specs:

Also, there is a saying that the MP52 is only for low-mid handicappers.

I kinda disagree to that. How do you actually know WHY I am a high handicapper? I could be a God at my irons, and a twit in my short game. Wouldn’t then I might be better off being even BETTER at my irons by upgrading to a player iron, even if I am a 24 handicapper? I suppose, it’s something we should know. I think I hit it decent with my RAC. It’s just that I can’t chip because of the yips. So does it make sense for me to upgrade to the MP?

I think maybe 3 – 4 rounds of it should give it a fair shake whether I can handle it. If I can’t, I can’t. I’ll go back to the RAC. But I think maybe the philosophy should be:

“Get an iron set that requires you to improve – and you will improve” – Gilagolf Mantra.

Welcome, 2015, and let’s see if the MP works out.

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Confession of a Golf Cheater

This is probably going to be the last for 2014 and possibly controversial post but I’m going ahead to do it since 2014 is now officially over for golf, and I probably won’t play another round until mid January 2015. There is a lot of time to reflect on the year playing and not improving in this stupid game.

Golf cheating – now, out of all the 21 readers of this site, how many of you actually ‘cheat’? I know it’s a little bit of a taboo in golf and we like to always judge ourselves as the paragon of honesty and that nobody cheats — but I’ll be the first one to raise my hand. I’ve done it. I’ve cheated.

Golf is a strange game. It allows you to call a penalty on yourself. In fact, it requires you to do so because nobody else can. It is the only sport where ‘conflict of interest’ is there – you audit your own work. You referee your own game.

Take football for example. How many times we see Ronaldo/Messi/suarez flop around like a rag doll to get a penalty or to get someone sent off? How many times we see people who did not break the offside trap, but scored and then celebrated, knowing that the referee did not spot the infringement? Can you imagine someone who scored with his arm from a corner kick and remonstrate to the ref to disallow the goal because it came off his arm?

So golf – it is truly unique, because when  you cheat no one knows.

Have I ever improved a lie? Yes. Have I ever taken a wrong drop? Yes. Have I ever capped my score at triple bogey? Yes. Have I ever accidentally skimmed the sand in the bunker on my back swing and then did not tell anyone about it? Yes. Have I ever grounded my club and then the ball moved a little and i did not tell people about it? Yes. Have I ever OB-ed the ball and knowing it’s OB, dropped and say it’s hazard? Not often – but yes. Have I ever moved my ball in the jungle away from the roots or rocks to a nicer spot (though still in the jungle) behind the original lie because I don’t want to crack my wrist or destroy my club? Yes. Yes. Yes.

I am probably not the most honest golfer around, and unfortunately, I’ll admit that, and probably have my playing partners crucify me. But tell it as it is.

Improving the lie is probably the biggest culprit. I did that a few times when my perfect drive was on the fairway on par 5s and it has landed into a damn divot. I put it out, and lie it for my 3 wood to go for 2. The reasoning is that, hell, I am going to risk it all and go for 2, so why not just put it at the best lie. If I am going for 3 on, then I won’t be too bothered about it.

Wrong drop – yup – a lot of times, especially after it goes off into OB and I am dropping for 4. Its usually at the middle of the fairway or a little longer than my greatest ever drive ever. Or a purposely wrong interpretation of ‘point of entry’, or two club lengths actually becoming 2 flag pole lengths etc. My reasoning is, that I am out of play already for the betting, so who cares (unless everyone else OBs). It is a rather dangerous assumption obviously as many times, my other flight members manage to sabotage themselves as well…this is probably a guilt justification.

The reason flows is that as long as I am not putting myself at a severe advantage, then it’s ok. Like moving the ball out of the roots – I won’t put it closer to the hole, I’ll put it deeper into the jungle but on a softer ground. The problem here is – in golf, it’s not ok. No matter how we view it, it’s cheating, and cheating in golf is cheating yourself.

The reason for this confession is this:

I played a final round of the year with a bunch of good friends, and also with someone whom I looked up to a lot, since he was a very good player. I don’t play often with him. But he is good. But throughout the round, something really gnawed me – it seems no matter how bad his shot is (there were only a few), he always would put it regulation on. I thought it was just because he was damn good. Until I found something – we were both in the jungle. I sprayed my shot into the trees and bounded off right. He hit an even worse shot…just a straight skull that went probably 10 meters. I was relieved, since I was betting with him. I walked out, hit my third and to my surprise, he was there at my ball, his ball perfectly positioned on the fairway. I thought he had hit his third as well, so we went on playing. When we finally finished the hole, he said he parred it, and I thought, yeah, if we are playing par six. But he said his second shot had got to where my third shot was. Which, was probably 150 – 160 meters away from our second shot…which wasn’t possible because I saw it skull a miserable 10 -20 meters. As in I actually saw his ball was still in the rough. With my own eyes.

When I started observing, then it became more telling – like near the green, he would walk up to his ball, pick it up with his towel, wipe the ball and then place it a lot nearer than before. The most obvious one came when we both saw his ball on a tough lie sideways greenside. I even said to him, “Damn,that is going to be a hell of a shot”. When we walked up to the green and I prepared my putting, I saw him pick up that ball, walk a few feet towards the green and place it nicely on the fringe to putt. There is cheating, and there is epic cheating. I wondered if I should go and talk to him about it, since we were technically betting, but I guess I didn’t want to wreck the day for everyone, and also, I do feel guilty, like a pot calling a kettle black.

I must say, it startled even me, and I don’t mean to be so self righteous, even if I am just a big sinner as he is, even if I do it less. Far less and probably when it doesn’t matter to anyone anymore. The one memorable time I ‘cheated’ and it mattered was some time back when I was partnering this same ‘good player’ guy and he had even with the other team’s best ball. How we play is, when the best ball of the team is even, then the second ball comes in play. He announced that I had tripled the hole, which made us square the hole. However, I knew (and I think he knew) I quadrupled it, because I didn’t really care anymore when I thought I was out of contention, I just sort of halfheartedly whacked my bunker shot twice. I didn’t know that he was going to four putt and even the first ball at double bogey, did I?  I am absolutely ashamed to say that I didn’t correct him, and I was troubled by it for weeks, to a point where I told myself I would never ever do that again (cheat when it mattered), and I would make up for it by taking the other guys out for lunch, which I did, although I didn’t tell them why. The wager for the hole? RM2. The guilt? Priceless.

So you see, I am a sort of a conflicted golfer. I know there is no excuse to cheat and many of you would be tsk-ing me. But if we are honest with ourselves, even a survey done on PGA tour caddies said that 54% of them has seen pros cheat. But I think my recent observation has got me thinking: my scores never improve anyway, so what’s the point? Usually it’s just frustration – that the round was so bad, that I need to make a break on my own since I am not getting any – or that my ball is in a divot or an unraked footprint in the bunker, and it is not my fault. The justifications are there. But it’s never a good reason. Now I can see how someone can really go overboard in cheating and I don’t think I want to go there. And the thing is, he is too good to resort to this. He only hits a few bad shots, unlike me, whose one game probably has 94 bad shots. But I suppose when the habit is there, it becomes so ingrained, that it just becomes natural…and I don’t want that to happen. I love this game, but a few bad habits have crept in. I rather be honestly awful, than dishonestly good.

So here is to 2015 – a year where even the slightest ‘cheat’ or ‘justification’ will no longer be part of my golf game and that I will play it as it should always be played – honestly, even if it doesn’t matter to anyone. And maybe…just maybe, I will finally play better.

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Farewell Perangsang Templer

perangsang

Goodbye to you my trusted friend – so goes the first line of one of my all time favourites, “Seasons in the Sun”, that can be applied to almost everything in life, including long lost friends, and your long lost swing.

Perangsang Templer, often the sickly cousin of the more famous and more haunted Templer’s Park Golf Course, is now on her last legs. Like many other golf courses that have fell under the unfortunate progress of man’s astounding greed, it will make way soon for a housing development plan under SP Setia, the greedy bugg*rs that also developed such monstrosity as the Setia Alam, and also guilty of jointly destroying close to 13% of Malaysian’s rainforest in creating their so called Eco-Parks, which the only thing Eco about it is how Economically Gargantuan it had made their coffers out to be. As we all know, housing developers are every golfer’s nemesis. Like the venerable Kajang Hills, now forever just a memory, extinct like the black rhino. Soon, like KGSAAS, also giving way to development. My two clubs, Rahman Putra and KGNS are fighting tooth and nail against these developer sharks who constantly throw money at us to sell our membership and to sell out our clubs. Well – to be totally honest, if they are going to give me something extraordinarily stupid, like 300K for my membership that I bought for 10K, then I would be extraordinarily stupid not to consider it. But I doubt it will come to that point, so until then, everything is no.

Anyways, back to the tragic Perangsang course. It seems like only yesterday (probably 2 years back) that I did a writeup on it for ParGolf Magazine, stating the great potential it had as a golf course. It has never been my favourite, thanks to the sickly narrow back nine hole 12 and 13. But we decided, in the memory of it, as it closes down end of this month November 2014, to play our final game there.

And boy, did it sucked.

There were a few reasons why I shot 99, all of which are poor excuses of a golfer hacking his way around like a mad clown high on cocaine. First, I got this sorry-a$$ putter called the Alien Golf Tutch Mallet II for free from a yard sale and it looked pretty nice so I thought to try it out. Thank you, it is by far the worst putter I have ever yielded and the creator, Pat Simmons, should jump into the lake himself, followed by the entire Alien Brand, which is aptly named, since probably only Aliens would find it easy to use. It was jut weightless. No weight. It looked heavy, but upon research, the head material is made out of a composite of 40% foam used in beanbags and 60% hardened flour. Truly. I was surprised that it looked almost edible.

Additionally, my driver and swing decided, of all times to suddenly give me a nice fade from the tee. I usually set myself up for a right to left draw, so when it faded…hello OB! And finally, I was just a jackass at my chipping as usual. The only consolation I had was I birdied the final hole par 5 of Perangsang in the final game on the course, and that’s a good memory. A good drive and a duffed 3 wood left me around 80 meters from the flag. A 60 degree wedge to about 8 feet from the pin on the fringe and by some stroke of luck using my crap putter that made me miss half a dozen of easy ones, stroked an extremely difficult putt in. Hello, dopamine!

Anyhoos, for those of you who still have time, the course is in a pretty good shape. I think there’s a final tournament there this week, and I would recommend to do a last check on it before it goes down to the graveyard of golf courses. Leaving you, I will post up some golden nuggets from the fat asses who decided to destroy this course:

Report from Star: “State-owned KPS had learnt after a study to evaluate the redevelopment potential of the 18-hole golf course that it was “strategically-located” but “not-fully optimised in its current form and utilisation”.” – Myth. KPS actually did a 15 minute study by surveying the course from their nasi lemak on the terrace and decided, with only 2 old uncles walking the course, that it was not fully optimised and it would be better to sell out and retire rich with undeserved money.

Report from Star: ““The location of the land amidst lush green surroundings and its close proximity to KL and Selangor’s main cities such as Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya make it ideal for an eco-themed, premium development.” – Myth. There is no such thing as an Eco-Themed development. The only type is found in Honduras, where they destroyed houses, built trees and made people live in cubby holes in the trees and eat jackfruits. The stupidest thing I ever head in my life is an Ec0-Themed Development. It’s an oxy moron, which isn’t a moron with lots of pimples – but rather an incongruity of life – like Tiger Woods having just one woman in his bed each night.

“Through the proposed conversion of the land use to a mixed development, the true value of the land can be unlocked, realised and optimised for the benefit of shareholders” – I really hate it when people start using this spin for their own gain. Everyone suddenly looks as if they are Donald Trump, talking about shareholders, ‘true value’ and all the BS. Having been in corporate all my life, I can honestly say, this is complete BS. What is the true value of land? ‘Optimised’ – what the he*l does this even mean? Whoever said this is probably undergoing an optimised surgical removal of his brain to create true value in his BS coming out of his mouth.

“Nonetheless, it said the management was confident that the proposal would be “well-received due to its prime locality” and contribute positively to its earnings and cash flow in the future.” – Ask the golfers, stupid.

“The development, to be located some 20km from the city centre and ringed by lush greenery from nearby tropical rainforests, will adopt an eco-theme similar to Setia Eco Park in Shah Alam, SP Setia said.” – Eco-Park is a graveyard for trees. I counted the trees still living there, and so far, in the barren landscape resembling the Mozambique Desert, I counted around 16 living trees in 13 million square meters of land.

And here is the classic talk from Mah Sing’s Leong Hoy Kum, or Hocum, for the sake of shortening this article and Henry Butcher’s Tan Chee Meng.

“Most of the golf courses in the Klang Valley were planned to be part of a comprehensive development with luxury housing and sometimes, commercial components like resort hotel and office park.” – Not really, Mr Tan. Seriously, no. This is classic BS and spin. I don’t see how RSGC or KGNS would be developed to have a bloody shopping mall in the center of the 18th hole. What a jackfruit.

“But as time goes by when the development matures and the land and house prices increase in the area, it makes better sense financially for the golf course land to be used for higher value developments such as luxury housing,”- That’s just retarded reasoning. Again, value here is truly subjective. To Mr Tan, value = money he puts (and receives) in his pocket. To a cow, value means more grass to eat. Value is the biggest spin crap I have heard in corporate world, which is one of the reasons why I hate it so much. We immediately assume our ‘value’ = everybody else’s value. Ask the black rhino. Oh wait, it is extinct due to it giving its value of his horns to you. I bet that’s amazing value for the whole damned species.

OK, enough of these clowns. Let’s have a moment of silence to mourn for the passing of Perangsang. Happy hacking, people, while we still have golf courses left in Malaysia. By the time my kid grows up, the only golf he will experience is virtual golf in the living room of his “value home” that was probably built on top of Perangsang Templer.

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Kotono Kozuma – Hot or Not?

It’s a well known fact that in golf there is a huge discrimination within viewing fans between the men and women’s game. For instance, people flock all over the place to see a fat walrus like John Daly play, because, well, he’s John Daly. However badly he hacks, he’s sure to give you some sort of entertainment. Or how about Phil, who had been resembling somewhat of another walrus of late. We still go up to him and watch him play because he hits the sickest flop shots ever. Or maybe even Tiger, who is actually not that bad looking, but seriously, he probably would not grace any GQ magazine but for the fact that he used to be the top player that slept with 650 women, including pornstars.

Unfortunately, the ladies game is slightly different. I for one, can’t actually tell the difference between one Korean from another, or whether they are Japanese or not. And I am Asian. It’s weird. It’s like the entire LPGA tour is inundated with clones of Grace Park or her daughters. So it seems strange that one girl can stand out from this sea of clones – Kotono Kozuma. If you haven’t heard of her before, well, you’re hearing from us here in Gilagolf.

Yup, this is her.

She recently was in a playoff at the Mizuno classic, where she lost  in a playoff to the eventual winner Mi Hyang Lee, after 5 playoff holes. Five. But it doesn’t matter, because Kozuma is hot. As in like, maybe borderline cute and hot. For the final round, she had on white cargo pants, and a sweater that says Samantha, not her name, but the brand Samantha Thavasa. I don’t know what it is, but it will be famous like the golfer in about a year, so you better go and get it while cheap.

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She plays like us. Or rather, we think she plays like us. Emotions on her sleeves. She skips around like a little kid (which she is, she is born 17 April 1992, which will soon be a Japanese public holiday). She has a cute overswing that obviously needs more work, yet for some reason it works. She grimaces, grins, smiles, signs in frustration, opens her eyes wide in surprise, cries when she loses. OK, actually, you know what, I take that back. I don’t think any of us will look cute playing like that, because we are all overweight hackers who would be put into the mental asylum if we were to exhibit any of Kotono’s attributes.

For the final regulation hole when one of the women was trying to drain the putt to win it, the camera was fixed on Kotono’s face, and not once showed the other poor golfer’s face who was also in the playoff. Such discrimination. Because the other golfer wasn’t that bad looking — it was just that she looked like a hag next to Kotono. Anyone would look like Laura Davies next to Kotono.

Here comes the boom.

Anyway, it’s hardly fair to compare them both. Kotono hasn’t won anything yet. Or any tournament that is of note for that matter. But would you rather turn up to watch the player above (no matter that she is really good at golf at 51 and can probably slaughter us physically) or the one below:

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She could have won the Mizuno classic on the 2nd playoff hole, when she missed a 8 footer by an inch, and on the 3rd, hit a miracle 30 footer putt, only for the two other players to drain their 25 footer and 20 footer respectively. It was ridiculous. These girls were like Putting Goddesses.

Unfortunately our Kotono didn’t make it past the 4th playoff hole, but she’s still hot. So it doesn’t matter she missed out on 180K USD and a Mercedes Benz prize money, and to do it on her home soil – you can bet she hated that the Koreans won it. But never mind, she gets the Vote of Confidence and Potential Player of the Century from Gilagolf.net.

Here we go again, Miss Kotono Kozuma!

kotonoprofile

 

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Apple – You suck worse than Samsung

Dear Apple,

I would like to formally lodge a complaint against one of your resellers, Mac City Malaysia, specifically the service center located at 1 Utama Shopping Center, Lot S330, 2nd Floor, 1 Utama Shopping Center New Wing.

My iphone 5 Serial number C36JVVUUDTWF is eligible for the sleep/wake button recall at https://www.apple.com/my/support/iphone5-sleepwakebutton/

I have been living with this issue for some time, and finally found time to go to this service center. Once there, they did their checks and agreed it was eligible. They asked if I backed up my data and when I said yes, we agreed to do a wipe and they would replace it, after a few days.

Then, after consulting with his senior ‘technician’, a person by the name of Calvin, they informed me that I am not eligible for this recall because my volume button also appeared to be faulty. One of the volume button (decrease volume) required some extra strength to use it because it has also been semi-stuck. I didn’t have a problem with that, my problem is my sleep/wake button, which has caused me to misdial different people because I didn’t lock the phone. They insisted that until I fix my volume button (for around SGD450!), they will never accept my phone for sleep/wake recall. I argued that it’s the same controller, sitting on the same ribbon. I couldn’t believe that I was teaching an Apple ‘technician’ rudimentary knowledge on their own products. Of course, if the controller is faulty, those connected to it will naturally have issues. It’s not as if these two issues are not related. They are on the same RIBBON!

However, they refused to accept my reasoning, and completely disregarded any more attempts to even try or help me. Their attention then focused on another unfortunate person unlucky enough to come to this ‘service center’.

My complaints are this:

  • The service I received was bad. While they were not rude or anything (I need to be fair), the only word to describe these people were: soul-less. Like robots, who kept repeating that the policy from apple is that if anything else other than the sleep/wake button is not working, Apple will not accept the recall. They told me to fix my volume first, then send in for recall.
  • The senior technician had no knowledge on his product. By reasoning, if I fixed my volume button, that would mean replacing the ribbon, which would also fix my sleep/wake button. Isn’t that the point? Did he not know they resided on the same controller? Instead, he demonstrated an absolute lack of knowledge, which even me, a non technical customer knows. It’s embarrassing.
  • They do not understand customer experience. A guy called Steve Jobs said: “You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.” They weren’t interested to solve my concern and problems. I could almost hear a collective sigh of relief and ridicule from them as I turned away to go. No, they were only interested to sell products but not to service them.
  • The worst of all – They DO NOT REPRESENT THE SPIRIT OF APPLE. This is the worst sin of all. I am a lifelong Apple advocate. I have Macs, I use IPhone first gen till now, I never jailbreak my phones, and I have multiple apple Ipad, Ipad Minis at home. It’s very tough to understand how Mac City can take an institution like Apple and basically stampede the life out of it, and represent one of the world’s best brand with this vapid, emotionless, incapable service paralysis. I am in shock that someone is allowed to do this to Apple, and I am afraid your Reseller quality program needs a re-look.

What to do next? I concede, Mr Calvin and his team in Mac City Service Center @ One Utama might be an anomaly. I’ve been to Apple Stores all over the world, and in US, their service would be ridiculously good. Even in Singapore at your center in Wheelock, they would never consider treating a customer like garbage as I have been treated here in this service center. They would at least consider to help and with a good reasoning behind it, create the ‘customer experience’ that Mr Jobs founded this company on.

I think Apple Asia needs to relook at their resellers. Most of these resellers are interested to ‘sell’. Their culture is never to treat the customer with respect, but always attach a number to them. A price. A value. That’s not Apple. Maybe you should rename them Apple Authorised Re-Service-rs. Please do not sell out your brand. In times like this with the Chinese brands, Korean brands and what not coming in, Apple must be the bastion of quality and supremacy, and must always remember, without your customer base, amazing products will be left on the shelf. Improve our people, improve your support personnel, because the battle is always won in the hearts of your consumer.

I will give Apple another chance, but please consider this letter. I took so long to write this because I care for the brand. I will pay top dollar for quality and service. But you need to relook at resellers like Mac City or remove/revamp their extremely poor service center in One Utama, and relook at how to win us back. Be devoted to us fanboys, as we are devoted to you. Thank you.

p/s – I have written to Mac City regarding this complaint but as usual, I expect not a word from them in response. I will need to live with this problem with my Iphone until I change it. Or perhaps, finally after years of resistance, give Android a chance. It’s just sad, that it wasn’t Samsung or HTC or Xiaomi who won a customer, but it was Apple who lost it.

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Verdict: Super Stroke Grip – Maybe Not So Super

Recently I managed to pick up some old putters (center shaft, mallet) – Voodoo Daddy was one of them. The problem was that the grips were unusable. So I headed to the Pan West shop at Kelana Jaya (near KGNS) and was convinced by the gentleman there to try the new super stroke grip. I usually just change to the normal ones for a song, but the Super Grip would set me back RM90. Pretty pricey for a grip. I was convinced to try it though, and there was a choice of the Slim 3.0, Mid Slim 2.0 or the Ultra Slim 1.0. They were all the same price, but different diameter. Basically, the Ultra Slim was like a normal grip, while Mid was fatter and the Slim 3.0 was – fat. I don’t know why they call it Slim – probably by western standard. Probably not Japanese or Korean or, well Malaysian Standard. Oh Wait. I am now talking about women.

Anyhoos, being the kiasu Malaysian I am, here was my thought:

1) Slim 3.0 is the fattest, meaning more materials were used to create it.

2) More materials = Cost of good is actually higher.

3) Price of the good = same

4) Therefore Slim 3.0 is best for bang for buck since I get more out of the same price.

5) Margin for manufacturer is less, it’s a bargain for me!

So there you go. It’s the same retarded reasoning on why I continually use the driver on every hole despite the fairway being only 2 meters wide, and both sides are filled with water, with crocodiles and possibly bull sharks swimming in them. Because I technically paid the most for the driver, therefore, I need to utilise it the most to lower the price per use. I am not major in economics. I’m in IT, so it explains a lot.

Anyway, back to Super Stroke, I used it for like 4 rounds – starting with Nilai, the disastrous Danau, Kinrara and Seri Selangor, shooting 95, 101, 96,96. This was after shooting two rounds of 85. Was it due to the putting? I would say in some parts yes, except for Danau when I went on a shank stroke. The rest, I sort of messed up in my short game, but putting was woeful. I just couldn’t feel it. The grip was TOO BIG. So long lag putts was suffering for me. Short putts was worse. My Seri Selangor game, I had around 4 putts that were missed within 2 foot. I putted 35, 33, 37,37 putts in those 4 games.

The problem was I just couldn’t get a proper grip–I know there are probably a few of the golfers who will snicker at the next remark — but it was too thick. Simple as that. I did manage one birdie in those 4 games – i.e the Par 3 in Seri Selangor when I slam dunked my 8 iron to 1 foot. No way I was going to miss that.

Promptly, the next game in Bangi, I banged in 2 birdies with my old Odyssey with the normal grip. I don’t know if it’s the grip or the putter (center shaft mallet) that I struggled with. But either way, it is going to be difficult for me to switch back to that again. For those who are thinking of super stroke, I’d advise, probably go for the mid slim or ultra slim. I don’t think it’s right for our hands, in my personal opinion.

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Gilasale page updated

While every golfer is pretty much watching how USA is getting thrashed by the Europeans in Ryder Cup, I took the time to take an inventory of the stuff I still have. I have a couple of putters, a few more drivers still for sale, so if anyone who wants them, let me know. I can let go of these drivers:

1) Cobra S91 = RM80

2) Taylormade R540 = RM30

3) Taylormade rescue= RM20

4)Taylormade R5 = RM50

Man, watching the USA play Ryder Cup is as excruciating experience as it is watching stupid Liverpool defending.

 

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The Cursed Swing

Ask any golfer, which of these would be his/her nightmare shot:

a) Top

b) Duff

c) Whiff

d) Shank

e) Missed One Foot putt

Now with the exception of e), where you will probably proceed to jump down the nearest lake and likely commit suicide, between the 4, the first 3, while embarassing, are not the worst nightmare of golfers. It’s the dreaded shank.

I played at Danau recently (based on my previous review, you would know this is a course NOT to be trifled with).

I started the day in somewhat confident mood as I was playing pretty good golf over the past few weeks, except for a general triple-triple meltdown in two holes in Nilai, where I knew what my problem was; I was playing much better than what my score suggested. No kidding. It’s like times when you play so darn well, yet cannot score, because your perfect drive went into the woods because it was so long, or a woodchuck came out and gnawed on your balls. Golf ball, I mean.

So anyways, I started the day with a hooked drive. Second hole, hooked drive. Third hole hooked drive. At this point, I was going for bogey-triple-triple to start. And on the par 3, it happened. The dreaded shank. I just shanked the heck out of it. And from there, the game descended into an apocalyptic piece of turdmess. All it took was one shank and it left me fr dead. I scored 50 on the front, and thought i can recover with a par-bogey on the back nine to start, and then the third hole – Shank. Par 3 again. Triple the next par 5 and from hole 5,6,7,8,9, I played double-bogey for ALL holes. Never happened ever. Ended with 50-52 scoreline. And I was lucky too, because I snapped my 3 wood on the par 5 fourth, and then on hole six, I shanked again on the par 3. I then proceeded to test 3 more shots (while declaring I will play the first), and shanked ALL of them. So technically, I shanked around 8 – 9 times this round. It’s like a bloodbath of epic proportions.

Oh yeah, Danau is also cursed, because I snapped my driver previously when it fell from the buggy, and now my 3 wood when I tomahawked it to the ground. So long, 3 wood and the reminder of my Happy Gilmore temper.

Anyway, back to my shanks. What causes a shank?

Heck if I knew. Else I wouldn’t hit 9 shanks in a game, now would I?

But here’s what I think. Too close to the ball at address and too closed the clubface. I always think two wrong things:

1) Shank is caused by open club face

2) Shank is caused by too much outside in

Both are not wrong, yet, not correct either. The Shank is caused by the ball whacking the hosel. Duh. This happens due to the sudden retardation of my hand-eye coordination. Case in point, the first hole back nine, I was 140 m away to an uphill green and hit an absolutely pure nine iron that just cleared the green and landed 5 feet from the hole, which I heroically missed the simple birdie. Hole 3, full of supreme confidence, I shanked the crap out of my ball into the jungle. Why? How can you go from a superman to a homeless hobo in one hole? Somewhere along the line, my address went out of alignment. To be honest, it was happening all day. Some shots were ‘near-shanks’ where you hit a seemingly good shot but in your heart you knew it was a close call.

I must have creep closer to the ball the less confidence I had. Because I thought I was opening my club, I proceeded to shut the club face. Because I thought I was going outside in (which I never do, for those who plays with me know, I am a hooker in principle and cannot slice/fade to save my own life), I set myself to come even more inside out than normal. All these adjustments lead to worst results.

I don’t really have a solution, as I topped my last iron shot and never really fix what was broken, but I guess I’ll know in my next game.

 

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Her – Scarlett Johansson

Her - Image

If you were to find yourself with a free afternoon, and with a thunderstorm pouring down (after all, if you had a free afternoon, why aren’t you playing golf?), you might want to take some time to watch one of the best movies I’ve watched in a long time. “Her” – that’s the simple title, and it talks about this nerd who falls in love with his operating system. I know, this is so weird in so many levels. But it’s not that new, the concept. A few years back, a movie called S1mone explored the relationship between human and virtual reality, in this case a virtual girl. Of course, this year we had Transcendence, the Johnny Depp turd bath which nobody understood at all, and frankly goes to show Johnny Depp is only good as a pondan pirate.

Of course, my obsession with operating system AI awareness goes back a long way, back to my favourite movie, “Electric Dreams” which I watched in PJ Civic Centre back when I was probably around 6 years old or something. Although it wasn’t really a super good show like Space Odyssey’s HAL, it first gave me the idea on how a computer can actually have a relationship with humans. I guess, Electric Dreams made me take up Computer Science very much into the future and here I am, still geeking out over movies where human computer interaction goes overboard.

Anyway, back to Her, this is a spin to the old tale. In fact, many Electric Dreams geeks like me had wondered if this movie was a sort of update to the old classic. I won’t go into the details of the movie, but I would highly recommend to watch it. The main guy is this fler played by Joaikim Phoenix. I know I am spelling his first name wrong, but it’s darn hard and I am too lazy to look it up. Anyway, Electric Dreams is about a guy who had this computer (male), who helped him get the girl he wanted, but the computer then became jealous. It’s a love triangle. Now, this is different. In Her, it’s just Joaikim Phoenix character, who feels lonely and buys an OS (operating system), who is so darn smart, she names herself Samantha, and has the craziest, most lunatically lusty voice ever – obviously done by Scarlett Johansson. I swear, if my TV starts talking like Scarlett Johansson, I would also fall in love it her. It. Whatever. Don’t tell my wife. I mean seriously, Scarlett Johansson? Yowzah.

So this main character and Scarlett Johansson OS falls in love and the movie goes through the whole relationship. What I liked about it is that there didn’t seem to be a set up for drama (like computer turning into a serial killer etc), it just meanders along and allows the characters to go through what we all are familiar with–relationship problem.

At one point in the movie, the Phoenix guy, Ted, after suffering through an Avatar issue (where the Scarlett OS wanted to have ‘sex’ with Ted, through an Avatar, i.e an actual person played by, I guess, a prostitute), and Ted dismisses this Avatar and they argue: Scarlett OS sighs, and Ted asks, “Why do you do that? It’s not as if you have lungs and you need to breathe”…Scarlett OS tries to explain it’s just her way of expressing, and Ted continues to berate her, saying there’s no need for her to take a breath since she’s not human etc — don’t mess with a woman, and tell her what she is NOT, and her limitations, you stupid moron! And she just went like, “What the f-ck? Where is this coming from?”

At that point, it recalled back some unpleasant (and probably hugely influential) memories of my phone conversations in my younger days, when I wasn’t married and was having BGR (boy girl relationship) issues. I mean, heck we all go through it. And sometimes, when talking on the phone for hours, trying to explain stuff, it sounded like the one on this movie, where you say the wrong thing, and the girl just goes berserk on you. I mean, the whole show, is like this guy having a phone conversation with his girlfriend…except he’s talking to his OS, who is with him constantly. It exactly mirrors the times when I would be at home, and called up the girl, and we would NOT talk, but just go doing our things and once in a while, say, “Are you still there? What you up to?”. Or when she would say, “You sound busy, do you want me to go?” and you know if you said Yes, because I want to play my computer game, dammit, woman!, It would be the END of ALL THINGS AS YOU KNOW IT, so you say, “Oh no, dear of course not! I like to hear you breathing”.

Ah, good days.

Anyway, this movie is slow, plodding at times, but for those who love human computer interaction movies, this pushes the boundary. For those who ever had those phone calls, or break ups over the phone before, this will bring back those painful (though now, it’s kinda funny) memories of youth.

Now, one more shot on the voice behind the OS. So. Hot.

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