Glenmarie Valley Course

Glenmarie always had a bit of dysfunction in terms of the quality of its course vs the quality of its services. The course – especially the Valley – is a joy to play in. The service like caddy and marshals are as bad as extracting your wisdom tooth with a rusted plier. And as expected, today’s game, our caddy was once more hopeless. On the 2nd hole already, he wanted to start smoking, until one elderly gentleman from our flight scolded him properly.  I don’t know why they are so idiotic like that. Can you imagine me doing training formally with my client in his office and then start smoking while in the training? Glenmarie, please spend more in getting proper people to run your course!

The marshal is also another joker. She came to us on the sixth tee claiming we are slow. I looked back and saw nobody on the green on the previous hole. How are we slow? We played the next hole and even on the tee of the hole after next, we saw nobody on the tee on the previous hole. She kept asking, are you a member, is anyone a member, you are slow. I said OK, sure we will hurry up but I don’t see anyone behind me.

But Valley course, while not as joyful as mines, usually serves a good score for me, but today, the greens were quick. And mostly on quick greens I suffer. My driving wasn’t as bad as in Mines, but my putting was awful. It’s very strange that the driver and putter never want to go to work together.

Hole 1
Tough par 4 and I started the day by pushing my drive into the water. Its common that in the  first few holes I always struggle, and from there on, I couldn’t recover and ended up 5 on and 2  putted for a triple bogey. (+3).

Hole 2
This is a broad par 5 and friendly. A good drive and a duffed 5 wood saw me around 130 meters  away which I duly put on but unfortunately 3 putted on a quick green, missing an easy 3 footer.  (+4).  3 putt.

Hole 3
This is a very nice hole where a good drive can find you less than a hundred to the hole. Which  was what happened to me. I flighted in with a gap wedge around 100 and two putted for par. (+4)

Hole 4
An uphill par 3 around 140 meters, where if you challenge the front bunker you will be duly  rewarded. I took a pitching and stuffed to about 5 feet and sank in the birdie! (+3)

Hole 5
And right after the birdie, it went downhill quickly. This hole was tough because it was narrow  and does not favor the guy who hooks. I hooked my drive, punched out and with around 160 to the  hole, I mistook the distance and my 9 iron was left with a difficult 20 m flop over the bunker  which I stubbed to around a few feet away. My 5th was too hard and it rolled over the green down  the other side, and my 6th was barely on. Two putted for a nice triple, yay. (+6)

Hole 6
This was where the marshal came after us and told us we were slow. We never saw anyone behind us  and we were all fast players, so what the hell was she babbling about? This was a reasonably  tough par 4. I found the bunker on the right even with a good drive, and from there hit a  pathetic shot out to around 60 meters. I flopped my 60 degree to around 5 feet but this time,  missed the par putt (+7)

Hole 7
A very nice dogleg right that needs to go over the water on the second. A five iron left me
around 150. I almost hit the perfect 9 iron but started too far left and couldn’t draw the ball back in. My ball plopped into the green bunker, one out, and two putter for (+8)

Hole 8
Long par 3 which my five iron found the side. It was not a great lie, with a lot of rough between  ball and green but because my chipping was so retarded, I opted to putt. It barely crawled on the  green and I two putted for bogey. (+9).

Hole 9
The final hole this nine is the signature par 4. However I hooked my drive and from around 140 at  the bottom of the hill, I duffed my nine, chipped poorly on but managed to two putt for a bogey.  (+10)

Hole 10
As great as my putter was last round, it was kaput this round. A great drive to start, but
shortchanged my approach when my pitching was short. Again, I opted to putt but was once more  very poor and only had to 2 put for a bogey (+11)

Hole 11
Great par 4 here, but my drive found the trees on left. A punch out found my next shot at my  dreaded distance, the 30 meters chip/flop. I obliged my idiocy by skulling my chip over the green  into the water (!). I hit a reasonable flop for five on and two putted for triple bogey (+14) my  third of the game.

Hole 12
This was a par 3 which I finally hit a perfect 5 iron into around 180 meters to the fringe.
However, I managed to sabotage all my efforts by three putting from around 20 feet for a bogey!  (+15)

Hole 13
Tough hole but I managed to hit a very good drive that left me around 140 to the green. Instead  of a nine, I thought I could muscle a pitching in there. Like Hole 10, shortchanged myself, and  once more on the side of the green. Opting to putt, it was not a good one (again) and I had to  two putt for a bogey. (+16)

Hole 14
The signature par 5. Everyone’s favourite. I clobbered my 5 iron and then positioned myself with  an 8 to around 100 meters. A simple gap wedge gave me a 10 feet or so putt. I am a putting idiot  today as I blew the first putt past and missed my 3 feet comeback. AGH! (+17)

Hole 15
The par 3 was playing from black tees and basically I just couldn’t shape my five iron into the  green due to the wide expanse of water on my left. Instead, from greenside bunker, I slapped one  out to the fringe and two putted for bogey (+18)

Hole 16
A reasonable drive which gave me around 130 meters to an uphill green. I used a gap wedge in  (much to the confusion of my caddy because he kept looking at my gap wedge in disbelief – to be honest, its probably the distance marker that is a little screwed up), and stuck it safely on the green, two putted for a par that  was a long time in making. (+18)

Hole 17
Hate this hole. It favors the fader, but I set myself to aim so far right I drove the ball into
the trees and was spitted out to around 50 meters away. A poor 5 iron duffed left me around 140  meters to a downhill green protected by bunkers and water. I hit an OK topped pitching wedge that miraculously rolled to around 5  feet, and guess what? I three putted when I charged for the first putt and left with a tasteless  double bogey (+20)

Hole 18
Finally a par 5. The drive once more wasn’t a good one but caught a break when it sat up ont the  left rough. I hit perhaps the best 5 wood I ever hit to around 30 meters of the green, although that’s no man’s land for me. That meant my 5 wood went around 220 meters or so if the markers can be believed. I hit a bad chip, but at least I was on for regulation. A two putt routine par to  end the day. (+20)

So there it was: I 3 putted around 7 holes, inclusive of the ones I tried to putt outside the green and it just shows the how low confidence my game is on chips. If I can sort those chips out, I could probably play at an easy 14 handicap or lower.

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Mines Golf Resort

Mines had always been a positive hunting ground for me. Sometimes it’s like that – horses for courses sort of thing. We have a guy in our group who struggles in almost every game we play because he doesn’t drive very long, and we end up giving him previously up to 3 strokes per six (that means in a game of sixers where we switch partners every six holes). So for every 3 lowest index holes of that six holes, he gets a stroke from us. Yes, this also means its possible that a par 3 is a ‘chocolate’ hole as well. We moved down to 2 strokes when we started noticing that he would play exceptionally well in Tropicana. Not one time, but almost all the time, he would be scoring pars and playing in the low 90s, which generally pressures us to play in the 80s which naturally we struggle to cope with such a pressure. But in the other courses, he still plays like an ostrich dancing in a tutu.

Same here. Some course just suits the eye. There are some courses that you just hate. Just hate. It’s like an eyesore each time you look at it because it looks like you are about to play inside the carcass of whale that has been dead for 80 days and maggots are rotting inside its flesh. Seri Selangor fits that description. Some other courses that I have reviewed here in this blog that get bad reviews. Basically courses that I cannot break 100 because my driving is so crap.

But ah Mines Golf Resort. It’s really a course worth waking up to.

If I were to tell you that you would score one of your best scores , but you would lose 5 balls either in the hazard or OB, you wouldn’t really think that’s possible. But it happened. And it’s mind boggling.

Hole 1:- Great drive, pulled my pitching wedge into the bunker. 3rd shot still in bunker. Fourth shot out and drained the 8 footer for bogey (+1)

Hole 2:-Hooked the drive but luckily it skittered into the rough. Placed my six iron around 130m or so and used a gap wedge to end up in the front fringe – two putt for par. (+1)

Hole 3:- Horrible hole. Hooked my damn drive again into the water on the left. 5 wood to about 20 meters, duffed my chip. Skulled my fifth across the green. Chipped my sixth to around 5 feet and putted for triple. (+4). First lost ball.

Hole 4: HOOKED my drive again into the palm trees but got a lucky break and hit my 9 iron through opening and onto the green to around 12 – 15 feet, drained birdie putt (+3)

Hole 5:  Par 3 across water, hit a poor 8 to the small landing area on the right of the green, and then putted across the fairway and green to around 5 feet and sank the putt for par. (+3)

Hole 6: Drivable par 4 but again hit a bad drive to left of the green. I once more skulled my chip and it skittered over the green into the water. I dropped for my third, missed putt for par by inches. Second Lost Ball (+4)

Hole 7: Six iron into the fringe, routine two putt finally for par. (+4)

Hole 8: Not a great drive, again its a left pull. Pulled my second shot again but at least I had a gap wedge in the rough to the green for my third – which I duffed and nearly tomahawked the club. But with my 60 degree into an extremely difficult green, it landed around 5 feet for a downhill putt which I miraculously sank for par (+4).

Hole 9: Horrible drive, this time, flared right. Found it and once more an opening with an eight. I hit a reasonably good shot but it caught the tree in front of me and it dropped. Or at least everyone thought it did because we saw it fall, but didn’t see it hit the ground. We spent 10 minutes combing the entire place, all 6 pair of eyes (4 golfers + 2 caddies) but nadda. We suspect it fell onto the branch of the big tree and got stuck in the tree. So I had to drop for my 5th (illegal OB drop at the tree). Hit my fifth near the green, two putted for 7. (+7) Third lost ball.

At this point, I was having an absolutely nightmare driving. Except for the first hole, all my drives were either pulling, hooking or pushing and it was like wrangling an anaconda.

Second nine and the same story prevailed.

Hole 10: Hooked the hell out of my ball into the water on the left. Dropped for 3 and stuffed my gap wedge to about 1 feet of the hole for an improbable par. Fourth Lost ball. (+7)

Hole 11: Par 3. Pushed my six iron into  the jungle. Bye Bye.Dropped, put 3 on and two putted for double bogey. (+9) Fifth Lost Ball. 

Hole 12: Pushed my drive and hit a freaking tree around 50 meters from the tee box but luckily skittered past the ladies tee. Shortest drive of all, only around 80 meters. 5 wood near the fairway bunkers, I had around 190 m left which I used my 5 iron and ended up around a few meters from the fringe. I putted to around 10 feet and drained the par putt. Another miracle par. (+9)

Hole 13: Finally – since my first hole, a good drive. So good in fact, I was using a pitching wedge into this index 2 hole and was around 10 feet away from a birdie putt which I missed by an inch or so. (+9)

Hole 14: Hooked the crap out of my drive again into the trees. Couldn’t get out with my punch, and a poor 3rd ended up around 10 meters from green. Skulled my chip to the back, chipped to around 10 feet and again, sank in the double. (+11)

At this point, the trend is that my drive was exceptionally crap, but my putting was exceptionally brilliant.

Hole 15: Drivable Par 4, but bottomed by drive. Thankfully I still hard about 110 meters in which I hit my 60 degree too short and it trickled into a deep valley at greenside. I putted from the bottom of this valley to around 4 feet and sank the par. It was like God himself has given me this putter today.  (+11)

Hole 16: Simple par 3, but short again and this time my putter  didn’t rescue and my putt from the rough came short, and two putt for bogey (+12). When asked why didn’t I chip, I told the caddy has he seen my chips the entire day? I would have putted even if I was knee deep in bloody quicksand. (+12)

Hole 17: We call it Tun’s. Because Tun Mahathir’s house overlooks the green. And traditionally for some reason, my favourite despite it’s formidable index 4. It just suits the eye, and I’ve been scoring well each time I play this. A good drive gave me around a nine iron into an elevated green. I actually didn’t hit a good shot but it got lucky and curled and bounced onto the green and trickled down to around 15 feet of the hole. I just about missed my birdie and settled for a par. This is quickly becoming my favourite golf hole of all time. (+12)

Hole 18: This one was weird. I hit what I thought a great drive, which shaped around the bend but the caddy said it might be OB. True enough, I curled it so much it landed into the area of the fairway where I had no sight of the green. I was blocked by trees. I took my 9 iron and just hit the living crap out of the ball and it curled round the trees and landed on the green for a two putt par (+12). When asked how I managed to curl the ball like that by my caddy, I told him, that was my natural shot. Each shot that I am hitting straight is a battle against the habit to hook/draw the damn ball. So if I need to hook around the trees, that shot is pretty easy for me. It’s hitting straight shots that suck!

So there you go:- 5 lost balls, a shocking driving day, lucky bounces, ball eating tree, magical putting and a score of 83 (Mines is Par 71). Ah, golf.

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Third Time Lucky

Happy Chinese New Year!

We had a game this week, my third game of the year. The first two games were completely off…the first game in KGNS was a 100+ while the second in tropicana yielded an almost bogey free game – 5 doubles, 4 triples, 1 bogey and 8 pars.

This time around, we tried our luck at KGNS once more, and played A LOT better. The caveat is of course we played one nine on Championship and the other nine on what we term as the ‘Mickey Mouse’ course – i.e the non-Championship Kelana Course.I think we played a par 35 for that one. This caveat is balanced out with the fact that I was trying out by really old Hi-bore driver again, and an extremely old putter (PING B60 OLD), and another 60 degree wedge, other than my normal one. Switching clubs is always a problem in the best of times, its made even worse when you are struggling, but I thought, ah well, just for fun, why not.

The front nine was played in typical roller coaster fashion, but there were TONS of missed putts. Bad lag putts, bad short putts, and everything in between. It could be 2 – 3 strokes better, but at the end 3 bogeys, 3 doubles and 3 pars isn’t bad for Championship course.

Going into Kelana, it was again still very bad putting and chipping, but the last six was played with bogey, par, bogey, par, par, par to a +2. And this included a 3 putt and a missed birdie putts on most of the par holes. The back nine was played on a +5, and for the first time this year, managed to break 90.

So here’s to better golf!

The good news is now of course, fingers crossed, Tiger Woods is playing well again. I am thinking of subscribing to the Golf Channel once more, but the thought of the crooks at Astro getting any benefit is keeping me away from it.

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Tropicana – great course, horrendous caddies

Tropicana has always been a favourite haunt of ours. The advantages of the proximity to all our homes, the great fairways there, good greens and overall mixture of challenging holes and holes we can attack – and over 27 holes, it has become our preferred destination of weekday golfing.

Which brings the problem – it is also the preferred destination of a thousand other golfers. Even playing on a weekday, especially with one 9 closed, can feel like a weekend pace for some. Especially today, when we had an absolutely hopeless flight in front of us. You know those type that takes 2 minutes to putt a 3 footer, misses, kicks out a leg and screams a chinese expletive. It is very, very tiring just sitting down (yes, we finally gave up and all of us just sat on the fairway watching them do their nonsense) and seeing how frightfully inconsiderate they are.

While Tropicana is one of the best course in Malaysia (in our opinion), it is balanced out with the most crappy caddies in all of Malaysia. They are useless and the ones we experienced were idiots. I generally don’t like to comment too much on caddies, but today, there was one hopeless lady caddying for us (the other buggy, not mine). She had comments for everything. The clubs we used, the distance, what we should be doing and all that. Once in a while it’s fine but when I am at the 17th hole, and you are the caddy of the other buggy you DO NOT tell me to hit a 8 iron into a 140m stick. She just stood there and said, “For you, boss, use 8 iron”. I am like, who the hell are you? You don’t caddy for me so shut the hell up.

The final hole, where it was a 240m to the pond, while everyone was using 3 wood, I was contemplating between my 5 wood and a half controlled driver. Because I was feeling good with my driver. She immediately said, “Cannot! Tak boleh!” and I told her, the more I hear cannot, tak boleh, the more I say, BOLEH. And it was the last hole anyway and I just wanted to swing it. She kept grumbling for some reason. She is NOT my caddy. She caddies for the other buggy. My caddy was generally mute, which is the preferred condition I want my caddy to be in.

I hit a great shot, but it drew and it looked like it entered into the water near the green. The “not my caddy” laughed and said, “Padan Muka (serves you right)!” a few times.

I walked over to her and said in my broken Malay interspersed with English colourful words, “You do not comment on me. Once, twice is enough. If the golfer decides to use a club, the golfer decides. You do not make any further comment, or laugh or make fun of the golfer. You are not my friend. You are a god*amn caddy, and that’s what you do, so shut the **** up and caddy your sh*t or else I am going to leave you here or throw you into the ******* water. You are not my friend, so do not talk to me like you know me or you know sh*t about me. You don’t get any tips and I am going to put your card into the sh*tty caddy category later. Now get the **** away from me.” I said it in a very calm manner, but made sure she understood. She has no familiarity with me, and I have zero inclination to be familiar with her, so unless she wants her mouth stuffed full of golf balls, just do what your limited job scope is or get out of my sight.

I found my ball at the edge of the water, used my 60 degree and stiffed it to around 5 feet, missed the birdie and par my last hole. She avoided me after that.

This is not the first time, Tropicana caddies have given us shit. The problem with these caddies is that they think they are our friend. There was another caddy my friend scolded the other day (on the 1st tee, nonetheless), for showing up late, and not doing what she was told, and scowling and making a meal out of taking the club for my friend. He just told her to get away from our flight and basically kicked her out. The starter intervened before my friend went berserk on her.

It’s not like we want treat Caddies like crap. I get it. It’s not easy caddying for hackers like us. But when we have told you to shut the hell up once or twice, then just shut the hell up. Again, the concept here is you are NOT my friend, so don’t talk to us like how we talk to each other. They aren’t educated to caddy properly, and I fault Tropicana for that. If you give us hopeless caddies, then at least just let them carry our clubs and that’s it. Nothing else. Tropicana = great course, EXTREMELY USELESS caddies.

My game was amazingly up and down today. When the dust settled, it was 5 double bogeys, 4 triple bogeys, 1 bogey and 8 pars.

I almost went bogey free today except for the 17th hole when I hit my first bogey with a bad 4 footer miss.

And it’s not like I was driving it bad. All my triple came from great drives.I usually set up to aim right as I have my draw as my normal shot and hook as misses. For some reason, on all my triple bogeys, I hit great straight drives – either they went into the water or OB, or in one occasion, I simply could not find it. So driving wise, except for one hole where I topped it, it was a PERFECT driving game for me.

The other parts of the game was another story. My chipping was like a baboon trying to hump a kangaroo while parachuting down, with a dynamite attached to the ass. That’s how bad it was. There is something wrong mentally. I am mentally incapable to chip. I do it perfect on the practice range, but in the game, as if for some reason, I suddenly become a tapir learning how to tap dance. I don’t think it can be cured, like my color blindness, so I just have to live with this confounding handicap. This has turned many of my par or bogey opportunities to double and triple today.

But yeah – slowly, I am getting back up to speed for 2018. It’s at least a lot better than my first game for sure.

Oh by the way, at the end, we did tip the hopeless caddy and we also put her card into the ‘good’ category. For all our talk, we are actually very compassionate people and look – you are far away from your home, you probably have kids back home you are homesick for, and you probably made an honest mistake in being familiar with us when we don’t want you to – let’s move on, be careful next time. That’s why I like this group I play with, we are NATO people – No Action , Talk Only. Always threatening the caddies, but at the end we are too charitable to be angry for long!

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2018 begins…with Failure!

Like every year, 2018 starts with all the best intentions.

Lose weight.

Don’t swear.

Exercise More.

Spend more time with kids.

Sleep earlier.

Don’t overwork or overeat.

Play good golf.

And like all good intentions, everything is shot to hell within the first week. Really. I’m like, damn it! It’s like groundhog day!

Lose weight – In Malaysia, not possible. Because after english new year, is Chinese New Year. Only a stupid person will not eat anything in chinese new year. Only an EXTREMELY stupid person goes back to Penang and not have anything good to eat.

Don’t swear – This one very easy to lose. First hour of the year already gone.

Exercise more – I am currently exercising. In my mind. In my mind I am jogging and playing badminton and football.

Spend more time with kids – actually this is still going as planned. I am working a great schedule now to ensure I spend some time to take them out for food and hang out at the petrol station store more – because its cheaper than hanging out at cafes.

Sleep Earlier – No. Gone within the first day.

Don’t overwork or overeat – Overworking is subjective actually. I don’t think I am overworking at all. As in I don’t really know what the limit of my work is, so how do we know what “over”-working is?

Overeating — I apply the same theory.

Play good golf.

Ah. So we played our first game in KGNS. I started with a beautiful double bogey over the first 4 holes. Then I rattled in a triple bogey. Then at least I ran into a bogey, then I had bogey, bogey, par to end the front nine.

My drives were just horrendous, my stupid wedge was completely off and I was just playing absolutely fantastically lousy golf. It was frustrating, because there were some absolute beautiful shots in there, like my sand wedge on the 10th to 2 feet of the hole fro 110 metres. Or the booming drive on the 16th setting me only 60 meters away from the green and I stuck it to 5 feet (and missed the birdie). But 80% was CRAP. My 60 degree dug into the ground so much, that I can start a new career in landscaping. Every single shot I did was in the ground. Duff. Duff. Duff. I duffed, I think, total 6 shots. Until it dawned upon my stupid brain that the ground was very wet and soft, and I should be using something with more bounce, like my sand wedge! And voila, from there on, it worked! But I was on the 17th hole already! Stupid!

So, no, my first game, I think I didn’t even crack 100.

What a great start to the year!

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So yet another year ends – What brings 2018?

It used to be that once almost weekly I would have updated this blog, but not anymore. I would like to give the thousands of excuses like taking care of my two kids from getting killed by a thousand things in the house, like TV, fan blades and them jumping off the bed and swan diving onto my marble floor — sometimes I think I am in a real life game of lemmings. You know that game where I have to save those little buggers from committing suicide. Or I can blame my business, where I spend all the time figuring out how to get work done or get paid or how did I end up getting work done and not get paid or any of those permutation of events.

But I won’t.

Because the free time I have, yes, I am still whacking the tiny ball and trying to get it into the hole with the fewest stroke possible.

What does 2018 brings?

For one thing, I am finally playing reasonably good golf, after a LONG. Long. Time. Now, the very moment I write this I am going to jinx myself and I know for sure the next game will be a car wreck. But so far, the games I’ve been playing, I have been shooting regularly in the 80s, from the best of 84 to average of around 86 – 88 at least. I am playing probably to a reasonable 13 – 14 handicap now finally.

The best part of the game improved is my drive and irons. The driver is starting to click. I’ve developed a pre-shot routine that somehow works. It takes longer but it generally settles me down easier. It’s:

a) Select a far item in the horizon, point to it

b) Line up my driver and my stance

c) One practice stroke

d) Line up my driver and stance again

e) Do a shortened backswing to about quarter swing, to set my weight to my right

f) Waggle a bit

g) Look at something around 3 – 5 feet away in front of me (that means not in direction of the fairway, since I am already lined up perpendicular for a swing) – this usually ends up being the buggy, a stick, a tree, a bush, a monkey or a surprised caddy thinking I am pissed off at her

h) Take a deep breath

i) Take one last look down the fairway

j) Pull the trigger.

It sounds like a long pre-shot, but it’s actually quite brisk, around 15 – 20 seconds before I pull the trigger. I’ve been around guys who takes 40 + seconds to get the shot off, so I am considered ok. And it’s doing some incredible things to my game, because now, I am less rush, so I don’t swing so wildly. I still have this hook sometimes, but I am connecting it. I am much more confident that my driver is going to connect and when it does, it goes long, dropping around 240 – 250. I always think that we overestimate our distance, but I did do some measurements roughly and for some par 4s in Glenmarie valley, I was hitting my second shot into the green with a sandwedge.

The other aspect is my irons. After switching to my Mizuno, I can’t go back to anything else. I tried using my taylormade again the other day and promptly duffed or topped all my irons. The Mizuno is like a freaking samurai katana. It just feels balanced and awesome. It feels like I am having the staff of Gandalf with me. It helps that my iron distance has gone long as well – now for 100 meters, I am looking at sandwedge, for 110, a gap, and for 130, a pitching wedge and for 150 meters, a 9 iron. I hardly use my 8 or 7 anymore, because from 160 or 170 onwards I use my 6 iron and for 180 plus, 5 iron. I don’t use any utility and only occasionally I use my 5 wood to get two-on for par 5s. One of my friends calls me the Bull, for my bruteforce, not for my bullshit. At least, I think so.

And the aspects of my game that is completely stupid? Chipping, pitching, any shot that requires control. Except bunker. I love bunker shots now, and I use my 60 degree all. The. Time. No more sandwedges for me. But chipping? Nope. I have the yips. Pitching anything below 80 meters and I am likely going to duff it or skull it. I asked my friend if anyone sees a 70-degree wedge, let me know. At least I can do a full shot on it on 50 meters. For chipping, anything within sight of the green is puttable. A bad putt is a good chip, as they say.

So looking forward to more gametime in 2018 of course and guess what?

Tiger is back!!!!

Happy new year, Gilagolfers!

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Renewing Maid Permit – Part 2

For a golf blog, strangely one of the higher hits article is one I wrote in November last year for renewal of maid permit in Malaysia: http://gilagolf.net/gilalogy/renewing-maid-permit-in-malaysia/

Hence, it’s proven at the utmost ineptitude of our public services that so many people are at lost on how to renew their maid’s permit in Malaysia.

This year, we had to undergo something slightly different, namely the renewal of the maid’s passport and also the contract renewal (we didn’t even realise this), before going for the permit renewal. So you see, every year, there is a whole crap lot of renewal going on.

Firstly, the contract needs to be renewed first before the passport can be renewed. Now, I know there are manual ways to do the maid renewal, but we didn’t mind paying a little extra for our agent to help us out (plus, we think this agent is good. If anyone needs a reasonably good agent, drop me a note). Basically she took care of everything for us, and filled up all the required forms. We ended up paying around RM1,500 for the stamp and notary and insurance and agency fees, and also the embassy verification. Could we have done it ourselves? Probably, but it would have taken us some time to do it.

Once this was settled (you need to give copies of your maid’s old passport and permit, as well as your IC), we then head over to the embassy to sign off the contract and also at the same time work out the passport renewal. Once at the embassy, the agent was there and she sorted out everything for us, I just signed the contract (2 years) and then the passport was sorted out. The maid had to be there and we went for lunch and after that, the process was done. We just needed to collect it after a couple of weeks. There’s probably a whole bunch of articles on how this can be done manually without the agent to help, but since this is the lazy-man’s version, I would suggest to just use the agent to expedite the process.

Now you have the new passport, everything is settled, right?

No.

If you try to do what was in last year’s article, you will have a problem at the MyEG page (assuming you have sorted out all your Fomema stuff, which is the same as the previous article).

The MyEg site will state that there is invalid passport tied to your name. This means that if you renew the passport you need to make an extra trip to the immigration (in my case, Jalan Duta), and go to the second floor and state that you have a maid new passport, and they need to tie that passport to your name.

Honestly while this may look stupid, the whole process took around half hour only – the lady behind the counter was courteous and efficient, and the only problem was just the normal waiting period for your turn to be called up.

Once the passport is tied to your name, all you need to do then is to proceed with payment and once more head to the 21st floor of the IBM tower (it is named ‘CN’ for some reason on the lift button), and once on 21st floor, you just need to pass your maid’s passport and proof of payment. And bring your own IC.

Again, wait for another half hour or more and they will then lead you into another room where they pass you the maid’s permit card and also paste the new permit into the new passport. Bring along the old passport for verification.

Boom! Another year done. Contract renewal is every 2 years. Maid permit every year. Fomema, hopefully by next year, there is no longer a need.

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The Absence of Inspiration

Yes, I admit this blog has not been updated for the longest time. And the few readers coming back has wondered if gilagolf has indeed

a) Given up golf

b) Died

Well, neither is correct. You could say, for a), the drive of golf is still there. Still playing at least twice a month, and still finding it hard to crack 90 and still with an overswing and still suck at chipping. Golf is a game that does not commensurate and reward the time you put into it. It’s annoying that after more than 12 years of hacking this game, our scores generally remain as it is with a few improvements and many many many false dawns. I think as we grow older some aspects of your game improve. But some de-prove. For instance I am certainly driving a bit better now, but my short game has progressively become worse.

We played at Tropicana recently. And although I managed 6 pars, even with a sandy par (which is a big deal), there were tons of putts missed and chunked chips and shanked pitches. It’s like everytime I get into the 50 yards zone, I die. It comes to a point where for a par 5 if I know I have a very low percentage to hit the green, I prefer to hit it to the 100m marker as opposed to the 30 meter distance. It’s either a full 60 degree or a putt. Anything in between and I lose 2 – 3 strokes. If I have a choice between a perfect lie behind a greenside bunker I 100% wish that it was in the bunker instead.

So the journey continues. We still haven’t played any new course although we are plotting to go to Kota Seriemas in Nilai soon. The green fee is so expensive though – RM200 or more, and everytime that happens, we are reminded we can play for less than RM100 at courses like Tropicana, Kota Permai, Glenmarie etc under our RHB card. It’s just a hard sell. But yes we will be making our way soon there so stay tuned.

Speaking of RHB card, there are few things I would like to point out. They have absolutely a disgraceful credit card points redemption for the infinite. I mean, compared to the other cards I have. There’s literally dog-poop for things you can redeem for. Secondly, recently they lost Mines as one of their golf course to play on. Fair enough, it’s far away, but its still a very nice course to play on and I miss it. Thirdly they now impose this RM3,000 minimum spending on your card to use the golf benefits. Now this might not be much, but when you have 3 – 4 credit cards you are juggling and other cards give you way better points redemption options, planting 3K each month on a card that only gives golf benefit means sacrificing your other points allocation.

Also, this RM3,000 per month is stupid. They count it from a cutoff date to another cutoff date – for instance 22nd of each month to the 22nd of next month. So if you spend RM20K on 23rd of that month, then your previous month’s 3K is not hit and you can’t play golf. I have a friend who spends almost 11 – 15K on the card but because sometimes he misses the cutoff, for that month he is ineligible despite spending that much. Note to RHB – look at spend patterns instead of just a cutoff date. It’s stupid.

Lastly – if you registered your players with RHB and if someone last minute have to pull out, RHB disallows it. This means you either have to pay for a non existent golfer or you beg the course to cancel and play 3 ball. Which usually should be fine – but my question to RHB is, why won’t you allow another RHB player to replace? Oh – because its too last minute and the club disallows it.

Digging deeper, this is not true.

I found out that RHB’s procedure is that if you cancel/replace a player less than 24 hours of a tee time, RHB doesn’t even bother trying to send the update to the golf club. They just block it, so it’s not that the club disallows it, it’s because of RHB stupid internal procedure. I told them, look, just fax the damn thing to the club for a player update and I will sort it out. No, says RHB, we can’t because our manager doesn’t allow it and does not understand what is customer’s experience. So go suck it. (not their words but our interpretation).

Don’t get me wrong, RHB has been very useful for us over the years – but recently tee times are getting very crowded and tough to get, even with a RM3000 minimum spend and we are looking for other bank’s cards to maybe give us a little more benefits than just golf. If anyone has any better experience with other bank cards, drop a note.

OK – let’s try to get a tee time at Kota Seriemas then and write a review!

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Finally, A Birdie in Tropicana!

I managed to cram in a few games in KGPA, Tropicana and Palm Garden but eversince my birdie run ended, I’ve gone back to playing golf like a blind wombat high on meth. My game at KGPA was a train wreck and even the easy Palm Garden was no letoff as well. Then came Tropicana, where in one hole, I hit a perfect drive and with a sandwedge and 90 meters to pin, I proceeded to duff the ball FOUR freaking times. FOUR. And I hit the green and did a quadruple.

So, there was not much motivation to go on, really. I was thinking of actually quitting golf for a while. It got so bad that the Palm Garden game I missed I think around five two footer putts. In one hole, I wanted to fling my putter into the rough, but got snagged in my glove and it went spinning into the direction of my buddy and almost killed him. He didn’t speak to me the whole game and told me if I did that again, he is going to tomahawk me myself. I apologised. It was bad. It was not ethical and I am not like that. From then on, every bad shot was just greeted with a wry smile and a look to the heavens and a sarcastic thumbs up and clap to God. I don’t think God likes sarcasm. Because I played even worse and worse.

Things finally began to look up last game at Tropicana. I still missed sitters like two footers, but at least I got back my birdie. And it was on the index 1 hole nonetheless. Downhill perfect drive, took the left water out of equation and with the ball slightly above feet, I managed a pitching wedge to around 8 feet with a downhill winding putt. Perfect putt for me and it went in the hole.

So yeah, I’ve lost count of my triple bogeys and blown holes this year, but hey! I am now on Birdie number 4 for the year! Not bad, considering it’s like One birdie a month.

Next game!

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And the stupidest pest company goes to: RENTOKIL

Here’s a formal review I wrote to bloody Rentokil

Been a customer for more than 3 years. Every year they will miss out their scheduled visits. In 2016 they missed 2 out of 6 (generally, they will call you and say, hey can i come today, as in we assume that you are a jobless nutjob sitting around the house waiting for rentokil to call everyday) – so they agreed to move 2 extra ones this year. They did one and still need to provide one more service. Unfortunately, instead of doing that service, they gave an invoice for renewal for 2017. When called, they say, we can provide a credit note (to offset and discount due to missed service last year) – I said, no, I don’t want you guys anymore, just come and do your last service. And suddenly, the lady said, “Oh, according to our records, we don’t owe you any service anymore”.

Rentokil – i know house customers are treated by you as badly as how you treat rats and cockroaches, but remember before you guys were big and doing factories and companies, home owners were the ones you started off with. The arrogance of this company is just too extreme. Enough said, no more Rentokil for my homes. I rather deal with the cockroaches with my Ridsect than to give them anymore business.

Anyone thinking of getting these bunch of idiots better think twice. Worst pest control company by a million miles. I imagine cockroaches and rats doing hi-fives with each other when they see home owner signing up with them.

And really – it’s so sad. At this time and age, when economy is doing so poorly, you would think companies now should give a shit about customer experience. Yet, they are so batshit arrogant that they don’t give a flying fuzzball about customers. Rentokil – I hope you get killed as a company one day.

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