Kota Permai Up and Down

Golf had been pretty solid for the past couple of months  but as witnessed in the last game at Palm Garden, I went into a shanking mode and I’ve been trying to shake off ever since. In fact, I played a 9 hole at KGPA in between that game and this with another beginner and I was like a hacker, because I was shanking it all over the place. I think I shot 51 or 52 which obviously doesn’t bode well.

I am trying to adjust a few things to prevent the shanks, but we’ll see if this works out on the course – Kota Permai! Despite the rain the day before, Kota Permai really looked good and the greens were in great condition.

Hole 1:  Inviting par 5, but I blasted my driver straight right into bunker. In the fairway bunker, I unluckily ended up right inside the rake line so it was embedded a bit. Managed to blast out a 9 iron but it clipped the last branch of the tree into the woods. A punch out and my 4th shot was short. From off the green I opted to putt, but hit it way too long and two putted for double bogey. (+2). I don’t think anything was at fault here, it was simply bad luck and maybe my first putt needed to be adjusted.

Hole 2: Tough hole usually, with narrow fairway. I managed to get my hook onto the fairway, and had a 9 iron in. Because of my shanks, my adjustment made my irons fly a bit shorter and almost got wet. As it was, I was off the green and my putt was short. Surprisingly, I managed to get my remaining 5 footer into the hole for par. (+2)

Hole 3: Another tough hole, but a good drive made things a lot easier and I basically had another 9 iron into the green. This time, managed to get on in regulation. But again, my first putt was short and left me with a similar distance as in the previous hole. Will it go? Yes! Another par! (+2)

Hole 4: The par 3 with water right. This time, instead of 5 iron, I opted to muscle in a 6 iron. It hooked slightly so I had a putt off the green. Learning from hole 1, I managed to hit a much better putt, but had a knee knocker 3 footer downhill left – which I hit, for escalation 3 pars in a row. (+2)

Hole 5: I was slightly feeling it now, with my putter on fire. But this drive, I popped it up and it got hung in the rough – a poor short drive, but thankfully on a relative short Par 4. I still had to hit either an 8 or 7 iron in. I opted for the latter but it flew right to the back of the green, about 40 feet away from the front pin. My lag putt was …. bad. I overshot the hole and had around an 8 footer back.

Amazingly, my putt hit the back of the cup and popped in for 4 in a row. Even I was surprised. (+2)

Hole 6: After we were forced to stop by the wonderful flights who stop to eat their breakfast at this dratted hut, I had a 5 iron to coax into this tough par 3. And I completely duffed it. I wish I could blame the idiots in front who had to stop and fill their bellies and spoiling my mojo. But the fact was, I just had a bad swing and the ball plopped into water. Reteed-and this time found the bunker. From the bunker, hit the 4th shot out, and two putted for a seriously momentum destroying triple bogey. (+5)

Irons=-1

Hole 7: Struggling to shake off the triple, I actually hit a solid drive on this Par 5. But like Hole 1, it got caught into the fairway bunker on the right. Like Hole 1, I was unluckily stuck right at the side and could only coax a 9 iron out. I still could regulation on actually as I had a 130m or more to the green. I shortsighted myself with a pitching wedge (instead of 9) and landed short. Too much grass here to work with (or so I thought), and I decided to chip for my 4th.

Bad decision because my chip is $hit. Total, crap sh#t. I skulled the ball and it skittered into the bunker. From the bunker, I hit a very poor shot due to the water if I overshot the green, and left it in the bunker again. My 5th shot barely got out. My 6th putt, because I had to charge to at least have a chance to tie with my opponent’s team went too far downhill and my come back never stood a chance. Great. Triple bogey. (+8). So after four pars in a row, I had to go spoil the game with two triples back to back.

Chipping = -1

Hole 8: This index hole 1 is long, but it’s not overly complex. I did hit my drive long, but it drew too much. Flew the bunker and I had a pitching wedge I had to carve around the trees. Curled too much and now I had the option to putt or chip off the green. Opted for the chip, but again, fell too short and did not hit the 8 footer to the cup. My first bogey of the day, not bad. (+9)

Hole 9: My drive here to this uphill green actually left me in a reasonable position just short of the bunker on the left, but with an extreme uphill to go. My 6 iron….shanked. Yup. Finally did it and got it out of my system. Thankfully the ball hits a small tree and fell back into the bunker about 30 meters from the green. The dreaded 30 meter bunker shot, which I hit a pretty good out with my gap. I had around 15 feet to navigate for sandy par, but missed. Considering I shanked the crap out of the ball, bogey is a hell of a score. (+10)

For a while, midway through the first 9, I was thinking of really going low. 2 triple laters, due to branfarts on my irons and chipping – and it’s over.

Hole 10: Crossing over to this shady par 4 dog leg left, I cut the dogleg too much and now it’s in the jungle left. My punch out wasn’t great but it was just enough for me to use my 9 iron with a little draw to the green – which was executed perfectly. Pin high, around 10 feet from the hole. Unfortunately I missed it my inches but tapped in for bogey. (+11). Its not a bad hole for recovery.

Hole 11: Blasted this relatively easy par 4 and had only 90 meters left to the green. I hit a poor 60 degree that flew to the back of the green and nestled in the rough. A 60 degree chip shot almost holed it and tapped in for par. (+11)

Hole 12: This par 5 makes me think whoever decided this monster is Index 14 probably made the decision when he or she was drunk or smoking weed. Excuse me? Thick trees and rough on the left, OB on the right, with a sliver of fairway snaking up to an uphill green with a notoriously difficult undulation? Index 14? Hello? On cue, I smashed my driver into the left trees where I can probably take up permanent residence based on the time I visit there. I chunked my punch out (2nd shot) which wasn’t great, and my next punch with a 6 iron from the rough found me around 140m to an uphill green. I used my pitching for my 4th and flew it in. It landed on the green, yes, but due to the severe undulation feeding everything into this deep valley on the left, it promptly rolled off the green. Instead of chipping, I opted to putt my 5th shot onto the green which turned out to be a smart decision and had a 8 footer uphill to save my bogey. (+12)

Hole 13: I whacked my driver but again, like so often today, did not have enough turn in it so it landed into the rough on the right after the buggy track. With no option, I had to carved a punch with my 6 iron to a uphill green about 120m away. It was hit well but still found the bunker on right. 3rd shot was one of the best bunker shot I’ve done, with the lovely “thud” sound of the sand. I still had around a 6 footer to navigate for my Sandy Par, and I did it to a fist pump. (+12)

Hole 14: Fresh from a great par save, I hit my pitching wedge slightly thin on this downhill par 3. It did find the back of the green  with a long lag putt. With my putter on fire, I two putted this hole to maintain a chance for possible esclation again. (+12)

Hole 15: Completely pummelled this ball – perfect right to left and on the fairway.  I still had around 160m to go for this difficult par 4. However, that shank back in 9 was playing in my head and got me so confused, I was like a hippo attempting to do yoga by the time I was addressing and adjusted, and I did not shank — instead I pushed it way left, hit a tree and dropped down around 60m in front. Again, like hole 12, my 3rd shot sandwedge actually reached the green but due to the undulation, it happily spun off into the rough. Unbelievable. From there, I hit a poor chip. With a 12 footer uphill putt, my bogey burned the edge and settled in for double. (+14).

Wedges = -1

Hole 16: In this narrow par 4 (second of the Evil Twins on this course) – I opted a good 5 wood. From there, I only had about 130m to go. I hit my pitching wedge but pulled it (again thinking of shank)into the bunker. While I had been playing great bunker shots, this time, I caught it thin and it flew over the green. 4th shot in wasn’t great and two putted for double. Damn!!! (+16)

Sand = -1

Hole 17: I was very frustrated by now. The last two holes were completely and utterly unnecessary doubles. I could have easily bogeyed them instead. This long par 3 required my 5-iron which wasn’t so bad but it went way too far and had a tricky putt downhill. Too tricky as I ended up 3 putting this damn hole for bogey after regulation on. (+17)

Putter=-1

Hole 18: Hopefully the final hole have reprieve – but no, dragged my driver left into the bunker (again). I did execute a great 6 iron from the bunker to put me around 150m to an uphill green. I opted for a 6-iron, chunked it a bit but it was on the fringe, around 40 -50 feet away from a back pin. From there, I finally did a great lag putt right to about a foot or so and it was super good feeling to tap in for par for the last hole.

Conclusion: Overall, scoring 89 is ok for Kota permai and my putter was really on fire today – more than other clubs. My chipping is still taking a vacation while my super driving habit in October has pretty much reverted back to its erratic self. Looking back, if I didn’t screw up those triple bogeys and double on the back nine, I could realistically shave off around 3 strokes from it. But no complaints. Great round of golf and great weather too!

Failing at Kota Permai

We haven’t played Kota Permai for a very, very long time. So much so that I was surprised at the new refurbished front and locker rooms, which has been done quite a long while ago. To my memory, Kota Permai has been reasonably a good scoring course, except for a few holes that I totally detests, especially those with hazard on the left, which for some reason, a lot of holes have this.

Hole 1: This is a broad and friendly par 5 to start the day with, which I promptly pulled my tee shot to the left, but it wasn’t that bad. This pulled drive will be the flavour of today – after driving so well for the past game, I thought I had my drives figured out. Well, not. Apparently. From the left trees, I carve a low punch to the rough around 150m from the pin. My 9 iron was just slightly short to the fringe and I opted to putt onto the hollow-tined greens. Bad first putt, and then two putt to start with a bogey. (+1)

Hole 2: This is a difficult hole for me, made so by the large body of water lining the left side, skinny fairways, no bailout on the right and trees in front of my tee box that prevents me from drawing in. I did hit the tree with my tee shot (again) but miraculously escaped but plopped very short distance. Faced with a 160m or so to the green guarded by water, my 7 iron failed to turn in and plopped into the water. Dropped for 4th, on the green, two putt for double. (+3)

Hole 3: A fairly difficult hole, which I hit a drive right that never drew back. Under the tree, I had to punch a five iron out to trees on the left. A poor 60 degree overshot the green for my third. Chip back wasn’t great and two putted for a really ugly double bogey (+5).

Hole 4: A long par 3 (all par 3s in Kota Permai are long), which a 7 iron almost reached, but dropped into the greenside bunker. A routine out and two-putt for bogey. (+6)

Hole 5: This should just be an easy drive and easy iron into an accessible green. But the three of us literally hit it at the same place in the fairway left bunker. Same, that we had to mark our balls because they were inches away from each other. With a high lip, there was no chance to go for green, so it was out to 100m, a sand wedge in and two putt for bogey (+7)

Hole 6: Finally, a good shot into a long par 3. Five iron right to the middle with a bit of draw, and two putted for routine par! (+7)

Hole 7: This isn’t a terribly difficult par 5 but it’s made worse if you pull your drive. Which  of course, I did. Hit a tree on my second, my third out to around 120m. Fourth with a PW to the edge of the green. Fifth on, not a good putt and two putted (missing a three footer) for a really, really disgusting double. (+9)

Hole 8: The toughest hole on the course due to its length. Pulled another drive into the bunker. Again, the high lip makes it impossible to do anything but to just plop it out. My third pitching wedge from 120 was so pulled it entered into the greenside bunker. From there, out for 4 on and two putt for ANOTHER DOUBLE BOGEY (+11)

Hole 9: At this point, I knew the drive was struggling. To abbreviate the follow through helped me keep it straighter, but it also caused my drive to be very short. In this hole, it was fairway hit but a massive 150m away to a very uphill green with back pin. With a 6-iron, I finally hit one of those shots that makes you want to play golf forever. It started right, slightly drawing into the green that slopes remarkably into a valley on the left. Even landing on the front, it almost rolled off. Pin high, uphill putt, around 10 feet. Birdie time? Nope. Missed it slightly left, but at least ended the 9 on a high. (+11)

As we make the turn, my scorecard has 4 double bogeys against two pars, which wasn’t great. Except for the 2nd, all the doubles came from bad drives, which should be avoidable, but you know, it’s part of my game (or lack thereof).

Hole 10: This should be a visually appealing hole for me (one of the rare ones) as we look to shape this right to left. However I started all wrongly too far left and pulled deep into the woods. So deep that it crawled back out the adjacent hole fairway. A punched five iron actually was very good to around 10m from the green. This should technically be a routine chip but I fluffed it! Second chip got onboard and bogeyed but that fluff chip was so unexpected, after a series of very good chips in previous game. (+12)

Hole 11: This is to me the easiest hole, as all the trouble is right (which is hardly existent for me). A slightly pulled shot puts me around 90m from the green on the left on the fairway. A good sand wedge ended up pin high on the left which trickled down to around 6 feet from the cup. Birdie? YES, finally. (+11)

Hole 12: I don’t know how or why Hole 12 is Index 14. It’s notoriously difficult to hit the green because the elevated tee shot is so daunting. OB on right and jungle on left. I pulled again my drive and once more, like Hole 10, faced a tiny hole in the trees to hit out of. Managed to sneak it back to the fairway but almost 200m away to an extreme uphill green. My 5 wood left me around 50m. I was still ok to this point, because a 4 on will put me in position for a bogey. I didn’t hit a terrible shot, but the 60 degree just ballooned high, landed on the green and rolled back into the left “Valley of Death”, an enclave where a majority of the people hit from, judging by the divots existing there. I skulled my 5th chip over to the bunker, buried at the slope. Duffed my 6th, still in bunker. 7th out and holed for 8th. Horrible hole. Especially right after that birdie. (+14)

Hole 13: Finally striped a great tee shot and was left with around 120m to an uphill green. I opted for a 9-iron in, but did not hit a particulary good one. It drew too much and landed left, in a mini enclave, not as bad as Hole 12. With Hole 12 fiasco still fresh, I opted to put upwards from this valley though. It wasn’t a great result but still left me around 10 feet for par. Missed, settled for bogey (+15)

Hole 14: Love this little par 3. It’s the only par 3 on the course that you can hit with a wedge. Around 130 downhill, it was really between a muscled gap or an easy pitching. I don’t have any in between clubs. I chose the muscled gap. Because I like muscling things instead of controlling. The gap wedge hit perfect, landed just past the front bunkers but for some stupid reason didn’t release to the green. It was still an easy lag putt, and a par (+15)

Hole 15: Hate this (and the next) hole. Because water left. Index 2 and 6 side by side. These are named the Hateful Twins. I had to start my drive way right, and challenge the trees due to my retarded shot shape. Remember Hole 2 where I escaped a right block with a drive through the trees? The course takes back. Same shot, but instead now clips a branch and falls right down, before the ladies tee. A five iron sets me up to where everyone else is. Another five iron found me at the front rough of the green. A reasonable chip got me to around 5 feet and a double bogey. (+17)

Hole 16: The second of the Hateful Twins. Was switching back and forth between a five iron and the driver and just decided to heck it with the driver. It was a good choice, because, without any trees near the teebox, I managed to stripe this right to left with the best drive of the day. It left me around 100m and a sand wedge to the green. It was slightly pulled but no problem navigating for a par (+17). Not bad!

Hole 17: LOOOONG Par 3. My 5 iron was pulled slightly and ended up in the backside of the green. Not an easy shot. My second shot couldn’t clear the lip (inches away) and trickled back into the bunker, my third duffed and again rolled back into the bunker, and only 4th came out. Two putts and left with a bad tasting triple bogey (+20)

Hole 18: Feeling the pain, I pulled my final drive of the day. From the left rough, a tragic 7 iron did not draw and left me deep rough on the right. I couldn’t get any purchase on it, and my fourth shot from 90m with a gap was also duffed into the greenside bunker. Ironically, I used my gap and hit the best bunker shot of the day. a perfect shot clearing two bunkers and slipping into the green around 10 feet below the hole. I couldn’t end it with a bogey save though and settled for a double. (+22). I played +5 over my last two holes, which just about sums up my misadventures at Kota Permai.

So there you go. Plenty of doubles, plenty of triple and let’s see: hitting out of 6 different bunkers today. Not a great date with Sandy.

Analysis on Game 3: Kota Permai

Back at Kota Permai and seemingly with a good strategy to improve from my previous 93. Or so I thought.

We teed off the narrower back 9 first and I navigated well the first two holes teeing off with my five wood with a bogey – par. The par 5 12th – I used my driver and set up for a draw. Unfortunately, I blocked it so far right the ball caught the trees to the right and went into the jungle only around 50 – 60 meters. 2nd shot hit a tree, 3rd shot into the fairway, 4th shot blocked again to the right, fifth shot hit another tree, sixth shot barely crept onto the green and 2 putted for a glorious triple bogey. DAMN!

I meandered on with a few pars after that and came to my nemesis hole – the par 3 17th. I tripled this previous by going right, and now I hooked left. My punch out was too strong, went across the green and down the rough. 3rd shot duffed chip (again, damn it!), 4th shot on, two putted for triple bogey six.

My third triple for the round was the last hole, the par 4 9th. My drive found the bunker on the left, and I had no choice but to sandwedge it out to the rough and was left with a 9 iron shot into the uphill green. Unfortunately I only had my pitching wedge and was too lazy to wait for the caddie to come back with my 9, so I decided to muscle it it. Came down too steep, and shanked the shit out the ball to the right and nearly killing people in the clubhouse. OB – dropped for 5th, on it and two putted for triple bogey. This was so unnecessary – with an easy 9 I would have reached the green in 3, instead, lost the hole and lost the bet.

So in one round, I had more triple bogeys than both my other rounds put together.

The good news is that, I continued my birdie run. It was the par 5 1st hole – and almost exactly the same as the last birdie I had in 2016. Good drive, and then a 5 wood took me to around 20 metres from the green. A not so great chip forced me to putt around a 15 footer uphill. It wasn’t a terribly difficult putt, sort of straight and break a little to the left, so I sunk that in for birdie.

I suppose the other good news is that with the score of 47-45 for a 92, I played a stroke better than my last time out at Kota Permai.

Game 3: 1 Birdie, 3 Triple Bogeys.

Overall 3 games: 3 Birdies, 5 Triple Bogeys

Gilagolf Analysis 2017

I’ve decided to simplify my analysis of my golf game heading into 2017. Previously I’ve kept track of everything I do – from fairway hits to putts taken to sand saves and all that. At the end, what is the point? The point is to improve right? I’ve been tracking stats for years and still I play like a monkey humping a chicken. So, maybe the point is to clear your head from these numbers and just hit the damn ball. It worked for me for the second half of 2016 when I began to see more birdies on my cards than normal – generally when I started to stop tracking my data and just play golf.

So for 2017, I’ll do it simple: track the good, track the bad. Anything in between, doesn’t matter. The good = Birdie or better. The bad = Triple or worse. I will assume par, bogey and even double will be the normal course of my game.

For the first game in 2017 at Kota Permai, I played 47-46 for a 93. Both good and bad occurred in the first nine (back nine for us). Firstly, the birdie on the par 3 14th. It’s a beautiful hole actually – it plays downhill all the way, the smallish green around 125 – 130 meters but protected by bunkers. On that day, we were playing slightly nearer, around 120 meters, and with downhill and no wind, I hit a gap wedge to around 12 feet from the hole to the left. To be honest, two other guys on my flight hit it nearer. The putt however wasn’t an easy one. Kota Permai was playing very fast that day due to a Taylormade tournament. It was a double break and I hit it just right and it dropped into the cup on the right side – I didn’t even read it correctly so it was dumb luck that I got it in.

Unfortunately, in the next par 3 17th which was a reasonably long one, I hit my seven iron short to the right. It was in rough but it wasn’t bad rough, but slightly buried. I skulled my pitch across the green, the chunked my returning chip. Wasn’t even on the green and hitting my fourth. I rammed my fourth past the hole, and missed the fifth and tapped in for six – my first triple.

Game 1: 1 Birdie, 1 Triple.

For Game 2, I played at Palm Garden, and unlike Kota Permai, their greens were undergoing maintenance so it was absolute horror to putt. I played a lot better and actually had 4 – 5 opportunities to birdie – i.e putts less than 10 feet but always missed. It didn’t help that I was trying out a RM50 putter I bought – an old B61 Ping which looked older than me. It didn’t have good weight (I have since added Lead Tape to it) and I struggled a fair bit on the greens. I played 41-44 for 85, with 8 pars and 1 birdie.

My triple came first on the index 2 Par 5 13th. I know how to play this hole but because I just got a par on the previous hole, I felt pretty grand about my chances. I usually would hit a 5 or 3 wood but decided to go for the driver. Instead of my usual draw, I blasted it straight into the water on the right. I dropped, hit a wood 5 to a greenside bunker. Chunked my fourth out of the bunker to the apron, chunked my fifth chip 20 inches. Hit my six on the green finally but was horrible. Missed my seventh and tapped in my triple. Stupid hole.

I came back at least with 2 pars in my next two holes including a par 5 par on the 15th after hitting into another water. I managed to drop and recovered by hitting a sandwedge into the green on my fourth and tapped in.

The 16th was where I got my birdie. This is a very short par 4 and we usually drive it to around 30 – 40 meters away from the downhill green. I hit a not so great drive – hooked it and it kind of rolled to around 80 meters from the green but at least on fairway. I used my 60 degree lob wedge and hit it to around 2 feet from the hole, similar to the one I hit in the previous hole. From there, a simple tap for birdie #2 for 2017.

Game 2: 1 birdie, 1 Triple.

Overall: 2 games, 2 birdies, 2 Triples.

Time to knock off those stupid mistakes!

Gilagolf is back with Tiger Woods!

So now, 2017! I managed to get my first game into the year at Kota Permai and went on to score an amazing 93. Yes. There is sarcasm. I shot 47-46 and didn’t do any favours by struggling at my putting and chipping. I ended up with 1 birdie and 1 par amidst a whole lot of bogeys, a triple and sprinkled with some doubles. New year, same game, it seems. At least my birdie run continues for now with consecutive games with birdies. I did manage to dig up a very old Cobra LD 5 wood out from my store room to test. This is a 2007 model, mind you and by God it is terrific. I am punching this baby further than my 3 wood. In one hole, I flat out outdrove the whole flight who were using drivers. And these are not lightweight guys as well. It was the 11th hole in Kota Permai where I ended up around 70 metres away from green. We were teeing up at blue which was registered at 311 metres.  This is a 5 wood for goodness sakes. On the Par 5 hole 18, my drive around 250 still left me around 210 – 220 uphill to the green. With the wood 5, it went long. It’s ridiculous club.

It didn’t do me much good though in terms of scoring. I still suck at the game. I landed, I think in the bunker like 8 times or so throughout the game.

As for Tiger Woods – the good news is that HE IS BACK! Yes, I basically have given up watching golf for good for a year plus now. Even the majors I don’t give a crap anymore. The only guy out there worth watching is Tiger, and he’s going to be playing this weekend, so I will try to stay tuned!

Happy hacking in 2017!

Playing in the 80s

gilastatsAug2015

For those figuring out why I am so obsessed with shooting in the 80s, is this:

a) I’ve been playing golf since 2004. That means it’s 11 years and counting stuck in this darn game and still figuring out how to play it properly.

b) I’ve undergone a tremendously stressful amount of golf swings – because I thought I was Tiger Woods – and now I have a swing resembling Iron Man fighting with the Giant Python. Basically, a very bad overswing and a long drive that can easily go awry. I basically have very little idea where my swing will end up as soon as I initiate the downswing.

c) I feel that someone who can routinely drive 200 meters above should be scoring in the high 80s. Which I am not until recently. For the record, this year, I am still playing around 91.71 average. For the past 10 games, I am playing at 90.4. For the past 5 games, 90.4 exactly. On the USGA handicap calculator, I am playing to a 14 handicap. On my last 10 games, I am playing to a 16 which is basically a true reflection of my game.

d) Shooting in the 80s is devilish hard when you have a game like mine. Basically tee to green (if I get a reasonable tee shot), I am ok. I struggle mightily at my chips and putts. Mightily.

So here’s the plan for the next few games:

Plan A: Hit the fairway. This is essential. At 38%, that means per round I am hitting only 5 fairways out of 14. This is crap bad, especially if we don’t drive it that long. I am hitting my irons reasonably well eversince I changed to my MP-54s.

Plan B: Play short. I find I always end up in crap when I over shoot my irons. Since changing my irons, my distance control has become somewhat better. I am playing

10 – 70 meters = 60 degree

70 – 100 meters = Sand Wedge

100 – 120 = Gap Wedge

120 – 130 = PW

130 – 140 = 9 iron

140 – 150 = 8 iron

150 = 7 iron

160 = 6 iron

170 = 5 iron

Anything above 175 = 7 wood or 3 wood.

It’s really interchangeable once I go past the 140 mark. Sometimes I’ll hit an 8 iron, sometimes a 7. Depends on the hole. For instance, in Glenmarie, one of the hole had such extreme elevation that from 155, I hit a 9 iron and still long it.

These are not really my listed distance. I hit it shorter, but the idea is to hit it before the green or just front of the green, since my flight (and my old golf balls) do not promote the professional backspin…instead it just rolls and rolls after hitting the green.

Since opting to play a more conservative “do not attack the flag” style I’ve seen my scores hover within the high 80s or low 90s. I don’t experience those massive blow holes much anymore.

Next stop: Kota Permai, which besides Mines, is probably one of our favourite courses to play on!

Kota Permai Golf and Country Club

Introduction

My goal this Ramadhan was to play in at least one premier golf course that I have not played before. Which leaves KLGCC, Sungai Long, IOI Palm (the new, expensive one) and Kota Permai. After calling, and finding out that promotion values in the first three were still exorbitant and in nowhere near the budget of our normal cheapskate mentality, we grudgingly agreed to fork out RM185 to play Kota Permai on a Ramadhan promotion. The person on the other end of the phone, probably sensing that I was Gilagolf and would crucify the course the first opportunity given, hurriedly added, “Sir, we are hollowtining the green, OK?”

“So why not cheaper?”

“Sir, very cheap already!”

Obviously have not heard of Gilagolf cheapness definition.

But you know, this is probably the last game I’ll be playing this year during Ramadhan, so what the heck, might as well splurge. So away we went!

Travel (4/5)

Travel is honestly a breeze here. If you know how to go Shah Alam and Kota Kemuning, it is as simple as ABC. In fact, just turn into Kota Kemuning turnoff from the Shah Alam highway and at the first roundabout take a right and follow the road all the way. It would take a complete idiot to get lost here.

The great thing about Kota Permai is that it is built literally right next to the commercial areas, meaning after golf, good food is just a doorstep away. Unlike the god forsaken Amverton or the travel crazy Tasik Puteri, Kota Permai accessibility is legendary. It’s like those easy courses like Tropicana or Saujana or KGNS which is built so people can find it easy and will come, unlike crap courses like Bukit Unggul, that forces you to travel so far only to serve you with a piece of turd-ball.

Price (2/5)

I know I am going to sound very unfair here, but I still think Kota Permai is not worth RM185 on a promo price in Ramadhan. I mean, that would mean, I have to literally fork out almost RM300 on a normal day?? For Kota Permai? I mean, what so great here? Is it because it has hosted a few tournaments and boom, that makes it a great course? Don’t get me wrong. I like the course, but it compares itself to Saujana a lot, but the history of Kota Permai is lacking. So what if you have had some PGA pros hack your course? Have you earned the tradition that RSGC, KGNS etc have? OK, you argue, what about KLGCC? Good point. I don’t know because I’ve never played there. But does Kota Permai inspire absolute awe and fascination? Not really. It’s a very, very nice course, but it doesn’t cut to charge RM300++ on green fee. If we had to pay around RM130 or even sub RM150, it might cut it, but at RM185, plus caddy tips, another RM210, it’s borderline difficult to recommend the pricing on a Ramadhan promo.

First thoughts

Teeing off at the first tee, the inviting par 5, you are greeted with a large expanse of fairway. It is a GREAT first hole to tee off with. The condition of the course was sub-par based on its obviously high standards, but my first thought was: Gee, it’s like a Saujana twin. A lot of tee off has elevated status, allowing you to see the course at the tee and giving you a wide view of all the bad stuff that’s going to happen to you. Compared this to the extremely flat Kota Kemuning next door, it is simply not a fair fight. It’s like Manny Pacquiao vs Steven Tyler on the boxing floor. It’s like a pitbull terrier vs a Chihuahua, which is lamed, blind and possibly bleeding on the floor. It’s simply a ridiculous comparison, because Kota Kemuning Golf Course would be like a pile of crap. That is sitting INSIDE another pile of crap, that’s on top of a huge dung hill of crap. You get the idea.

Service (3/5)

The only service we had were the caddies. And the caddies were meh. I could do without. They couldn’t give me any read on the greens, which was annoying, because the greens were like sh*t. They absolutely refused to comment or give me a break, instead giving nonchalant response like, “Break sikit.” Or the world famous, “Aim Straight” at the tee box. I don’t know why caddy schools have to teach the Aim Straight strategy because isn’t that what we are freakingly trying to do all the time? Would you advise a man dying of thirst to drink? Or a dog to bark? Or my stupid crazy neighbor to act like a stupid crazy neighbor? No! Because it’s natural! They offered some reasonable service in terms of ball searching, so it’s not all bad.

Fairways (3/5)

Kota Permai fairways are generally well kept. Broad fairways will greet you mainly, but there are some deceptive bunkers laid in the most diabolically strategic places that eats our balls, especially the fairway ones. The fairways are not as undulating as, say, Rahman, but it gives enough variation to keep things interesting. However, my biggest dislike is that at some fairways, tyre tracks completely spoilt it for me. On a RM130 course, it’s fine. On a premier course? Geez come on. And I haven’t got to the greens.

Greens (2/5)

Again, is this a fair assessment? No. It’s like taking a snapshot of Scarlett Johannsson without her makeup. She still looks hot. Ok, not Scarlett, maybe this one. I believe it’s Khloe Kardashian, who is famous for doing absolutely nothing in her life other than banging basketball players. Oops, I don’t know, I mix all of those Kardashians up actually. So anyway, fine, the greens were hollowtining and we have been warned. But the greens still suck. For RM185. If we take the maintenance away, I do recall it’s an excellent, excellent green, but I guess not today. Nada enjoyment.

Rough ( 3/5)

Ohh. The bunkers. You are going to spend a good while in them. There is the index 2 15th which plays relatively easy, but for one humongous Sarlac bunker smack in the middle, which a 210 – 220 drive would find easily. I was going on one of my hot streaks of pars, narrowly missing a 4 foot birdie putt on the previous hole and looking to take the game away…until the Sarlac got me. From there, it was sort of a downer. My hook came back and that was it. The idea is, though I hate that bunker so much, it was a very nice bunker. The rough itself was challenging, but you could still get out of it, not like the Saujana pit bull grass where it bites and won’t let go your (golf) balls.

Aesthetics (4/5)

Kota Permai is typically similar to Saujana or even Tropicana. It’s not extremely breath taking, but it’s a very nice looking course. Mainly because of its usage of elevation of the tee, smart doglegs and usage of water. I also liked the way they put wooden boards on some of the edge of their bunkers. In fact, my playing partner used one of these boards to rebound his crap shot into the green. There is slight maturity in it, but not so many trees as to actually lose your ball, unless you get an unlucky bounce like I did on my third hole, or you shank your ball so badly. I really like the broad fairways though. These are the ones where you just take out your driver and take a mighty swing at it. One of my favourite holes is hole 10. It has a blind dogleg left,and a two tiered fairway. It drops significantly about halfway through, giving you a great view of the green if you  are at the top tier.

Another nice hole is the 9th, to end the front 9. A mighty swing with your driver to the right helps avoid the Sarlac bunkers, but yet put you in an awkward stance due to it’s undulation. Overall, if you like Saujana, or Trops, Kota Permai will suit your eye very much.

First hole is a beauty. You love it immediately as it opens up a slight dogleg left. Second hole is what I fear the most, water on the left. Thank goodness I avoided that but in turn sent my drive into the trees. I punched my second out and navigated a bogey on a green surrounded with water on right.

My two blown holes has very similar stories. 3rd hole, I drove well, but horribly misaligned and sailed into the trees on left, and wicked bounced through the fence into another house for unplayable. CIS!! My other 7 is the 16th. Nemesis type of hole with water left. As usual I hooked mine into the water promptly.

Other than those, I actually played well but due to some awful decision making, my scores unfortunately didn’t reflect it. Which I guess is why we often want to come back and play golf…the belief that we don’t suck as much as you think.

Fun Factor ( 4/5)

Kota Permai doesn’t play difficult. Or maybe because we were having so much laughter that it loosened my swing considerably. It’s a huge difference who you play with. I play with my brother’s group on Saturday at KGNS: and they are all so freaking serious. It’s like I am attending someone’s wake. Or a funeral of my golf swing. My brother himself is a fun chap, but you just sense the entire joy of playing golf ebbing away into a sludge of despondency. It’s because they are good. They are so darn good, it bores the crap out of me, who in turn, did not play good because there was no chatter, no ribbing someone, no making fun of someone’s shank, no screaming because you miss a two footer for RM2…it’s just…golf and goodness, it’s so hopelessly bland. My normal group however consist of clowns who are often the noisiest flers in the course, constantly surfing of waves of joy, elation and sudden depression in the game. I don’t know, everyone prefers something to his or her own taste, but for me, bet a little, wager a little, but everyone should have fun.

The course itself had its nuances. Like the 5th. After a great drive, I was 130 away. I took out a pitching wedge and completely sailed my shot into the river behind the green. Without course knowledge, there was no way I could have judged correctly. And the caddie were useless in given any sort of help in yardage, frankly.

The par 5 12th had some major fairway problems, which shouldn’t be for a course like this.

I like the par 3 14th. It looks easy, but it’s not, because you have surrounding bunkers and a creek. My partner landed his ball inside the creek and guess what, he played from there! Inside the stream! Obvioulsy I wish he found success but he blasted over the green and then went on to a triple. Mine was a 4 footer for birdie which I retardedly missed.

The ending hole is one of the more enjoyable ones on the course. Again, elevated tee, the fairway is deceptively difficult, with bunkers hugging the left and water on the right. Amazingly I hit the water on my first drive that sliced the whole day…and hit a three wood from the drop to about 80 meters from the green and stuffed it to 4 feet and again missed my stupid par with some ridiculously bad putting!

Conclusion

It’s difficult to say no to Kota Permai. Like Glenmarie, we do think it’s a little overpriced for a middling experience….but it’s Kota Permai. Once the greens start getting better, I have no doubt the experience will increase exponentially. The fairways are already nice, the holes all have different characters, but it’s just the awful expensive pricing. If you have spare change to kill, go ahead. And don’t forget the food around Kota Kemuning. Plenty to eat, even the Bidor Duck Noodle, which is really nice.

The good:

Broad fairways are forgiving to the crooked swing; great location and travel; nice bunkers and well kept; different characters for each hole; it’s not a tough course, so hackers can look to score if you play reasonable.

The bad:

Mainly overpriced; hollowtining greens make it an awful experience; ‘Meh’ caddies and I am not relating to how they look, which is an even lower ‘Meh’; some parts of the fairways were not great, not at this price!

The skinny: 25 of 40 divots (62.5%).

I wish they’d make it an easier decision and just move down their price bracket to around RM150 on promotion. Unfortunately it is the range of Tropicana and Glenmarie and often times play similar to it as well. Is this a good deal? Frankly the hollow tining makes a great deal of difference, so if possible avoid playing under maintenance. Then again, this is when cheapos like us start hacking the course!

Kota Permai Score Card

Kota Permai Information

Address:

No 1, Jalan 31/100A, Kota Kemuning, Section 31

40460 Shah Alam,

Selangor

Contact: +603-51223700

Fax: +603-51223702

Website: http://www.kotapermai.com.my