Tackling Glenmarie Valley

So Tiger screwed up at the Ryder cup. Big deal. He has already come back from the dead and won the penultimate tournament against 30 of the best players in the world. He doesn’t have anything to prove now, but to shut down for the season and wait for the next. Will be a fun season next year!

This week, we went over to Glenmarie, and wanted to play the Valley. We paid everything and was on the way there, but the caddy kept telling us to go to Gardens. We said, heck no, we want valley. So on the way there, he stopped a marshal and the marshal said, “Oh! MANY FLIGHTS at the Valley!! ALL JAM UP!! Go GARDENS LAH!”

I found it very strange that they were so pushy on this, and based on our experience of the marshals and caddies in Glemarie (they are utter rubbish), I told my group, well, no harm to go and check. So we did.

Guess what?

Empty.

Glenmarie – if you want to push traffic over to Garden for whatever nonsensical reason, just be upfront and not resort to lying about it. The stupid marshal sheepishly drove back to us to ask for our payment chit and then drove off. So, not a good start.

Glenmarie after thunderstorm the previous night wasn’t great. Valley especially had very bad fairways and the greens weren’t much to shout at. I guess in some ways, they knew Valley wasn’t up to par in terms of maintenance and wanted to minimise foot traffic there. We don’t know, we don’t care.

Hole 1: It is a very difficult hole to start, especially in the morning. This requires a drive over the water, with hazard on the right. I hit my drive left, but it came down to rest at the rough next to the buggy track. From there, I was around 150-160 away and I took my 6-iron (mistake) and just drove a low ball to the greenside bunker. Or so I thought. It nestled into the dreaded rough behind the bunker, leaving me with the terrible flop shot over bunker to begin with. On cue, I nicely flopped my ball into the bunker. Out in 4, 2 putt for a poor double bogey to start. (+2).

  1. Chip (-1)

Hole 2: The valley opens up to easier holes after the opening. This easy par 5 has long been a favourite of mine but again, I pulled my shot left and found myself under the trees. I lofted my 9-iron out but it was at the edge of these annoying bushes, where I couldn’t play a full shot. So I choked down my 9-iron from around 120m and punched it to the front. Opting to putt (good choice), I then sank in a 4 – 5 footer for a par. Good! (+2)

Hole 3: A great hole. For all the shitty maintenance on the valley, the setup is really nice, and that’s why we like it. From the tee you have a good view of the hole, and a wide fairway guarded by bunkers. I whacked my tee shot finally, a good one – to right behind the bunker and had around 100m. I lofted my sand wedge on the green, routine two putt for par. Very Good! (+2)

Hole 4: A Par 3, around 145m. The caddy told me 140m because of the red pin, but it was uphill. So I was between a 9-iron or 8-iron. I chose poorly. My 9-iron never had a chance to reach the green, leaving me with a chip (which I clunked), and then a sheepish putt to put on and bogeyed. What a waste of Escalation. (+3)

2. Chip (-2)

Hole 5: I dread this one and the other one (17), because they have two similar tee offs: trees on the right next to tee box and no-man’s land on the left in the trees. Because I hook/draw so much, I had to set up right at the edge of the tee box, and aim at the right trees to draw it back. This retarded set up served me no favours as I boomeranged the ball right to left into the jungle. From there, a punch out was lucky as it hit the cart path. Then I had a downhill shot into a green which you CANNOT AFFORD to go long. So, from almost 140m, I played a pitching wedge to the front of the green. Again, my chip was horrendous, as I chunked it on, but too far away. Two putted for a bogey. (+4)

3. Chip (-3)

Hole 6: Frustrated over the constant missed chances, I hammered my drive on this index 3 Par 4 and only had, I think an easy nine iron from the left rough. I did set up to aim a little right to compensate the rough catching and turning; but Glenmarie rough (I learnt later) works differently. It doesn’t catch. And my ball happily flew to the rough on the right of the green. OK, this bloody chip better work. Yes, this time, there was contact and it wasn’t a CHUNK but there was too much juice and it skittered way beyond the hole. Two putt back for bogey. (+5)

4. Chip (-4)

Hole 7: This is a very nice hole, where it bends right and falls into the water. From the tee, I just hit a 5-iron right down the fairway and had around 140m to a slightly uphill green. Because anything short funnels down the water, most players like yours truly go longer, to compensate for any duffed shot. Instead of a 9-iron which I think I can hit, I used an 8-iron and hit a super crisp shot that flew right to the back of the bloody green. Again, chipping. And again, a bad chip ended up around 15 feet from the hole. So stupid. Two putt, BOGEY. (+6)

5. Chip (-5)

Hole 8: This is the monster par 3 (Most par 3s in Glenmarie are difficult, on Valley, except for the first one.) This one needs around 180 to hit the green. Instead of opting my trusty 5 iron I decided to use my stupid untrustworthy hybrid (the only time I am using it today). It hooked into the trees on the left. Luckily it was in a clearing, but unluckily it was buried deep. I could only chop it out to the other side of the green and from there a poor chip came up short, two putted for double. I think the chip here can’t be blamed so much, it was more of the tee-off. (+8)

6. Hybrid(-1)

Hole 9: What an ending hole to the 9. This is why we like Valley. This one is a bomber’s favourite, where the elevated tee box can see the entire hill on this hole. And bombed it I did. This was even a better drive than the one I pulled off at 6. This was so long, it left me contemplating a 52 or sandwedge into an uphill green with a back pin. I opted a 52 Gap, and landed me around 15 feet from the hole. I missed my birdie but tapped in for par. (+8)

At this point, a +8 isn’t so bad. But it’s very frustrating to know that I could have easily been 2- 3 shots better if not for my stupid chip. Hole 4 and 5 were gimme chips. While the rest, OK, if I could just be better on the back 9.

Hole 10: Hammered the drive down the fairway again, leaving me with what I assumed was an easy pitching wedge from 130m to the front pin. It landed slightly short, but very puttable. For some unknown retarded reason, I over-putted and missed the come back par putt of around 5 feet. WHY?! STUPID, UNNECESSARY BOGEY LAH! (+9)

7. Putt (-1)

Hole 11: For once my drive failed me and swung me into the trees on the left. This hole is dangerous because of the water behind the green. I punched out my 8-iron, then hit my third shot to somewhere on the right of the green and two putted for a listless bogey. My opponent in the other sixer has stuffed his 2nd shot to 1 feet of the hole. (+10)

8. Drive (-1)

Hole 12: This is such a tough par 3. It is listed as 205m and all of us have our 5-wood or 3-wood out. One guy had a driver. I hit a great, non-hooked, straight up bad ass 5-wood that perched nicely on the green. From there, it was still a tough putt across a few mountains in the green, but managed to navigate it for a two putt par. Yay! (+10)

Hole 13: Another tough tough par 4 for a hooker, due to all the trouble on the left. Hole 5, Hole 13 and Hole 17 – these are the hated trio of Glenmarie. But unlike Hole 5, this time I managed to hit a straight shot but hung up on the right. Still fine. Little on the rough. My second shot was supposedly an easy 8-iron to a downhill green. Instead, I semi-shanked, whiffed it and for once, I saw my ball slice to the right. Still ok, except … yup, chipping. By now, my chipping stance was resembling a gorilla attempting to thread a needle through a quilt. And once more, nothing. Duffed the damn ball. From the fringe, slammed my fourth shot chip over the hole and meandered a two putt for a double bogey. Again, it’s so unnecessary. This time, I blame my irons, my chip. (+12)

9. Irons (-1)

Chip (-6)

Hole 14: Scampering away from that hole we are in one of the most scenic holes on the course, the island par 5. Uphill tee off with a 5-wood took me to the fairway, an easy 8-iron left me around 120m and from there an easy pitching wedge to the green, around 20 feet away for safety, and a routine two putt for par. If ever I had a perfect hole on how to play golf, this would be it. (+12)

Hole 15: The water par 3 which everyone hates. I have to admit, mostly I chicken out. I aimed my 7-iron way right away from the hole and it landed chipping distance from the green. I did not duff my chip but I overpowered it and it went to the other side of the hole. From there, two putted for bogey (+13). The guy who stuffed his birdie with an iron to within 2 feet earlier? He bombed his birdie putt from 40 feet away this time. Luckily he is now partnering me!

Hole 16: This is a nice looking hole but all the slicers hate the large body of water on the right. For me, I just bombed the drive to the left, and from the fairway, pushed my pitching wedge slightly to the right. Thankfully it held on to the edge of the green and from there, it was just a two putt par. (+13)

Hole 17: Ah, the last of the terrible three. This time, I managed to avoid the trees on the right and hit it so long that it was around 140m to the green. Mind you this is a 380m par 4. Because of the severe downhill and the punishment of water for over hit approach, I opted for a chicken pitching wedge which got me to the green but very far away, around 40 feet or so. I don’t know why, but I rammed my first putt way past and still had 8 feet to putt back up the hill to save par. Nope. Three putted for bogey. (+14)

Putt (-2)

Hole 18: The final par 5 hole is a fitting end, although not as grand as the front 9 end hole. I bludgeoned this one right down the fairway. From there, i carved out my 5 wood but it landed into the final fairway bunker, around 50 meters from the green. This meant with two shots, I covered around 430m of real estate. Not to say anything but I am really loving my driver right now. And hating my chips. However, my bunker out was poor and from there, I hit a half hearted, chip/flop (I don’t know anymore how to describe these) to the center of the green and two putted (almost sank the par putt) for an ending bogey. (+15).

So if you look at it, technically, my putts weren’t that bad. Of course, it could have saved me two strokes on 17th and 10th, but otherwise it behaved. Not great but not bad. Driver was on almost the whole game, except for hole 1 and 2. Irons were reasonably great, except for the few times it got tricked by the rough — scoring 87 on Valley where it could have easily been 3- 4 strokes better is a very good day for me.

What about the Chips? Chipping is like the employee in the whole company that does shit and drags everyone down. Driver, gone to work, yeah. Putter, you ok, meeting numbers? Ok, no problem, keep it up. Irons, you guys working ok—no issue, ok? Chipping?

Chipping?

Chipping, WTF are you doing in the bloody pantry eating donuts while the others are out busting their ass for the company?!?!

Tournament at Rahman Putra

We had a small tournament with around 18 flights, 71 people at Rahman Putra. Not my most beloved course, even if I have been a member there for more than 12 years.

Hole 1: Worse possible start. Not sure if it was just the jitters on the first tee or the morning stiffness, but I sent my first tee way right (slice, which is extremely unusual). Taking a drop, I duffed my 9 iron into the pond again. 5th shot to around 100 meters. 6th shot was just on the fringe, 7th shot on and putted in for a quadruple to start. (+4)

Hole 2: Didn’t get better with this horribly long par 3. Hooked left with my hybrid, which was the first time I was using this club for a long time. I should have stuck to a 5-iron. Flopped to just behind the bunker, and my chip wasn’t very good, as it just passed the bunker to the edge. 4th short putt on, but was so short. 5th missed, and putted for a triple. (+7). I am 2 holes in the tournament and I was dead last.

Hole 3: The Par 5 gave some respite, and the thing about Rahman and my game is that when I do get a lot of streaky play here. Once I lit up this course with 9 pars in a row. With a good drive and a strangely good hybrid (straight at least), my 3rd shot with a sandwedge left me only around 10 feet for a birdie. I missed it right, settled for par. Great. (+7)

Hole 4: A good drive left me around 150m to the hole, which a 9-iron took me on, not as near but reasonably close for a routine 2 putt par. (+7)

Hole 5: Par 3, and I hit my 8-iron way short on this 150m hole. However, managed to put in a very good chip (!) to around 5 feet and sank in the par. 3 in a row, escalation! (+7)

Hole 6: This hole traditionally is a struggle due to trouble left and right. There is a small window to hit a good drive to and as it is, I got into that window with a good one. I had only a pitching wedge into a downhill green, and put it on. My first putt wasn’t great and left me with around 5 – 6 fee to navigate for my 4th par in a row. Which I did. On a streaky roll now. (+7)

Hole 7: This is not an easy one, and my drive pulled left into the rough didn’t do any favours. I had around 150 – 155m in the rough to the green, and with a 6 iron, I whacked an arrow out that just managed to clear the greenside bunker, bounced luckily twice into the fringe that took the speed out and trickled dead onto the green to around 5 feet of a front flag. Awesome and a great look at birdie. I don’t know why I played the break from 5 feet, but I did, and I miss a sitter. Which sucked the wind out of me. Still, a par. (+7). So first two holes=+7. Next five holes = +0.

Hole 8: This is the longest drive hole (and the most difficult on this 9). I hit to about 220m, which was a bad hit, since I popped the ball. But later, I found out all the big hitters cranked up and all missed the fairway, leaving only me at 220m distance and I won the novelty prize – a brandnew stand bag. This must be the shortest winner ever! Anyway, from around 170, I pulled my hybrid again to the left and around a few feet to a difficult green. I was still in a great position, but my putt from off the green was about 5 – 6 inches short of entering the green. The slope is so severe that once you enter the green, it just rolls all the way down. So I was 5-6 inches away from a perfect putt. As it was, my fourth shot putt couldn’t brake and rolled 15 feet past the hole. Two putted for double bogey. (+9)

Hole 9: I hit a perfect shot with my 5-wood. Then as I was hitting my second shot,  I don’t know why I didn’t opt for my 6 iron, but maybe because I was feeling it with my 5-wood. I completely whiffed the damn ball and it splashed into the water fronting me. 4th shot was pulled to the rough, fifth shot out of the rough to the side of the green. Six shot was a skulled chip (struggled with my chips yet again) to the other side of the green and two putted for a triple 8th on a relatively easy par 5. Dang! (+12)

So there you have it, 5 great holes sandwiched between a quadruple, a double and two triple bogeys. This was typical streaky play, but at least I’ve played myself back up the board a bit and have a bit of chance going into the back nine.

Hole 10: And that bit of chance bit the dust. I pulled my drive into the hazard on the left. Dropped for 3, hit an absolute cracker with my 5-wood to about 60 meters of the green. I was supposed to hit a great pitch to get at least 4 on, but no, I chunked my 60 degree to around 20m of the green. A poor chip resulted in a 5 on and too far to do much, so two putted for double. On another easy, scorable par 5. (+14)

Hole 11: My 5 wood was crushing today for some reason. Good tee, but my hybrid yet again pulled like a bloody boomerang. 4 times used, 3 times boomeranged left. With about 10 m from the green, I chunked my chip again short. Horrible day chipping, after all the good vibes over the past few games. I putted on and managed to at least sink my bogey. My first bogey of the day. (+15)

Hole 12: This is a good par 3 with trouble on left. I hit a good six iron but it didn’t draw enough and was just caught in the right rough near the green. Routine chip would have set up a good chance for par, but instead I yipped it across the green to the other side rough. Stupid chips! I managed to at least hit a good return chip with my 60 degree to around 8 feet, and save bogey. (+16)

Hole 13: This is a scorable hole. But I ballooned my drive and it hit the edge of the bunker on the right and trickled back in. So unlucky – but this was my first time I think hitting this bunker because I usually take it out of play with driver. Bunker out to about 60m from the hole, three on with a lob wedge and didn’t hit a particularly good par putt, but was good for the 6 footer comeback bogey. (+17)

Hole 14: This dual green hole today had upper green for the pin. I hit a drive but couldn’t clear the grass bunker in the middle. The rough was too thick in there, and I just barely chopped out, with 50m left. My ball was literally next to a decomposing dead rat on the fairway (or squirrel, I don’t know which), that had flies and maggots all over it. I asked for relief, which my partners kindly gave (though I am not sure if in actual tournament it is allowed). I think it should have been a penalty drop, but because our tournament was somewhat friendly (we give putts within putter length, we allow OB drops, and one guy even had a Bushnell Range Finder out every hole), my partners were fine with me just moving the ball slightly back so I wouldn’t be standing in a heap of dead maggots. It didn’t really help anyway, since I skulled my lob wedge to the back of the green. Seeing how shitty my chipping was, I opted to putt off the green. It wasn’t a good putt at all and I two putted for a double. What a carnage hole. (+19)

Hole 15: The easiest par 3. An easy 9-iron got me within a good range for a routine two putt par. (+19)

Hole 16: The last 3 holes are horrendously difficult, especially if your legs are wilting. This one, I sliced my drive like the first hole and left me with a difficult 160-170m to to the green. I pulled my 5 iron slightly and landed to the edge of the greenside bunker. A bad out with my lob wedge. I was still 3 on, but I navigated the downhill putt poorly, and ended up too much to do for my 10 foot comeback. I think, my first 3 putt of the day. Double (+21)

Hole 17: A very good drive left me with no choice but to cross the water around 170m. My hybrid for once was hit very well and straight. Problem was I was aiming way right thinking it would boomerang again. So, for my third shot, I had to stand against the pine tree and just hit a prayer. And God answered, because it was probably the best I could have hit it. It landed softly and trickled to around 10 feet of the hole. I missed my par, settled for bogey. (+22)

Hole 18: This needed a good drive to have a prayer to cross the water with my 2nd. We were playing off nearly the maximum back tees, so even with a good drive, I was looking at maybe 170m to cross. My 5 wood was hit the best I could have hit it. I was around 100m away from a uphill green with my 3rd, and my gap wedge found the green. A not so great first putt still left me around 4 feet to put in a very good par on the final hole. Which I did. (+22)

With a gross score of 94, it was one better than my previous game, but because I blew up 3 holes, on the handicap of the day of 18, I scored a miserly 33 points on Stableford, miles away from the top dog who scored 40 points. In fact, from 71 players, I was placed a mediocre 27. Those 5 pars in a row make for good reading though. Honestly the 5-wood was jamming today (except for that hole 9 nonsense), and my putter (which I have changed to a mallet now) was very good. My chipping was nightmarish and my drives were probably mediocre as well. Ah well, at least I won the stand bag for the longest drive!

Challenging Tropicana and an Interesting Hazard Drop

We haven’t played in Tropicana for some time, and from memory, it seems a reasonably easy course for us. After coming out of a sub-90 round in Palm and great driving, I was reasonable optimistic about this round.

Just a note, the fairways in Tropicana weren’t in their usual good conditions. Rain and maybe an iffy maintenance schedule has made it a bit soggy and damp – not terrible, but still, no the pristine fairways we are used to seeing on this course. The greens as well is being sanded, so you expect bumpy, unpredictable putts. But this is generally Ramadan Conditions – courses are taking this low traffic weeks to fix up their courses.

Hole 1: We started out in East Two (cross over to West Three). It’s a reasonable easy par 4, which I started badly pushing my drive right. Under trees, I only managed to chop a poor shot out. Then another poor chop to around 50m, and then a 60 degree in. Two putt for a double bogey to start. Ominous. (+2)

Hole 2: Beautiful par 4 with a downhill drive. Pushed again to the right! This time, I hit a reasonably good 6 iron to keep it under the trees but zipped over the green into the rough, slope behind. Chip! And a very poor one. It didn’t even reach the green. A putt to get on and 2 putts again to start double-double. (+4)

Hole 3: This time, striped a good one down the right side over the fairway bunker. With a pitching wedge, I managed to hit a stupid shot and missed the top tier of the green, leaving me a horribly long putt. Which I three putted. Again. Bogey. (+5)

Hole 4: Already fuming after the previous hole, this was the supposedly the easiest hole, a Par 3 that we ALWAYS hit short for some twillight zone reason. It states 125 from our tee, but everytime my pitching wedge is short. And yes, it was short again, leaving me a tricky turning putt from the fringe. First putt wasn’t great but my par putt brushed the hole, another missed par for bogey. Two 3 putts in a row. DAMNIT! (+6)

Hole 5: Par 5, played WAY back championship tees. I hit a pulled drive, but no harm. Second shot was a crap, stupid duffed 6-iron, leaving me a huge 220m away for my third. My 5 wood brought me to around 30m, and my 60 degree went over the flag, with a tricky 30 footer downhill putt. Which I probably will miss. Except, this time, I didn’t. It snaked down and horse-shoed into the hole for a saved PAR! (+6)

Hole 6: Feeling good, I promptly pushed my drive right again. Thankfully, found it but was way far away from the green on an index hole. A five wood brought me around 30m, a nonchalant chip left me too much to do and bogeyed. (+7)

Hole 7:This was BLASTED. The drive was long and found me around 140m from the green. I would usually smoke a 9 iron in but the flag was set right the front next to the pond, and I chickened out and used an 8-iron. Promptly flew over the flag to the top tier, leaving me an absolute horror putt to come down. 3 Putt bogey? OK, deserved that. I should have challenged the damn pin. (+8)

Hole 8: Long par 3. An iffy par 5 left me needing a chip onto the green. It’s an easy chip from the rough, but I duffed it again, and had to putt my 3rd on. Two putted again for a horrible double bogey. (+10) So I have duffed two of my chips, leaving me a double on each of these holes. Looks like bad habits coming back.

Hole 9: Par 5, which usually should be easy, but I pushed my drive way right to the other fairway (hole 1). A good recovery with a five wood actually found me on the rough at around 100m. I should hit the green with my eyes closed. Instead I missed it by duffing my sand wedge, skipped the bunker and the ball rested at an impossible angel, where I had to stand INSIDE the bunker and hit the ball at was at nearly my stomach height. It did find the green finally and two putted for another bogey. (+11)

A +11 isn’t great for what is supposed to be an easier course. But it was definitely due to just bad overall decisions and iffy chipping. 3 putts are also killing me.

Hole 10: Cross over, new 9, hopefully new game. Par 4, hit it well, almost into the fairway bunker on the right. The next shot was a straight 9 iron without any draw, which left me a chip away from the green. So I chipped and it zipped past the hole to around 10 feet. 2 putt bogey. (+12)

Hole 11: Finally, a hole that is played WELL. I cut this dogleg so much with a good drive that I was only around 100m away to a downhill green. I should have used my 60-degree but opted for my sand wedge instead. It shot over to around 20 feet from the hole. Two putted for a good par. Only my second one! (+12)

Hole 12: Par 3, sucker pin on the left next to the water. I drew a good six iron in, landed to the front and a very long putt. I lagged to around 6 feet or so and managed to finally sink it for par. (+12)

Hole 13: Just when you think everything is going well, I blocked my 6 iron next hole, hit the cart path and bounched happily to OB. Reloaded, and a 9-iron to the green for 4 on. Two putted for double. (+14)

Hole 14: This is an index 1 par 4 which I just wasted. I hit a good drive, but left with around 180 to the green, I hit a great 7-wood that was literally about 10 inches away from entering into the green. Instead from the front to the back pin, I three putted for an absolutely stupid bogey. (+15)

Hole 15: This is a bit contentious. I hooked my ball a bit and thought it was going into the water. It hit a palm tree and dropped into the flower bed lining the edge of the water. Now, flower beds are free drops in Tropicana (according to caddy, I guess). But unfortunately about 10 feet away from where I was was a red stake. And because there was a flowerbed, we couldn’t see markings of hazard, and the other red stake was far away. I wasn’t in between the red stakes, I thought. But if you draw an imaginary STRAIGHT line, my ball was probably resting on the imaginary line. However, the water edge wasn’t straight. So If you draw an imaginary line FOLLOWING the water edge, my ball wasn’t in the hazard. Or at least, depending on how thick this imaginary line is. So how? Hell I don’t know. We don’t have a rules official. The flower bed is a free drop. But was I in the hazard, based on the hazard line rule? Was there a line in the first place? None because of the flower bed. Usually we should have a line drawn, but in this case, there was none because I guess Tropicana loves its flowerbeds.

I would generally think this is fine and free drop, but because we were playing for money $$, I think it’s a little too liberal to just not penalise myself, so I had to interpret it as such: if in doubt, be conservative and penalise. Besides, my partners were all on the green and I didn’t want to call them back on a ruling. So I did penalise myself. I dropped for three, bashed my 8 iron near the green. Hit an ok chip over bunker to 4-on and two putted for double bogey. (+17)

Hole 16: Reachable par 5 and I hit a solid drive, followed with a good 5 wood, if a little pulled left. Now, I was around 30m away from the green, an easy 60 degree should do it. Instead I blasted it over to the top tier and with a fast roll down to the pin, I conjured an amazingly stupid 3 putt for bogey.  (+18)

Hole 17: Its so frustrating. You know you aren’t playing that badly but the scores are not reflecting it. So on a downhill par 3, I finally hit a great pitching in, almost slam dunked into the hole an rolled to around 10 feet away. It was now an extreme right to left slider, downhill. Not an easy one, but one that I somehow miraculously managed to navigate, fist pump – boom, a birdie. (+17)

Hole 18: All the adrenaline from the last hole gave me a lousy drive. Blocked on the left, my 5 wood almost landed into the water. Third shot 6-iron from the water edge went into the greenside bunker. Out was poor and from the front of the green, three-putted my final green for a double bogey. (+19)

Overall, the strange thing is that it wasn’t as if I played badly. Fine, the first two holes put me in a hole already, but again, I had 6 three putts. SIX! And I had a few bad chips that didn’t do me any favors. The putts is something I need to improve, 100%. If I can half my three putts to 2 or 3 per round, i gain 3 – 4 strokes, that means moving me to a 12 – 13 handicapper as opposed to the 15 – 16 I am playing now. The chips – people may look and say I am chipping like a tapir, but really, I’m happy with it. You must understand where I was a few weeks ago. I was completely UNABLE to chip. UNABLE. So now, I need to chip more during the game, get into the groove of chipping during play and I will be fine. Not worried about it. Worried about my putting.

As for the hole 15 rule, the closest I can get to is from here: http://www.barryrhodes.com/2013/05/water-hazard-margins.html.

Part of the Definition of Lateral Water Hazard states: When the margin of a lateral water hazard is defined by stakes, the stakes are inside the lateral water hazard, and the margin of the hazard is defined by the nearest outside points of the stakes at ground level.

This is a very interesting situation. Because where my ball landed, it was clearly UNCLEAR whether my ball was in the hazard or not. It was NOT PLAYABLE, correct, but because it was in a flower bed which is an immovable obstruction (according to caddy, and I did not check the scorecard). So imagine if the flower bed wasn’t there, where would the line be? The distance between the red stakes were far because of this flowerbed between them, so there was no clear line markings for hazard, neither was it easy to draw an imaginary line. So unfortunately, because it was really a 50-50 matter, I had to declare it on the conservative interpretation and declared  penalty drop. Incidentally, if I had bogeyed that hole instead of double bogey, my partnership would have won the hole, and won the game. Instead we lost. So that one stroke cost me my lunch…but I think it was the right thing to do, and like life, golf should be done in the most ethical way possible.

Mines Part Two

Its not coincidental that there is a sudden upsurge in article writing in golf lately. The interest is renewed. Thanks to Mr Tiger Woods, because he is back. Suddenly, the whole game becomes interesting again, and I am staying up to watch, and I am thinking I can once more play like him.

This week was Mines Part 2. Mines as you know has always been kind…with par 71, and with good conditions, we are absolutely spoilt beyond words in terms of golfing. We will never set foot again in Seri Selangor after going through these courses.

So, this time, we started in the back 9 and for some reason, Mines today was completely jammed up. Apparently there were some private competition. Also, behind us, apparently was a flight made up of money lenders, which obviously doesn’t bode too well for us.

Hole 10: This is the one I screwed up last round where I pulled into the left water, and then 3 on and one putted for par. This time, I hit the a semi good drive, which actually was a pull but it went nicely to the left, so taking the giant tree in the middle of the fairway out of play. My second shot was supposedly a simple sand wedge. I chunked it. My third chip skittered across the green and I two putted for bogey. So the moral of the story is: bad drives doesn’t mean bad score and good drives doesn’t mean good score. (+1)

Hole 11: The Par 3 where I lost my ball right the last round. Guess what. Deja vu. I shanked my six and once more went into the right jungle! What the H*ll! I chunked my pitch (again), four on and two putted for a triple bogey. Well done. (+4) At this point, we were forced to call on hole because the Ah Longs behind us wanted to play. So instead of facing the barrel of a gun, we took the smart way out and allowed them to play through. The problem was, our entire round then was a stop start wait sequence due to their not-so-fast play.

Hole 12: The par 5 where I hit the tree on the right the last round. Guess what. Deja Vu. I hit exactly the same shot as last round, hit exactly the same tree, but this time, instead of going through, dropped behind the ladies tee and a free jug spent, and became the butt of laughter. What the H*ll x 2!!! This time, I hit my 5-wood to almost exactly the same spot behind the bunker as previous time I played, though further back. I had about 190 to the uphill green, front pin. I opt for my seldom-used 7 wood and just hit the greatest 7 wood ever hit by me. It started right and drew in, flirted with the trees and then landed softly on the fringe, and rolled into the green, pin high around 8 feet away from the hole. Unfortunately I did not convert the birdie but it was once more, lousy drive – par combo on this hole. Who’s laughing now? (+4)

Hole 13: Pulled my drive left and luckily was around 10 feet away from water but awkward lie. A 7 iron got me to around the dreaded 10 meters distance from green. I chunked my chip again!! ARGH. Pounded my fourth on and amazingly one putted from around 10 feet for bogey. Putter is feelin’ it. (+5)

Hole 14: Pulled my drive to the left again (like last round) but instead of punching, I opted to flop a 60 over the trees back to the fairway around 100m. A gap wedge took me around 8 feet of the pin and once more, the putter went to work for a very unlikely par. (+5)

Hole 15:  Pulled my drive to the left again but this time, my luck ran out. This is the easy hole and I lost my ball. Taking an “illegal” OB drop for my fourth shot around the trees, I flopped it on to around 10 feet and once more, one putted for bogey. Amazing putting, horrendous driving. Why don’t ever these two suckers work together?? (+6)

Hole 16: Par 3. Tiger par 3 because of the giant tiger statue looking at us, as in the actual animal, not Tiger Woods. I shorted my nine iron in and hit a very very mediocre putt from the fringe to the back pin and — finally — missed out an easy par putt. Settle for bogey. (+7)

Hole 17: Tun’s hole. Favourite hole. I hit a straight drive (for once!!) but I was aiming right, thinking it would pull, so it landed in the rough between bunkers. Around 130m away from green, I opted for a pitching wedge instead of a 9-iron which I should have used. I landed 5 meters short of green and from there, an off the green putt left me too much work for my par and I bogeyed my favourite hole. Damn! (+8)

Hole 18: The Top Glove hole. Because there is the Top Glove building that I always aim for and hope it draws back to the fairway. It was a great straight hit but again, because I compensated for a draw/hook, it plopped into an impossible lie in the rough which I could just punch out. From there, I hit a poor approach short of the green. Putted into the green and two putted for a double. (+10)

At this point, the theme was clear: My drives were pulling and I was compensating. But the last two hole I compensated, I hit straight drives. What the fishcakes is happening?!

Hole 1: So to the front 9. Semi pulled my drive but not so bad since I compensated right. I was left with around 110 to the uphill green but I flew my gap wedge to the right fringe. I finally hit a good lag putt to tap in for a par. (+10)

Hole 2: The L-shape Par 5. Signature, at least to me. A good drive, but second shot I short sighted myself. I played an 8-iron thinking it would get me to 100 meters from the green. Instead it was poorly short and I was around the 150 meter marker instead. I pulled my 9-iron and it was going wet on the left, when suddenly, it ricochet off the face of a rock at the side of the lake and went up and landed softly on the fringe around 10 feet away from the pin!! If that wasn’t luck I don’t know what is. I two putted for the most unlikely par in my decorated history of unlikely and undeserved pars. (+10)

Hole 3: Index hole, long par 4. I pulled my tee shot in the huge left fairway bunker but managed to hit a good 7-wood from there to around 20 meters. This is the kryptonite distance and yes, once more I chunked my pitch to a few feet, and managed to regain some pride with a chip to around 15 feet. Putted in for a bogey. Putter is fine. Drives are not so and chips are completely retarded. (+11)

Hole 4: Finally, the course gives and takes away. Remembering the Hole 2 nonsense, Mines decide to swallow up my ball on the left after another PULLED drive (my seventh overall). I couldn’t find the ball, took an illegal OB drop, chunked my fourth shot, five on and two putted for triple bogey. CRAP. What more, an easy hole relatively which I birdied in my last round! (+14)

Hole 5: Hit a reasonable eight iron to the fringe but almost in the exact copy as the previous round, I putted off the green too quickly and skittered to around 6 feet past which I failed to sink, settled for a bogey. It’s like I am on a replay here. (+15)

Hole 6: The driving par 4. For once I hit a dead straight drive and landed to around 20 meters from the front of the green. I hit a dreadful pitch but at least it crept into the front of the green but far away from the back pin. Lag putted and hit the resulting 4 footer for a par. (+15)

Hole 7: The par 3 over water. This time, playing at the black tee, I flighted my 5-iron, pulled it somewhat but luckily hit the slope on the left and bounced onto the fringe to around 15 feet of the hole. Luck! Two putted for par. (+15)

Hole 8: The long par 5. I’ve  learnt a lot of lesson here from the last round. I pulled my drive just like the last round to the left rough. Hm. OK. I used my six iron just like the last round and hit the exact same pull that skittered over the ground. But this time I got lucky, instead of hanging up on the rough, it rolled to around 120 m from the green on the fairway. At this point, we each told each other: “Don’t go right” because there is a valley in there and a steep hill to the green. I hit EXACTLY the same chunk as I hit last round here. Exactly. And it landed at the same spot. Last round I managed to hit a super 60 degree to 5 feet and putted for par. So, I had every reason to be optimistic here since this is like Groundhog Day. CHUNK. It went into the hillside to the right. Where we told each other not to go. The best thing? ALL OF US ended up there. We are like a bunch to stupid lemmings playing golf. I managed to chip well (I think because I didn’t care anymore) and it landed inches from the hole and I settled for a bogey. (+16)

Hole 9: PULLED MY DRIVE AGAIN. I was like Goddammit, just bin this damn driver. In the rough under the tree, no hope for regulation on, so I hit a low 5-iron and then a 60 degree wedge to the fringe. Two putted for bogey to end the day. (+17).

It was a game that was strange. I felt my putting was once more amazing, but I really gave up more than half a dozen strokes on my lousy drives and chunky chips. Its a mental thing, I think, my chipping. Ah well. Now, I guess back to watching Tiger for the Bay Hill tournament. Go Tiger!

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!

85 at Palm Garden

The up and down year continues. After posting a 93 in my first game in Kota Permai with 1 par, 1 birdie showing, I switched drivers and putters and promptly shot an 85 at Palm Garden. It had nothing to do with the drivers and putters though because I was still awful with my drives and my new (or rather very old) putter wasn’t do me any favours either with a 3 putt on the 1st, 3 putt on the 10th and 3 putt on the 18th.

However, my irons were just dialed in as I went on a birdie hunt on a few holes – and ended up with 8 pars and 1 Birdie for a somewhat respectable score. if I two putted those, I would have saved 3 strokes. If I played the somewhat easy par 5 smartly instead of smashing my driver into the water for a triple, I could have parred it maybe and shot a 79. I never broke 80 before in my life. A 79 for me would be like the pros shooting 59.

Speaking of pros, how is Tiger doing? I did manage to catch a bit of his highlights at the Farmer’s at Torrey Pines. He was -1 after 11! And he had to go screw it all up by shooting +5 over the last 7 holes. I wish I can say that he is back. I don’t think he is.

However, here is some mind boggling stats for you.

Tiger Woods is ranked 663.

Our great Malaysian Players – Danny Chia, Nicholas Fung and Gavin Green are ranked 276, 321 and 346 respectively.

Yet, when he teed up, Tiger Woods, ranked 662 ranks lower than Jason Day, brought in crowds more than 4 deep. It’s like a football game between Germany vs Bhutan and everyone is watching Bhutan. It’s like watching Andy Murray play against Alberto Brizzi and everyone is going like: Alberto! I Love you!

WTF is Alberto Brizzi? I don’t know. He is the 663rd ranked player in the ATP tour.

So yeah – say what you like about Tiger – he is the main reason why I played golf, play golf and will continue to play golf. If he’s back, great. If he’s not, it’s still going to be Tiger being watched more than any golfer on this planet.

Golf is a funny game

palmgardenAug

It is. A funny game, that is.

When you play like crap nuts, you sometimes still win like an immortal. When you play like an immortal, you end up losing like crap nuts.

Palm Garden had always been a good hunting ground previously. Now, the new palm garden is a different beast. Yes, the length is no big deal, but the befuddlement on this New course would be the darn greens. Most if not all greens are tabletop, meaning if you miss these greens you will end up rolling down to New Mexico and having to loft up your shot again. It’s annoying.

Another matter would be the bunkers and the green itself – playing very quick, and completely bamboozling me in this round.

Think about it – 7/14 fairways hit for me is very good stats. I average 39% meaning I hit roughly 5 fairways a round only. But I hit 10 greens in regulation this round. 10! My average is 23%, meaning I only hit around 4 greens in regulation this round. I 2.5x my average this round alone, and at one point, hit six greens in regulation IN A ROW.

Out of 10 greens in regulation, I three putted SIX. I two putted two and I one putted two. That’s six bogeys, two pars and two birdies for my 10 GIR. What the heck is going on??!

Putting had always been a middling aspect of my game, but at one time, when I 3 putted my fifth green in a row, I simply tossed away my putter about 20 feet in the air and told the caddy that she could have my putter.

The very next green, I hit a tricky 10 footer for birdie.

The other birdie occurred on the 8th, when my drive left me only around 50 meters, and I hit a half sand wedge to 1 foot of the hole.

You would think this meant I won some money as well.

No, I ended up losing all 3 frames of our sixers and forking out for lunch, that cost me RM100.

Sixers is played like this:

a) A partners B, C partners D for the first six holes. The next six holes, everyone swaps, and the last six holes everyone swaps again so that everyone will partner each other once in the 3 ‘frames’.

b) We play best ball and if that is square, then second ball counts.

c) No strokes given. In todays game, we had a 13 handicapper, a 16 (me), and 18 and a 24. Even when I partnered with the 13 handicapper, he played so badly, the 18 and 24 handicaper won without strokes given. WHAT?!

d) We played fringes – birdie, sandy par/birdie, escalation within the frame, twin pars/birdies for partners etc. One fringe=1 ball.

e) We played variations of 3-1-1, (game-dormie-buy) meaning each sixer we are playing 3 balls for game, 1 for dormie, and 1 for the buy.

f) Depending on our mood, we could play RM 10 or RM5 for a ball. So it could be a RM15-5-5 or RM30-10-10 for each sixers. Included the fringes, we could really lose quite a lot, for instance I lost 10 balls today despite playing one of the best round tee to green of my life (and one of the worst putting rounds of my life).

If I putted well, I would have won all frames, saved RM100, scored around 84 or 86, and gone home a happy man. Golf is a funny game indeed.

Thistle Port Dickson Golf Club

Introduction

Long time ago, there was once a course called Guoman Golf Course in Port Dickson. The name ‘Guoman’ immediately would evoke some confused looks amongst us, because it sounded like ‘Go-men’, in short, in Malaysian speak, ‘Government’, in short, evoking immediate ridicule. After the sarcastic laughter has died down, and the invariable diatribe on how our government might be spending their time playing golf and sucking badly at it, we would wonder how this golf course actually is.

Well, we finally had a chance. To give credit, Guoman has nothing to do with our beloved government at all. But after experiencing probably only 2 – 3 people staying there the whole year thanks to its association, management decided to change its name to ‘Thistle’ and from there, experienced a boom of about 655,675,342% increase in hotel booking.

Travel (3/5)

Travel is actually quite easy. However, Google Map points to the wrong hotel and wrong area, so be careful. Basically for those of you who knows Port Dickson, it’s basically one long stretch of road. We used to refer it to what ‘mile’ what ‘mile’, as if we understood or could gauge which mile were we at. Nowadays with the advent of free GPS in waze and Google Maps, it has rendered all this ‘mile’ speak obsolete. From Seremban, hit the Port Dickson Highway, and once at the end of the highway at the roundabout, take left, and just follow the road until you see the word Thistle on the right. It’s easy, but Thistle should really correct their position on Google map properly.

Price (3/5)

Thistle Golf is a nine hole course, that set me back RM40. Now mind you this is for walking, so if you need the buggy, that’s an additional RM40, so you’re looking at RM60 or RM80 depending if you are playing alone or not. RM40 is not bad for a nine hole course. Take a trolley though. The course itself is walkable. There is a bit of hill here and there, but nothing a fit golfer who is around 150% overweight and probably on the high side of cholesterol can’t handle. Besides walking should be good for you.

First thoughts

The first thoughts is actually quite positive, strangely. I suppose it comes with the territory, that I have such low expectations of Port Dickson golf courses. I think this stems from my experience with Royal Palm Springs Port Dickson, where you just want to bleep out every letter in that course name except for ‘Dick’. Royal Palm Springs, from my last experience is the biggest piece of dung ever existed in the directory of Malaysian Golf courses, and could rival the horrendous TUDM course of Kuantan as the worst Golf Course in Malaysia.

So when I step foot in Thistle and saw the Bermuda patch of grass (please note, we actually don’t quite know what the fishcakes is Bermuda grass. Anything that is NOT cowgrass, is automatically categorised as Bermuda grass.) Anyways, the fairway is NOT cowgrass. Or if it is, it certainly had me fooled. Anyway, the first 3 wood I hit landed smack on the fairway and it sat up invitingly for me to hit. It’s quite a good conditioned golf course. So, like its bigger brother, the Port Dickson golf course, it made a first good impression.

Service (3/5)

There’s seriously not much to service. It’s a nine hole golf course. It has no fuss at all. I went to the counter, said I wanted to play. The lady behind languidly asked if I needed the buggy, I said no, she said RM40, I gave her and she said OK, and went back to playing her Candy Crush. From there, I had no more experience with another human being until I left the course after an hour and a half. The ENTIRE course was devoid of life. At one point I was quite afraid I would be robbed especially in the 6th hole, which is frankly extremely deserted.

Fairways (2/5)

The fairway on the first hole was in a good condition. However, as the course progressed on, it got increasingly worse. Not to say anything, but I suppose it’s the fact that the course has so little traffic and so little maintenance. Some parts were dug up by our eternal nemesis, the wild boar. Some parts simply didn’t had the capability to sustain the grass, and in some areas, the fairway was allowed to grow long. Now, Thistle is a very narrow course, with forbidding trees surrounding it. However, compared to the absolute horror show of Frasers Hill course, it is quite good. I’d say, it’s like a cousin of Bukit Unggul, except in better condition.

Greens (3/5)

The greens were actually quite playable. Very slow, which is expected, since it wasn’t pressed properly, but at least it wasn’t in a horrible condition. It’s reasonable, although there were patches here and there. The only issue is that the greens were boring. As in, most of it were flat. As in, it’s like putting at home in the putting mat. Not much break or variation, except for the 8th hole Par 3, where a coconut tree decided to grow in the middle of the putting green. I mean it’s more novelty than anything else since it didnt really affect play.

Rough (2/5)

Bunkers were not in good condition. The rough was rough. I mean, if you don’t hit the fairway, that’s it, good luck in finding your ball. While again, it wasn’t in such a carwreck like Frasers, the course puts a lot of pressure on you finding the fairway. In many instances, I took out a 3 wood instead, just to get the ball out of the rough.

Aesthetics (2/5)

Thistle is not a pretty course. It’s a good enough course for you to have a reasonable round of golf when you have nothing much to do in Port Dickson, but in terms of aesthetics, it’s mostly wooded. It’s a pity, because again, it doesn’t take advantage of the fact that you are next to the ocean. Or straits, or whatever. Only in one hole, 7th, we can catch a brief glimpse of the sea at the tee box. And that’s it. After that, it’s back to fairways bordered with trees and forests.

 

Fun Factor (2/5)

As mentioned, Thistle is a reasonable practice for golf accuracy. For those who like to grip and rip, like myself, this was a test of golf constipation. It’s like we have a big pile of crap that has to come out but when you look at the fairway, it’s like, trouble left, trouble right. For a course next to the sea, it uses precious little water as hazard, only the first hole, 5th and the 8th has any semblance of water hazard. But the treelines are forbidding. Not so much that you can’t hit there, but when you do, whether you want to risk it to go and look for a ball or risk having your human balls snapped by a cobra.

Furthermore, a thunderstorm was chasing me, so I literally had to run between shots to finish the game. Now, this is obviously not the golf course fault, but obviously it affected my game a little. Besides that, the course was open, so you can play as much as you want, but I would warn against single women who want to play there. Many of the holes are extremely isolated from civilisation, and I would not recommend any lady going to hit balls there alone without having someone else.

Was it fun? Yes and no. I played a reasonably good game despite half jogging. I didn’t quite like the two par 3s side by side, or the fact that the course had 3 Par 3s for a 35. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good Par 3, but too many here. First hole has to be navigated with a 3 wood and avoid the right water. The second hole is a long Par 5 which requires some navigation around the bend. The third is a short par 4 once you cut the slight dog leg, where by 3 wood only left me 50 meters to the hole.

The most challenging is the index 1 6th. This is a par 5, and one of those with trouble on the left (OB). I took out my driver and was too lazy to change to 3 wood, so I smacked mine way right. Luckily it was long enough to borrow the green of the next hole 7th and I found my ball, after which I proceeded to double bogey it. Hole 7 again is a short par 4 where my Wood 3 left me again with a 50 meter shot, which I promptly skulled.

Finally, the par 3 8th is a picturesque one, over water and with a coconut tree growing in the middle of the green.

The ending hole, finally I could whip out my driver, a simple dogleg left hole, which was not exceptional except for the fact that I had to sprint all the way in order to beat the rain.

Conclusion

Honestly, for a nine hole, Thistle is actually very functional. For a more satisfying round, I would recommend 18 holes at the PD golf course (NOT the dang Royal Palm Springs). But if you only have around 2 hours to spare, and want to have a walk, Thistle is a very good alternative. I’d recommend it, but not for ladies playing alone.

The good: Reasonably priced; easy access; quick service that gets you on the course; reasonably conditioned fairways and greens

The bad: Boring aesthetics; rough is dangerous in my opinion as in God-Knows-what-the-heck-is-in-there dangerous; flat greens makes putting a yawnful affair; doesn’t take advantage of seaside location;a little too isolated in some holes for a single golfer.

The skinny: 20 of 40 divots (50%).

Not bad for a golf course previously associated with Goumen. I did not really expect too much, and in reality, it didn’t really surpass my expectation much. It did not offer a lot actually, but what it did offer was functional golf, challenging for the accuracy, and something for you to escape a 2 hour window in.

Thistle Port Dickson Golf Club Scorecard

Thistle Golf Information

Address: KM16 Jalan Pantai, Teluk Kemang, 71050 Si Rusa, Port Dickson 71050

Contact: +606 648 2828

Fax: +606 662 7999

Websit: http://www.thistle.com/hotels/malaysia/port_dickson/thistle_port_dickson/hotel_facilities/9_hole_golf_course.html

 

Gilanalysis 19: Monterez

Handicap:20

Gross: 96

Net: 76

Verdict: So much for easier courses…..

What Happened

So I took my own advice and played on an apparently easier course than KGPA, the famously narrow Monterez. I thought, how bad can it be, if I can keep on the fairway with my 3 wood, I should be able to blitz this course easy.

By the end of the game, my score has inflated to a desponding 96. Desponding not because of the way I got that 96, but that the entire game was just an accumulation of severe brain farts that would otherwise be a very good golf round. Here is the breakdown: Teeing up back nine.

10: Good drive, but brain fart #1, hit my hybrid too far left so as not to flirt with OB on the right. Forgot there was water there. Splash. Still could 4 on, brain fart #2, dug my 9 iron too deep and steep. 5 on, two putted.

11: great drive, with just 70m. Dug my 60 degree too deep and steep. BF#3.

12: Regulation on, three putted. BF#4.

14: Regulation on from bunker, again 3 putted. BF#5.

17: Good drive, but again slapped my 9 iron behind the bunker. BF#6, easy chip and I duffed it into the bunker. Triple freaking bogey off an easy shot. AUGH!

1: First time my 3-wood sliced…and it has to go into the water. Not a brain fart but what are the chances, really.

2: The worst BF#7. Best drive, with just 70 meters. AGAIN. 60 degree too steep, too deep just like BF#3. Stupid.

8: BF#8. Good drive, but completely misjudged distance and flew my 6 iron over. Miracle chip, but 3 putted from 10 feet.

9: BF#9. First time my 3-wood hooked, and it has to be the WORST possible hole, OB left. From there, my second shot landed perfectly behind a tree, as in inches from the tree trunk. No way.

Why I Sucked

9 Brain Farts. My strategy initially worked, use 3 wood exclusively, keep it on the fairway but for sakes, my irons, especially the money irons were simply TOO STEEP, TOO DEEP…kept chunking the darn ball over and over and over. So driving wasn’t so bad, except for hole 1 and 9, but man, short irons were awful.

Not So Sucked

I am beginning to like my 3 wood a lot. Most times the ball flew straight and far, about 10m or so only behind the driver. More importantly it kept to the fairway. Putter was off on today, but was using an experimental No compromise putter instead of my Taylormade or Odyssey.

What to Work On

Easy. Short irons. Starting from 60 degree, SW, PW and 9 iron. Off the ground, not the stupid mat on the range. Because approach is simply too steep. 96 on Monterez is absolutely bonkers.