Gilasale page updated

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

1) Cobra S91 = RM80

2) Taylormade R540 = RM30

3) Taylormade rescue= RM20

4)Taylormade R5 = RM50

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


The Cursed Swing

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

a) Top

b) Duff

c) Whiff

d) Shank

e) Missed One Foot putt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1) Shank is caused by open club face

2) Shank is caused by too much outside in

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

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

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


Her – Scarlett Johansson

Her - Image

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ah, good days.

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

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

What so Great about Golf Anyway?

I was talking to an acquaintance recently and he was selling some stuff, which included his golf bag and clubs. As we were talking, he suddenly blurted out, “What so great about Golf anyway? Sorry, (he apologises to me, knowing I Gilagolf) but I find the game so stupid and boring, where you hit the ball, chase it and hit the ball and chase it”

Knowing that he’s a guy that liked cooking (and spending God knows how many hours cooking some french stuff then posting it on Facebook), I said philosophically, “It’s like cooking. I find it boring as well, because I suck at it.” Implying because he sucked so bad at golf, he immediately dismisses it as a stupid game. It’s like the fox that can’t get the grapes and he mutters that the grapes are sour anyway (I guess there’s where the term sour grapes come from?). I didn’t mean it as an insult, just a very easy way to say, “People don’t understand stuff because they are either crap at it, or they don’t bother to expend effort in it, and therefore dismisses it.”

Of course, he immediately retorts back that without food I won’t be alive, to which I responded, whoever cooks, someone must eat, so I am the guy that eats it. Besides, I don’t like those frenchy food anyway where the plate is like 15x bigger than the actual food. Give me chow kueh teow, dammit! Here’s what I learnt: it’s useless saying to a self proclaimed chef (and we have many these days) that cooking is a waste of time, like how you tell a self proclaimed ‘golfer’, golf is a waste of time. To me, any food that requires more effort to make than to eat is worthless. It’s like the popiah theory. You spend so long making the damn popiah, and you just finish it in one bite. Or the crab/prawn theory. You spend so long peeling the skin of the prawn or hammering the claw of the crab just to get the little meat…sheesh, it’s just not worth it! Cost benefit analysis, people!

Anyway, back to Golf. Why do Golfers like it anyway? I guess, like many sports, it fulfills our 4 happy chemicals:

1) Dopamine

Dopamine  is the human chemical responsible for releasing good feelings of satisfaction, achievement, and completion. The word dope comes from this. Basically, this is what we get when we score a birdie. Or hit a perfect drive. Or flush a six iron to 1 feet from the hole. Or hole a bunker. Sheesh, I can think of a million ways Dopamine gets released on the golf course. In fact, every anti-dopamine act (a duck hook, a top ball, a shot into the bunker), gives an opportunity for the dopamine act to occur. That’s why we end up ‘chasing’ the high. Even when we hit a crap shot, we ALWAYS think we are going to hit that 3-wood 250 meters curve past the trees onto the green. DOPE, MAN!

2) Serotonin

Serotonin is the pride we get at the end. When we collect our $$ from our friends. When they concede you are the better golfer. When they say, jeez, that’s a freaking long drive bro. Or even, when you whip out your driver and someone comments, holy crap, that’s a long shaft and a big head. Sometimes, the words we use on golf courses are just waiting for an innuendo. That’s why some people play better when they bet. Or ok, all of us play better. Because there’s a reward. There’s a trophy. There’s a beat down. There’s bragging rights.

3) Endorphins

Endorphins is the high we feel when we need to mask the pain. It’s the ‘pleasure’ chemical. Golfers get this, that’s why we don’t feel that our wrist is hurt, or our backs are aching, or our legs are gone. We just play (except for those idiotic golfers that complain about their physical impairment all the time to pyscho you)…to be honest, even if someone was feeling pain, when he steps up to the tee and envision all the orgasmic dopamine and serotonin he’s going to get by blasting the ball straight down the fairway – endorphins kick in and bye bye pain.

4) Oxytocin

The final part to the puzzle. Golf is the most relationship based sport ever. For 4 hours, 4 people end up together and they become best friends. Oxytocin is the feeling of camaraderie, friendship, of ‘belong’. Through golf, trust is automatically created. Experiences are shared. The lunch after the game is filled with memories and laughter. We know these guys will be there for us no matter what. That’s why when you play with an a**hole, you never want to play with him AGAIN. Ever. Because he has taken away that Oxytocin from you, because he’s such an a-hole. Golf is about friendship. When someone breaks that trust, we should cast him out like the pile of dogcrap he is. Case in point, was the other day I was at the pro shop fixing my putter grip. While waiting, someone walks in and looks at my putter and asked me about the grip and we started talking and laughing about stuff. He left after a while, my wife asked me, who was that and was that a friend? I said no, don’t know his name, or anything else except he played golf and we knew each other’s golf clubs. She looked at me strangely, as if I was a half witted numbskull. Golfers immediately create a trust bond. It’s like what Victor Hugo says: Great perils bring to light the fraternity of strangers. The peril we all share is the game of golf.

So there you go. Golf provides for all. Cooking? I guess. But I suck at it, so to me, it’s a boring activity. I don’t get my 4 chemicals from it. I rather be eating.

So to non-golfers who thinks golf is boring–you’re right. It is to you, because you don’t play it. Everyone gets their fill of these 4 chemicals somehow. Let’s not knock on our respective methods shall we?