Golf in Tough Times


Face it.

We’re possibly facing the toughest times these days in most of our relatively short lives. (When I say relatively, I am comparing us to giant tortoises that can live up to 155 years…another useless information to digest). I mean seriously, how many of you reading this actually lived in the depression era in the 1920s? Or, ok, closer to home, in Malaysia, when was the last time you remembered that the economy faced such insumountable odds to climb back to a respectable level?

So, instead of doing what God has created us specifically for, that is to indulge int outdoor activities like golf and lounging around in the sun and hacking away golf courses till our dying day; we are all stuck in little cubicles, customer premises, presentations and trainings, blankly staring into space, either thinking about our next tee off or Mickey Mouse playing a Ukelele.

I just read in the newspapers that Newcastle United, the football club is starting to lay off its employees as it has descended into Championship League (which is like a crap crap league, despite it’s sexy name, very much like the champions tour in golf).

Face it. To all the blank-staring-mouse-playing-ukulele-minded golfers out there, we’re all this close to joining those Newcastle fellows for permanent holidays. No inflow of cash means a very very limited budget for golf, so here’s a breakdown of the 3 main things we can probably do¬† as golfers to utilise our considerable talents:

1. Pro Golfer

There’s as much chance of this happening than the Sphinx actually growing a tail and wagging it while fetching a stick thrown by Paul McCartney. That’s how random it will be, and how probable I think it will be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure half of you guys have a shot at this, but seriously, really?

Probability: Sphinx grows a tail and fetches a Paul McCartney thrown stick.

Income: $10 million a year (that’s in USD, and you needing to beat Tiger at least 10 times to win 10 events)

2. Caddy

It’s a tough life, being a caddy. You lug around a bag, and try to stay ahead of your golfer by giving good hints, good reads, good tips and still end up frustrated when the golfer still suck. It used to be pretty lucrative, especially if you indulge in a bit of caddy betting on your golfers, and also demand at gunpoint in the carpark for him to tip you RM30 or above…you need a gun for that, so it’s not really recommended…just look menacing, it’s enough as most golfers talk tough but are relatively genteel in heart.

But these days, the caddy landscape had altered considerably. Gone are the golden era where caddys jaunt up and down the golf course, chatting away with the golfer and wiping and cleaning the clubs and having a teh tarik afterwards. With the advent of golf buggies, caddies are just luxury items now. Also, with the advent of Indonesian females, male caddies are especially difficult to find a proper job, unless you put on the skirt and look like one of those ambiguous people in Patpong, Bangkok. You need to be fairly pretty to pull that off, seriously, because it’d be weird to see a grown man with a moustache sitting on another grown man’s lap driving a buggy. It’s disturbing as well.

Probability: Very difficult living, especially for men who don’t look like those ambiguous people in Patpong.

Income: $100 a day at most. It really depends on how you perform with your golfer. And I don’t mean perform in anything related to golf, you know.

2. Golf Teacher

That’s more like it. All of us can actually be golf teachers, since we are probably better than some of our colleagues and friends. The key to being a golf teacher is to advertise. Walk around the office, talking especially to managers and people lounging around the pantry, since they are likely the ones with nothing better to do. While talking, don’t sit, but stand around and now and then, make a swing with an imaginary golf club. Do it slowly, as if you are subconsciously doing a perfect swing – and also because, we all swing with an imaginary golf club about 1,000,000X better than we do in real life. You will look even more impressively doing it while talking about a business deal, or expressing your frustration at something. The contrast between the gravity of your subject and the zen-like nature you take a swing will prompt the next critical question: “Do you golf?” And now you got them.

Answer: “Hmm? Oh! Golf? Just a bit. When I have time. All beginners only lah…”

These are good answers because you don’t throw anyone off, especially shy beginners who know they suck and certainly wish to pick up the game, but they suck at it, so they rather not.

If the conversation halts, continue on: “It’s a really useful game for business (lie), and also, health, since there’s a lot of walking (lie), and also I enjoy the outdoors a lot, so it’s just for fresh air (lie). The group I play with are also beginners (lie), don’t worry, no betting one (lie), we all play for fun only (lie again).”

Basically, you just need to hook them in, all the while swinging and putting imaginary clubs. Then go for the kill: “Hey why not we head to the range together tomorrow (or today, since we’re sitting around eating cupcakes anyway)?”

You might need to lend them extra clubs (an old 7 iron you use to beat up your mattress would suffice), and just say you’ll join them, but let them provide the golf balls. When they agree to it, make sure you order a lot of balls…say it’s for them and that they need it.

The key to being a good teacher is to be a fairly good golfer yourself. Nobody wants to be taught by a clown who duck hooks every shot. So, on the range, give a few tips, but never admit your mistakes. When you:

Duckhook, say: “That’s a useful shot to get out of trouble. This goes around the trees.”

Slice, say: “Tiger uses that often to carve his way around Augusta.. This is to also go around trees the other side”

Shank, say: “Wow, that’s a shot I’ve been trying to pull for ages. It’s actually a shot to get out of the woods and still ensure a lot of roll on the fairway. It’s hard. Try it (and when they succeed, which they invariably will, say:) Wow…you are a natural!!”

Whiff the ball, say: “It’s always useful to take a practice swing before the actual shot. Kind of feel it first, you know”

Knock the ball a few inches in front, say: “Oops. That was a practice swing. The force must have been so great, the wind from my club knocked off the ball. Darn!”

Hit a super shot and your student claps, shake your head as if unhappy. “That might look good, about 300 meters or so (even though it dropped at 150, most beginners are distance challenged), but there’s way too much topspin and it’s not on an optimal transitional trajectory on the upswing path. Not enough torque, shaft bend, and the kick is too low.” Impress your student with your drive for perfection and absolute nonesensical scientifc terms for golf.

The key here is to really get free balls and when ready, get the student to pay for your round on the course. You save up a lot of money free loading on unsuspecting students. It’s a start. Soon, there will be more and more references and when you have enough students, you not just play golf for free, you eat for free, your transport is also free. Plus, some of them will actually pay, especially when you advertise yourself as the company in house instructor, before you get fired.

By far, being a golf teacher is the most lucrative business to be in, after you get laid off doing your day job.

Probability: Anyone who can advertise and swing reasonably well can be a golf coach.

Income: $1000 a month savings, a potential of up to $10,000 a month if you can lock in corporate customers.

So why are you still here reading this crap? Head to the pantry with your imaginary club and start swinging!!

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