Gilalogy 101: The Species of Golfers Part I


Gilalogy is back, and in this series, we will be studying the various classes of golfers found in the golf ecosystem of Malaysia. This can possibly apply worldwide, but there has never been more varied species of golfers than in this little peninsular at the southern tip of Asia, and across the pond, the great lands of Sarawak and Sabah. Here is an in-depth but by no means complete encyclopedia of golfer species. There is a constant evolution or mutation of these classes into something else, but we will attempt to be as comprehensive as possible, and urge our fine readers to prompt us of any sightings of rare and undisclosed specimens of the practitioners of this game called…GOLF.

1. The Player

This species is quite common in the upper echelon of the golf hierarchy. Unfortunately, for bottom feeders like hackers and writers, this is a rare sighting. We know of their existence due to watching them in tournaments, or seeing their names on the leaderboards of our monthly medals, or simply seeing them pay for drinks when they get their 20th hole in one of the month, but The Player is usually characterized by their intense focus, devotion and absolute discipline to the game, all of which we at Gilagolf, lack.

Characteristic: Serious, intense and DBG (darn blardy good). Handicap level from scratch to low singles. They shoot sub-80 and at times even play under par. They uphold the integrity of the game and play by the rules. They rarely laugh or talk cock. They are usually aloof, loners and prefer to spend their vacation on the putting green as opposed to the Bahamas with their family.

What to do if you have one in your flight: Good luck. The Player is long. And laser like with his irons. And doesn’t miss a putt within 20 feet. The Player occasionally doesn’t mind to mix with low-lifers like hackers, but only asks one thing: Keep you mouth shut and keep up. NEVER go into the woods and look for your stupid ball, spend 10 minutes over  a putt and chit chat. The Player hates people talking during a round, because he knows he’s too good to be bumming around a clown who shoots 120 and tries to steal free tips. Above all, never bet with The Player, even if he gives you 20 strokes. I don’t care if you are a low teen player, The Player will find a way to mess with your head and eat you like a cockle in a Penang Char Kueh Teow.

What to do if you are a Player: If you are considered a Player, have mercy on the lesser mortals. If mercy is not one of your virtues, do avoid at all cost playing with anyone who looks, talks or smells like a Hacker. Because it is an excruciating experience and you will wish you have an electric eel draped over the hacker’s face and  torment him by pulling out his nose hair one by one. Stick with your class and avoid mingling with the scums of golf and Gilagolfers.

2. The Doctor

This species is more common than the Player, in fact, most of the Doctor species were once Player species, until greed and money mutated them and forced them to the dark side. The Doctor is almost as good as The Player, and has mostly the same characteristic, except for the lack of integrity. The Doctor is the strongest species in the dark side, and often challenges the Player class in terms of skills, scores and glory.

Characteristic: The Doctor is a methodical practitioner of the game. They have also the DBG skills but they often shoot rounds of 80 plus or even higher, but therein lies their deception. They can actually control their scores. This is unheard of, especially to Gilagolfers, but it’s true. These doctors can decide if they want a bogey, or par or even a birdie and they study each terrain of each golf course to chart their way to a score they want, to optimize their handicap.  As such their handicaps are rarely single, but hover in the 13-14 range at the border of Class A and Class B handicap. They are often found in tournaments, rarely seen in normal Saturday foursomes…even if they are, they are masters of disguises and can be taken for a normal golfer at anytime they wish. They are also known as the Sith Lords of Golf.

What to do if you have one in your flight: Doctors are usually present in tournaments, especially tiered tournaments with different handicap with prize money, they will enter unfairly and win the handicap class. It’s like pitting an SLK with a Datsun 120Y. However, because they are doctors, they also need to be present in normal games so that they can submit their scorecards and play to the optimized handicap. They are not so blatant to purposely shoot 90 or 100, but they doctor it just right so that they always qualify for the handicap class that they will win. You will know a Doctor when you see him shoot anomalous scores, like 46 going out and 34 coming in. Or string in 4 straight birdies in the home stretch, or give away 4 bogeys just to keep his score at 85 or 86. As mentioned, they are masters of disguises, so avoid betting if you suspect him as a Doctor. He will always beat you by a stroke or two and encourage you to bet again….YOU WILL NEVER BEAT A DOCTOR, so don’t try it.

What to do if you are a Doctor: Please, come back to the light. Golf is a game of integrity, if you are doctoring your scores, how do you sleep every night, knowing that you have taken a crap load of money from unsuspecting idiots on the course?? You are good enough to be a Player, why not shoot for it, instead of living a life of deception? What would your mother say?

3. The Buaya

Often times, a Doctor outsmarts himself and finds himself unable to control his scores anymore. They have tumbled down from glory into one of the most vilified classes of all golfing world: The Buaya. In the west, this species is known as the Hustler. They are often called the most hardy of all species. Although actions have been taken to eliminate them, the Buaya species are always present, like cockroaches and have survived the middle ages, world wars and the economic crisis.

Characteristics: The Buaya’s skills are not as refined as the Doctor, and they lack the ability to craft their scores to what they want, but they are still a very dangerous species, and usually ply their trade in high betting foursomes. They don’t have DBG skills, but they are good enough to shoot in the 80s and also disguises their game very well. They usually declare that they suck, like “Aiya, my arm is painful,” or “I Haven’t played in a long time”, “I’m struggling with my game” etc. But yet, they will still bet. And also, they don’t mind losing, because thats how they reel their victims in. Lose small, small, then suddenly they will say, “Wah, ok, we double up this one.” And they win. But just small enough so that people do not suspect a thing, and whip out the Buaya Eliminator, i.e stuffing the 7-iron into their throat and strip him naked in the the 18th green for the whole terrace to view.

What to do if you have one in your flight: It’s hard to spot a Buaya. Aside from those giveway excuses, they will also purposely lose to win your trust. But in the long run, they will start winning and winning and winning. You can tell a Buaya from the way he bets. He likes to double up, play fringes a lot, and can suddenly shoot a great shot at a key moment and always say, “Aiya, lucky lar.” You will almost always miss a Buaya the first few times, but keep an eye out for him, he could be your close Saturday flight buddy. Also, try to find more information about him from the previous flight. Background checks help alot. If you confirm that he is a buaya, by all means, exercise the Buaya Eliminator process.

What to do if you are a Buaya: If you are a Buaya, please do the world a favor and eliminate yourself with the Buaya Eliminator process. You still have a very slim hope to come back to the light, but you’re likely too far gone, and darkness have dragged you into the pits of golfing hell. A note: Some people can actually become a Buaya by accident. For instance, after a long lay off, he can rightly say, he hasn’t played in a long time and some concession needs to be given, and he suddenly shoots well. This phenomenon is known as Crap Cleansing, where someone doesn’t play for so long, all the crap habits have been cleansed from his system. But these pseudo-Buayas are harmless, as they would never push for a big bet, and almost always, they will revert to their crappy standards in a short while. Please, DO NOT punish the pseudo-Buayas and let them enjoy their good game while it lasts.

Next session: We take a look at more species of golfers: The Teacher, The Cock-Talker, The Showboater, The Joker, The Gambler, The Hacker, The Psycho, The Statistician, The Official and a few more.

Stay Tuned!

A Rich Man's Game

I’m a golf evangelist.

As in, I’m always telling people it’s a great game.

Like most religion (and golf is NOT, I am just making an analogy), there’s always resistance and in golf, the biggest challenge is to get people to start the game. Once they are hooked, they won’t stop. The all time favourite resistant response is:

“It’s a rich man game la….”

It’s a known fact that golf retailers markup about 30%-40%, so for a single club, they are probably making a profit of about 300 bucks or so. But it’s not really the retailer’s fault because they need to make a profit and the manufacturers are already killing them with the increasing wholesale prices. Think about it. 99% of the clubs are made in China, in some sweat houses that pays workers like USD1 per day. You’d think the cost of making clubs is going lower and lower and lower.

You are right. So why the heck is the club’s prices soaring? The ridiculous CGB Max from Taylormade is at 2200RM. Who are they trying to sucker?! (If you bought it, much apologies, nothing personal).

Manufacturers are raising the prices not because there’s like a bunch of technology involved or the clubs are getting more complicated. They are raising prices to cover for the increase in their advertising and sponsorship for the pros. How much does Nike have to cough up for Tiger? How much Callaway does for Ernie and Phil? They lower costs, jack up prices to retailers and customers suffer with pricings like RM1500 per driver.

Sure, you say, nowadays, drivers are full of technology. No, seriously, do you think a couple of screws at the back of the club is gonna make much difference to the average hacker? It might, but we’re still gonna suck regardless. Trust me. If you bought a new driver for about RM2200 and you immediately shoot 10 strokes lower, let me know. More likely, we’ll hover around the same score, unless we change our swings. And how different can the new burner be, compared to the old one, except the aesthetics? And is there a whole lot of difference between the Hi Bore XLS and the Hi Bore XL? In fact, I hit best with the Hi Bore original, compared to the other more ‘high tech’ drivers.

No, golf is a rich man’s game only if you want it to be.

Most of us have a lot more other things to do than to just play golf, unfortunately. We have loans to pay, and a life to run, which cost money, unless we decide to live in a cave and eat guano. So 99% of people will look at the price first before starting off and go, “Wah, so expensive one ah….”

There are 2 ways out of this.

1) Wait for retail sale and grab the best pricing possible. This is a good idea actually and later, I’ll show you where there are pretty good deals for new clubs (probably older models but still, new). The problem with this is that when you want to get it, it’s no longer there, because of the kiasu-ness of malaysians. Or even after the sale, it’s still outside of your reach.

2) Second hand clubs. This is the idea I support, because when it comes to golf, I am a cheapskate. Technology is improving at such a rapid pace that it’s now common for manufacturers to release 2-3 models in a season, rendering last season’s clubs obsolete. Of course, you need to be extra careful buying second hand clubs, and you need to make sure they aren’t hacked to death, or knock offs. I’ll write another post on this later.

In conclusion, golf is actually a very affordable game. You should get a decent set of clubs you can play with for some time, that means forget about those all in one sets for RM500, RM600. They suck. I don’t care if they are from Mizuno, Maruman or whatever. If you end up loving the game, you’ll buy another set almost immediately. If you end up hating the game, you can’t even sell the set to a hobo.

A fictional set that costs RM1400:

Ping Eye 2 irons 3i – SW – RM500

Adams Insight Driver – RM390

Cobra 3 Wood – RM180

TaylorMade Rescue Mid – RM200

Cobra IM-02 Putter – RM130

You can even go cheaper if you want, by taking a lousy putter, or removing the 3 wood, but with a set like this, you can probably use this for many years to come. So think before you pop up RM1500 for the new driver that actually costs only a fraction of the price you paid.

Good Deals Around Town
Here are some good deals around town:

1) [MST] TM Burner (OLD)RM888

2) [MST] Nike Sumo (Old) RM590 (R) – RM690 (S)

3) [RGT] Srixon w-506RM800

4) [Isetan KLCC] Cobra F Speed RM590

5) [Isetan KLCC] Nike Sumo Square (Old) RM750

These are the best ones I’ve found so far. MST also offers the new Callaway Hyper X for RM1050.

Also, Isetan KLCC is selling used Never Compromise Voodoo Daddy for about RM360 (after 20%). I am a HUGE Never Compromise fan, and I have exactly the same putter selling for RM250. And mine is better conditioned. Mine doesn’t have a headcover, but it still doesn’t justify for the RM100 difference. Hence, despite their ‘sale’, retailers still need to go lower!!

Isetan KLCC


There used to be better deals for Hi Bore XL at RM700, TM R7 Draw at RM700 and Callaway X460 at RM700 (giving you an idea of the markup retailers get), but I can no longer get those. I doubt anyone can get those deals anymore. I’ll post up more once I find some good deals around town.

Happy Hacking!