Archive for July, 2008

Well, +3 was the winning score at the 2008 British Open at Royal Birkdale. So every golfer in the world’s oldest golf major played over par. But take your hat off to Padraig Harrington – he became only the fifth player in the past 50 years to repeat as Open champion, adding his name alongside legends such as Tiger Woods, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino and Arnold Palmer. Now we are left wondering what Tiger would have scored if he had played. Of course we will never know and indeed, it would be an exercise in futility to talk about something that did not happen. Interesting to see who was second – Ian Poulter, the guy who recently said he is as good as Tiger. It this was true, he would have won, wouldn’t he? And 53-year old Greg Norman was only 9 holes away from becoming the oldest ever major champion. This is the guy who once said, when asked to comment on the newly-turned-pro Tiger Woods, that Tiger would fade away, like many before him. It was Norman who faded away on the back nine at Birkdale. A former world number one, Norman constantly fell apart at majors with his most egregious choke job coming in the 1996 Masters, when he entered the final day with a six-stroke lead over Nick Faldo, and lost. It was no different at Birkdale although the circumstances were less dramatic.

Talking about uselessness, our Danny Chia did not even make the cut, and was +23 after two days (76, 87). Remember the hoo-ha the local media (golf magazines included) made when he qualified for this Open? And there must be something wrong when the qualifying tournament is played in almost windless conditions at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore when the Open is played on a course where the wind was so strong, it moved Greg Norman’s ball on the putting surface. Not once, but twice. Surely the Asian Tour can play this qualifier on a course with some breeze?

As usual, it was the greatest thing for Malaysian golf when Danny won the qualifier at Sentosa. The newspapers went wild and the golf magazines devoted pages to our hero, painting him as the man who would make Malaysian golf proud. After all, he wouldn’t mess up two opportunities to play at the British Open, would he? Even Danny himself was confident, as he declared after his qualifying win, “I feel proud to be the only Malaysian at the Open. It always feels good to be in the same event with the world’s best golfers and it’ll be my goal to play well at Royal Birkdale.”

Looks like he needs to be more serious in setting goals. For the sake of the local media and the golf magazines.

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Besides running my management training business, I also used to write for a golf magazine – a passion thing. I stopped writing recently to spend more time on my business. I have however been asked by the magazine’s Publisher to write a series of articles on the theme “Destination Malaysia” for upcoming issues of the magazine. I haven’t decided to do it.

The Article/s

1. Articles on a particular Malaysian state, with its focus on the state’s golf courses (obviously!). By and large, I choose the state, and the golf courses I want to cover.

2. For each state, I will play, photograph and write about 3-4 golf courses. These course reviews will be incorporated into a larger article that will feature the state’s places of interest (including the good food found there).

3. For every golf course that I review, I am given a flight for four golfers (18 holes), plus the cost of buggies, FOC. This has always been the case when I used to actively write golf course reviews for the magazine.

Why I am still undecided

1. Traveling to these places takes time, and will require an overnight stay in most cases. I may not be able to spare the time.

2. I do not like driving to these places alone.

3. Its difficult to play 18 holes alone. There are a lot of takers when the golf course is in the Klang Valley, not quite so when its far away.

What I am looking for

1. Individuals who can hit a decent golf shot and won’t embarrass themselves (and me) on the golf course. BTW, I am a lousy golfer so you do not need to be a single handicapper. For these people, its free golf at different golf courses (plus good food too). You may also get your picture published in the articles I write (I will say this is so-and-so, my good friend, standing beside the best Assam Laksa stall in Sungei Petani…)

2. Obviously, you must have the time to play on weekdays. So retirees or individuals with time on their hands would be the perfect target market.

3. Individuals who love driving out of town. All petrol expenses will be reimbursed (not wear and tear, sorry).


1. Other than the free golf and accommodation (if needed), nothing much else I am afraid. I am not paid thousands of ringgits for this – its a passion thing, remember?

2. If its a small meal, I do not mind treating. For more expensive meals, we go dutch. But I suspect most meals will be free for you too.

3. You will have the opportunity to take photos on the golf course as we will be authorized to do that. I only carry a P & S on the golf course when taking photos of the layout’s holes – difficult to carry anything heavy when you are trying to play golf, take photos and visualizing what to write later – all at the same time. But I have become quite an expert at this though.

Next Step

1. I have chosen the nearest states from Kuala Lumpur to start with – Negeri Sembilan and Malacca. I have also decided on the golf courses that I will review:

SIGC (Seremban International Golf Course)
Sri Menanti
Gemas Golf Resort

(all three are pretty decent courses and very playable)

A Formosa

2. If I start, the first review will be in July (this month) and the deadline to finish all 5 courses is mid-August – I need time to do the writing. Article will appear in September issue onwards.

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