For the uninitiated the term "Kaki" literally means "Leg" in the Malaysian Language or Bahasa Malaysia. Colloquially, Kaki-Golf, refers to a person who plays (in this case, love) Golf.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Happy New Year!


And just like that, we said farewell to 2019 and welcomed 2020. 

It's been raining cats and dogs since Christmas, so the golf courses here have been inundated with water. Last Saturday, the course at Samarahan (though playable) was wet and soggy in several parts. The weather forecast looks bleak tomorrow, but hopefully we will get some good weather to kick off the 2020 golf calendar. 

But it's not all bad news. Titleist ran a sweepstakes on Instagram in December, offering a Team Titleist Cap and a choice of a dozen Pro V1/V1x balls to two lucky winners.

All you had to do was tag a friend and post your choice of balls and guess what? I was one of the lucky two! Yeahhoooo! 

Thank you Titleist! Good start to 2020 I have to say. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas Medal - Brain farting

Joined the Christmas Medal tournament over the weekend at Samarahan Country Club and there was a very good turn out with over 100 golfers participating in the last tournament of the year.

Pimp my ride?

I am currently playing off a 14 handicap (still don't know how it's dropped that low. For my game that is) and it's been a challenge playing to it. That said, the game felt pretty good leading up to Saturday so I was raring to go. 

Alas, it was not to be (surprise surprise!) 

It was a rough start from the get go. Starting off on the precarious 10th hole, I managed to put two balls into the hazard to card an ugly massively deflating "8". From there, it was all about damage control.  

My very colourful scorecard. *sigh.

On a positive note, I managed 2 birdies (including a sandy birdie on the 16th) and left a couple of pars on the course. Considering the horrid start, I guess coming back +1 wasn't too bad... 

What pisses me off about the round is that I haven't had problems with the 10th hole over the last few rounds.  Plus, bad drives off the tee basically led to implosions on holes 7, 10 and 13. "If only". Well, that's classic brain farting for you. 

But it wasn't all bad. My three flight mates all went back with a prize. Not to mention, our 13 year old (1 handicapper) snagging top honours with a gross score of 72! talk about talent. 

On that note, we will be welcoming the new year in just over a week. Time really flies and as I mentioned in the last post, 2019 has been a fantastic golfing year. 

From (L-R) : Justin Thomas signed CIMB flag, Rory McIlroy signed 2014 Open flag, TW signed Masters flag (GOAT) and my HIO ball. 

Didn't go for any golf trips outside of Malaysia this year though. So that's probably something I want to pick up again in 2020. Would love to golf in Chiang Mai or any other place in Thailand for that matter. 

Until the next post, always remember to fix your balls marks, speed up play and I wish you the best in 2020! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Hole-In-One

The odds of an amateur golfer ("hacker") making a hole in one is 12,500 : 1 and it's probably fair to describe as the holy grail for most golfers. 

I have been playing golf as a serious hobby for some years now (since 2012) and it has always been a dream to hit that coveted shot.  

That day finally came on 3rd August 2019, during the Pusaka Golf Tournament at Kelab Golf Sarawak. 

It was a shot gun start that Saturday morning and our flight teed off  on the par 3, 17th hole of the Demak Nine. There was a Proton Saga up for grabs for an Ace and I didn't even find the green. So it wasn't quite the electric start I was looking.  

So we prodded along and eventually arrived at the par 3, 6th hole of the Siol Nine and I was hitting my irons pretty good prior. It was a yellow flag setup and at 165m from the blue tees, it's a fairly longish hole with some water on the right, just before the green. 

I was feeling confident with my striking and decided to take my 6 iron. A solid shot would get me to the middle and as I was walking to tee up, I remember telling myself to keep my tempo and rhythm. 

Then I took aim and set up to the ball. Deep breathe and next thing I know, I hit the ball and it's a beauty, right off the sweet spot, on a good line. I hold my finish as I watch the ball sail through the air, wondering how close it would get. 

The ball lands before the pin. "Hmm not bad, close." I think to myself. Then it starts rolling towards the hole. "Surely not." I continue starring, and a few seconds later, my ball  seemingly disappears. I-am-stunned. My flight mates erupt in cheer and rush to hug me. I am in disbelief and still in doubt. 

I look to the spotter standing by the right side of the green and he's waving his hands and when I see him walking towards the hole, I scream with my hands raised, goosebumps all over my arms. I couldn't believe it. 

Needless to say the ride to the green was a noisy one and that walk up the green was surreal. Still couldn't believe it when I saw the ball at the bottom of the cup. 

Like the other par 3s, this one came with a pretty nice prize. So it was doubly sweet. 

I was still on a high when we left the green and was elated. To be honest, I didn't give a crap how I was going to play the remaining holes but as it turned out, I played pretty well and ended up in second place in the gross category. 

An Ace, a prize for the Ace and a TV. Talk about a triple celebration. 

What an incredible day and what about the ball? Well if you know me, I had it framed up with the score card and it's hanging nicely in my office now. Hey, I may never get another one.

A hole in one and getting to meet Tiger Woods. Suffice to say, 2019 has been a really good golfing year. Until the next post, here's hoping you get an Ace too. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The day I met Tiger

I know. It's been more than two years since my last post. Plenty has happened since then (I finally made a hole in one in August), but for now I am posting this to preserve my account of what is still, a surreal day.

About two weeks ago, I made a trip to Tokyo, Japan for a much needed break and the plan was to squeeze in two days at the Zozo Championship, Japan's first ever PGA tour event played at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba. 

So I ended up buying tickets for the practice round on 22nd October and day 1 of the tournament on 24th October. 

The weather on Tuesday wasn't great. It was raining, wet and cold. Plus it was really crowded.

Have to hand it to the Japanese fans. In spite of the weather, they turned up in droves on a Tuesday morning.

Speaking of crowds, it was totally packed inside the merchandise tent. People were grabbing stuff like it was free and the queue.. oh the snaking never ending queue. 

Managed to grab some souvenirs but was very peeved that the pin flags were sold out by 10am... was very unimpressed. 

It wasn't all gloom though as I managed to catch Charles Howell III who kindly signed a photo of him and me during a rain delay at the CIMB Classic in 2017. Such a nice guy. 

"Thanks for your help!" talk about personalized

We left in the afternoon and as luck would have it, my friend asked if I would be interested to head to the course during the pro-am the next day. Does a bear shit in the woods!? Needless to say I jumped at the opportunity. 

I woke up really early on Wednesday morning and reached the Harajuku JR station shortly before 6.00am. Then it was a journey to the Keisei Narita station, nearly two hours away. 

The day was chilly at first (14 degrees as I recall) but along the way, the sun was making an appearance and it was turning out to be a 'perfect weather kind of day'. 

Then it was a short taxi ride to my next destination. Fast forward to 8.30am and who do I bump into? Mark Steinberg. I mean what's the big deal right? he's only like Tiger's super agent. 

After that it was off to the golf course. I should mention that my friend got me an all access pass, which would explain why I was able to enter the course during the pro-am. Pro - am days are usually close to the public so there are much less people on the course. 

Did I mention the weather was fantastic?

Stark contrast from the wet and gloomy day during Tuesday's practice round. A number of players were out on the course playing the pro-am as was a certain Mr. McIlroy. 

That in itself was very cool, but I was looking for Tiger's flight and after making a few inquiries, I chanced upon the tee times meant for the media and I tracked them down. Making my way through the course, I eventually spotted the flight walking up the 17th hole. Shit just got real. 

I had only ever seen Tiger in action on screen prior to this moment, so it was starting to get surreal.

There he was, Tiger Woods, the comeback king, the pro on the precipice of tying Sam Snead's record of 82 PGA tour wins, the G-O-A-T. 

I had with me the Masters 2019 pin flag and was hoping to get Tiger's autograph. So there I was by the 17th green, flag in hand, ready.

As he was walking to the 18th tee, I called out asking if he would sign my flag. 

"After we're done. Promise" He says, gesturing towards the 18th hole. My first interaction with Tiger.  

I was a little disheartened but it would take more than that to discourage me. So, I followed his group for the rest of the round and after he finished on the 18th, officials whisked him away to one of the VIP tents. Tiger's autograph was proving elusive. 

But I did meet Joe, his caddie and told him it was awesome to meet him and asked for a wefie.

Pardon my unflattering look. 

Undeterred, I waited along with a bunch of others at what appeared to be the exit of the VIP tent. A few moments went by and instinct kicked in. Somehow I was convinced Tiger wouldn't exit there. 

I will spare the details and cut to the chase. Eventually I ended up at the driving range, where Joe was with Tiger's bag. I mean if Joe was there, certainly Tiger would eventually come. 

A couple of players (including Jordan Spieth) were hitting balls at the somewhat empty range. I was hanging about near the grand stand when Joe spotted me. I guess he must have remembered me asking for a wefie a while ago, cause he waved (which was pretty cool) and I decided to approach.

"Hey Joe, is Tiger coming to the range by any chance?" I ask in hope.

"Yea, he's coming. Just wait a couple of minutes. He will be here." he says with a smile.

I thank him and retreat. 

So there I was on the range, excited and in anticipation. 

"This is it.", I thought to myself. I kill time by watching the action on the range, but found myself constantly looking the other direction, checking to see if Tiger was coming. 

That's Joe (in maroon) in the background and me trying to keep it together.

Some 10 minutes go by and I eventually catch a glimpse of a buggy coming from a distance. I look closer. It's Tiger! 

I scamper to the path leading to the range and wait for the buggy to come through. A short moment later, the buggy stops to drop him off and Tiger sees me as he alights. This was my fanboy moment. What do I say??

"Hi Tiger." I greeted. 

"Hi there." he responds.

"I am sorry to bother you, but can I please have your autograph?" I ask with the masters flag and black sharpie in my shaking hands. 

"Sure thing." he replies.

I hold the flag out as he nears. I am almost in a daze. 

"No problem, I have got it." Tiger says as he takes the flag from my hands. 

I couldn't believe it. I was talking to Tiger and he was going to sign my flag. Somehow, I managed to remember "Photo! Wefie!" and even had time to figure out where the sun was. 

We were both walking towards Joe at that point and I quickly moved to the other side when Tiger hands me back the flag.

"Thank you Tiger. Can I also trouble you for a quick photo?" I ask, conscious of the time.

"Sure thing." He replies and we both stop. 

"Thank you so much Tiger. I really appreciate it."

"You're welcome." He says, as he starts to walk ahead towards Joe. 

"I flew to Japan just to watch you play. All the best." I add. He turns around and I give him a thumbs up.

"Thank you for the support." He replied with a smile and walked on. 

The whole exchange was probably just over a minute. But it was frigging surreal.

There were no cameras, no minders, no officials or other fans. In that short time, I was alone with the greatest golfer of my generation. 

I was still processing what had just happened when a japanese couple gestured at the masters flag and said "すごい" (sugoi) which means, great. They weren't wrong. 

The rest as they say, was gravy. I carefully kept the flag away in my bag and then spent the next 20 minutes watching Tiger, hitting balls, up close. Say What!?    

Eventually he made his way to the practice green and I too, left the range.

The sun was shining bright and it was getting warm at the time. But I am pretty sure I had a grin on my face and bounce in my step. 

It truly was an amazing day. As the sun was setting, I eventually made my way back to Tokyo and we concluded the night with a delicious kaiten sushi meal in Shinjuku. 

So satisfied was I that I decided to skip day 1 on Thursday. Truth be told, I wasn't quite keen to squeeze with the thousands of other spectators. (Some 17 thousand spectators attended on the day 1 and 20 thousand people on Sunday - Yikes!) 

Plus, as it turned out, the wait for the shuttle bus from the nearest train station to the course was a crazy 50 minutes... (started out at 20 minutes). I applaud the Japanese golf fans. They are seriously dedicated.

So while I wasn't there to see Tiger claim his 82nd win, I got to meet the GOAT in person and that will remain a highlight for years to come.  

Not to mention I also got his autograph and as I look at the other autographs and flags hanging on my wall, I find my collection now, complete.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A problem between the ears.

So the 2017 Samarahan Country Club Gawai Open house tournament came and went. 

The weather was really good and course conditions were nice and dry. 

We had a shot gun start from hole 2 (which is a challenging dog-leg-right and water before the green kinda hole) and I was playing pretty good the first 9. The first few holes on back nine were pretty solid too. Until I started thinking about my score. Jeng Jeng Jeng!

Without dwelling on it too much, I blew a couple of holes and submitted a +2 nett score in the end. Lesson learnt, don't think about the score until the last putt drops! Period!

But it wasn't all bad, two of my flight mates played solidly and bagged 1st and 2nd place. What did I get for my trouble? A slow cooker in the lucky draw! Win!

This week is a short one with the Gawai holiday just a day away. The boys have decided that we check out Borneo Highlands on day 1 of the public holiday and I am really looking forward to that. It's been a long while since I last played there. 

More pictures when I am back! 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A year after

10 days short of a year since my lost post and just in time for the 2017 edition of the Gawai Golf cum Open House at the Samarahan Country Club this Saturday. Coincidence really. 

My apologies for the lengthy absence (read : laziness) but I will try to post regularly hence forth. Rest assured, I haven't lost interest in the beautiful game and am still actively playing as a weekend warrior / hacker. 

Sometime in November 2016 - Glenmarie

On the golf front, much has changed in the golf bag. The change in drivers being most significant. Was testing the Callaway XR driver for a while and finally decided to put it in play. My handicap hasn't changed but that isn't for lack of trying mind you! 

Anyways, I hope you're all enjoying your golf where ever you are. Till the next post .. hopefully!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Gawai Golf / Open House @ Samarahan Country Club

Last weekend, I took part in the Gawai Golf Tournament held at the Samarahan Country Club.

I managed to squeeze in a range session and a 9 hole round during the week. The game seemed intact so I was feeling pretty good. 

You couldn't have asked for better weather and the course conditions were (though wet in places) pretty good. The greens in particular were rolling true. My mate and I even spent some time at the range and warmed up with a couple of balls. 

My flight teed off from the 15th hole, a longish par 3 (some 170 meters from the blue tee) with water on the left to contend with. I play on this course almost every week and I had been scoring well here the last few weeks. But as nerves would have it, I proceeded to hit a high hook and promptly found the water. Great. My first shot of the day and I find the drink. So I take a drop and manage to escape with a bogey. 

That unfortunately set the tone of the day pretty much. Scores would be calculated using the Stableford method. So even though I managed 5 pars, I imploded on a number of holes (managed a disastrous 10 on the 10th hole) and ended up scoring 102. A case of the nerves really which was rather disappointing, so I need to sort out what goes on between the ears soon. 

But there were some (yes, some) positives to take back and all things considered, I had a pretty good time. There were no entrance fees, so all we had to pay was RM25.00 for the buggy fee and we were treated to a very nice lunch spread and in true Gawai Spirit, the drinkers were very entertained with the ample beer that was served. 

Then came the prize giving and what do you know, I snagged a consolation prize (golf towel) for my efforts. 

Gawai will soon be here (1-2.06.2016) so next week will be a short work week. The highlight of which will be a trip to Jakarta with my KL golf crew for three rounds of golf. Really looking forward to it.

Also underwent some equipment changes in the bag, but I will blog about that another time.