Teed Off (15-07-2012)
with Robert Bicknell
Well, I hate to say I told you so, but….
Yes, Tiger Woods missed the cut at the Greater Greenbriar Classic after winning the last two tournaments. Is this a problem or just a minor hiccup in his return?
Personally, I think it's nothing major to worry about. The emotional high of winning back to back events can take a lot out of you, even if you're Tiger Woods and the greens at The Old White TPC were a bit slower than at the last event.
So maybe there is a little wriggle room there for him and perhaps the faster than lightning speeds at The Open Championship will bring him back to form. Only time will tell.
Personally, I am looking forward to watching the Open, but the problem is that it's difficult to find it on TV here in Dalat. I just might have to find a reason to get to HCM City for the weekend…
Then again, my boss will be in town, so I doubt that is gonna happen.
People have been asking me about my new course and when it will open and my stock answer is "Only G-d knows."
The biggest problem is the weather. As anyone who has lived in Vietnam for a year or more knows, the rainy season can be unpredictable and almost always brings things to a grinding halt.
I now understand why Dalat is the garden capital of the country. Conditions are perfect here for growing almost everything - lots of sun and an amazing amount of rain.
But there is a big difference between the rainy season in the north, south and Dalat.
In HCM City, for example, you can almost set your watch by the afternoon rain. Players learn very quickly when to schedule their tee time and when to sit in the clubhouse with a sandwich for a bit longer. Thirty to forty-five minutes and its over and people head out to play. The courses there are designed to drain quickly.
But even that cannot compare to the rain here in Dalat. For example, it rained like hell last Tuesday afternoon and again on Wednesday it started pouring down in buckets and didn't stop until eight o'clock at night. So, as you can imagine, it does make construction of a golf course difficult.
Fortunately, we have some good staff here and they know to work as hard as they can whenever they can. If there is a bit of sun, you know they are out there and the bulldozers are rolling.
So, to give you a bit of information, we have nine holes grassed and are just waiting for the last fairway and green to grow enough to tolerate play on it.
The Driving Range has been constructed and we are about halfway done with the interior work.
G-d willing, we could be ready for a super soft opening around 02 September (National Day), but I cannot guarantee that simply because of the weather.
We are also moving forward on the second nine holes. Three holes have been rough shaped and drainage put in. If the weather cooperates, we could have the second nine ready in February.
As for the Clubhouse, the contractors told me it would be finished in six months. Yes, as you might expect, I laughed my head off because I have heard those kinds of promises before.
I've since stopped laughing and actually believe they just might be able to do it. The company doing the work is amazing. If I ever build a house, I'm gonna call them for sure.
The fastest workers I have ever seen in my life, up until now, were the Japanese. I saw them construct a driving range from ground-up to finish in six weeks. During my time there, a 25 –years ago, I was stunned by their work ethic and when it came to after hours, I couldn't hang with these guys for the life of me. They worked hard and partied even harder.
While I cannot vouch for partying, I can state that the guys doing our clubhouse could hold their own with the Japanese crew. That is probably the best compliment I can give.
So, I will pray for dry weather and the Open Championship on TV and will keep you informed. — VNS