Saturday, July 21 2018


Teed Off (03-03-2012)

Update: March, 03/2013 - 08:00

with Robert Bicknell

I have received quite a few emails, text messages, etc, over the last few weeks, asking me why I have stopped working in golf management and decided to focus on primarily on teaching golf.

The reasons are quite simple: I am an excellent teacher. I enjoy doing it. It allows me to spend time with my family. No matter how successful you are in your career, if you neglect your family, its time you can never get back.

Some of the local pros you now see in Viet Nam got their start with me, so maybe I can have a positive effect on a new generation. In any case, I feel I have a duty to try.


It appears that Nick Faldo's prediction might have legs after all. Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods both bombed out of the Accenture Match Play event. Neither made an excuse and simply said that they were out-played by their opponent.

And that's what makes Match Play so much more interesting and fun than a standard four-round stroke play event. It's one on one, mano a mano and true "in your face" competition.

During a stroke play event, you know that once you make the cut, you have a chance at taking a run at the top players. Everyone watches the leaderboard for any unexpected surges. But in match play, you only concentrate on the opponent in front of you and he can influence what you do…especially if he's smart.

For example, if your opponent is having trouble with his driver, you can bomb one out there on a long and twisting par four, knowing he will have to use his driver because he cannot afford to give up that much difference in distance and will probably crank it into the trees.

If he's on the green looking at a three-foot putt and you drop one in from 15 feet, his putt is gonna look a lot different to him. He went from thinking he'd win the hole to praying for a half with the hole now looking like an eye of a needle.

Anytime you have your opponent counting his win and you drop an unexpected bomb on him, it's like a kick in the stomach and changes his whole outlook.

That is the joy of match-play.

In other news, Tiger was seen with his ex-wife and his kids. The rumours on the street are that Tiger is trying to get back with her and what is being said borders on the ridiculous.

I have seen reports that Tiger is willing to pay her $200 million to come back. Yes, that's dollars, not Vietnamese dong. Other reports say that she is asking for a $350 million dollar pre-nuptual clause where he would have to pay her that amount if he gets caught cheating again.

According to the report, Elin figures that a $350 million clause would stop him from having any thoughts of cheating.

Hmm…I'd say that's a safe bet. I don't care who the girl is, nobody is worth $350 million for one night. No one.

Hey guys, honest question… how many of you would pay your wife $200 million to stay with you – even if you had $500 million in the bank?

Yes, only the devil could come up with such a scenario…

Kings Island will hold 20th anniversary in April, which is a few months earlier than the actual date which is the first week of August, but let's be honest, who wants to play golf in Ha Noi in August? Last time I did that, the temperature was 40oC!

For me, Kings Island will always be my spiritual home. It was the first course I worked at in Vietnam, the course I came back to two more times – each time with a different owner. It's where I met my wife and where my daughter was born.

I joked with Jamie (KI's long time Director of Golf) that when I die, I'll have my ashes scattered over the 18th fairway of the Lakeside course. Not bad, lying in the shadow of Ba Vi Mountain for eternity. I can think of worse places to be.

Of course, my friends would have a great time taking vicious divots, knowing I was mixed in there somehow…

But, hopefully, that will not be for a long, long time… — VNS

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