Thursday, September 19 2019


Teed Off (Oct 19, 2014)

Update: October, 20/2014 - 18:47

with Robert Bicknell

October is a month associated with Halloween, ie, ghosts, goblins and other assorted things that go bump in the night. As you might expect, this month has been a bit of a horror show for me, simply due to all the traveling. Normally, I am a sloth who only ventures out to the driving range. Heck, even getting out to the golf course is a major undertaking for me, so I limit my playing to once every 6-8 weeks.

Yes, you read that right. Bet it popped your balloon about golf professionals having a dream job where we get to play every day. Sorry to disappoint, but even when I was managing golf courses and resorts, I only averaged nine holes once per week (unless I had an amazing staff, but that was only once in the last 22 years).

While writing this, I am currently at 30,000 feet heading back to HCM City from Ha Noi. Once landing, I have a few days of teaching, then off to Ho Tram for the grand opening of the newest Greg Norman-designed course, The Bluffs.

Having been there for the soft opening a few months ago, I am looking forward to seeing the finished product, as are many of the invitees.

But, it won't be all fun and games, Ben Styles (the head honcho of the golf club and a man who has the gravitational field of a small moon) made me promise to be on my best behavior, so I will do my best to refrain from addressing Greg Norman as "lefty" or presenting him with a gag gift of some kind…

I was thinking of making a comment like, "Next time Greg, use a hand saw… whoops you already did that."

You see, I have to think of things like this because I have a feeling he might make fun of my hair as the first time we met, it was short and brownish with some grey. The next time it was blonde and down to my shoulders and this time, sadly, it's back to grayish silver.

The good thing is Norman has a great sense of humor and has been known to light someone up with some well placed barbs, so I shouldn't have to worry about a wedge in the head.

Perhaps, its kind of fitting that Michael Campbell will also be on hand and he is known to be a major wit. If anyone can give Norman a good natured hard time, it would be him.

The original plan was for Norman to play one-on-one with Michael Campbell, but that fell through after Greg decided he could do a better job trimming branches than the expensive landscaping company he hires to keep his home in Jupiter, Florida (USA) looking ship-shape.

I've seen pros skull a wedge, I've seen pros with yips, but I have never heard of a Tour pro yipping a chainsaw. This has to be a horrifying first.

Thankfully, the accident wasn't as bad as it could have been, but since Greg obviously cannot play golf for a while, The Bluffs is bringing in a favourite on the European Tour, Robert Rock, to take on Michael Campbell.

I actually volunteered, but that only sent Ben Styles into a prolonged fit of laughter and almost caused him to bust a gut. Oh well, I know Ben is just looking out for my best interests and keeping my terribly inflated, yet fragile, ego from taking a major blow.

Personally, I think a lot of people would be interested in seeing someone hand my ass to me over 18 holes, but then again, that just might be my ego setting me up for yet another beating. Yes, my ego is out to get me and believes October is a month for horrifying experiences.

Either way, the weekend looks to be a great time and it will be good to see Greg Norman and his world class course again. I actually happen to like the guy. He was one of my idols back in the '80's and still is, to be honest. He's a great example of what you can do if you refuse to take "no" for an answer, believe in yourself and "attack life".

Just don't do it while using a chainsaw… — VNS

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