with Robert Bicknell
According to reports which have just surfaced, according to a golf ranking out of Europe, The Bluffs at Ho Tram has made it onto the list of the Top 100 Golf Courses in the World, but this comes as no big surprise to anyone who has played the course or been involved with it since it's inception.
Greg Norman designed a masterpiece on a fantastic piece of land. When you combine those two factors - a great designer and a great piece of land - great things can come of it and it certainly did this time.
Many of us felt that the Danang GC (also a Greg Norman design) would have made that list as it too is a wonderful tract, but it wasn't meant to be. So, this time is vindication for us here in Viet Nam versus those who think all the best golf courses are in Europe or the US.
It's hard to imagine that tiny little Viet Nam would have one of the best courses in the world, but if you examine it closely, it's hard to see why we wouldn't have even more.
Viet Nam has very dramatic landscapes, from the seaside of Da Nang, Nha Trang and Ho Tram, to the mountains of Da Lat. There are limestone hills and mountains inland and the beauty of Hai Phong. Terraced rice paddies, ancient cities and forests.
When I want to clear my head, I jump on my motorcycle and just head out to the countryside and enjoy the views. Note: Da Lat naturally has the best views and the cool crisp air makes both riding and playing golf an enjoyable experience.
Viet Nam truly has a lot going for it.
So, let us raise our glasses to Greg Norman, the owners of the Grand / Bluffs and all those who made a dream a reality and best wishes for the future.
A few weeks ago, Frank Bishop, head of the PGA of America got canned by the board for making a few tweets to Ian Poulter which were less than PC (Politically Correct). In a nutshell, he accused Poulter of acting like a little girl due to the negative comments he made towards Sir Nick Faldo and Tom Watson in his new book.
Sorry, but the PC crowd deems that language to be sexist and derogatory towards women, so out you go and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
However, more recently, Patrick Reed was overheard making a disparaging remark about himself during the WGC - HSBC Champions in China involving a gay slur.
As this is a family newspaper, I cannot repeat the contents, but in a nutshell, he dropped the major F-bomb twice and the homophobic minor F-bomb once.
Unfortunately, it was seen on camera and since most of the players wore microphones, it was heard all over the world and the PC Police went ape. Sort of like when Curtis Strange once cursed out a golf course under the same circumstances, or when Tiger Woods would let go with a profanity laced tirade against himself loud enough to be heard without wireless mics.
You'd think the powers that be would be smart enough to stop putting microphones on Alpha males in the heat of a competition! Listen people, in a situation like that, you're gonna have these type of things happen. Referring to yourself as a Double F-major, Single F-minor when you three-putt doesn't make you homophobic.
However, using those terms to define someone else, would be.
In my view, there is no crime here. He did not aim the slur towards any one person. He cursed out himself. There is no intent to injure. Hey, if you accidentally knock your ball off the tee, it's not a stroke because there was no intent to actually strike the ball.
It's the same case here.
If we continue along these lines, people will be watching TV screens looking for facial expressions signifying a player was THINKING something derogatory. Will they start fining people for that as well?
Athletes in the heat of competition are human and prone to let their emotions and temper get the best of them sometimes. That's the way it is.
If there is any crime here, it's the stupidity of the organisers to allow a live microphone on an athlete in the heat of competition. — VNS