Saturday, September 26 2020


Teed Off (Aug 30, 2015)

Update: August, 30/2015 - 19:49

with Robert Bicknell

Well, Tiger had his moment of glory for a few rounds, just enough to get his blood flowing and enough to get the golf writers excited. Ya see, if Tiger is back, then their job is much easier. All they have to do is put the words "Tiger Woods …" and it immediately sells more magazines, newspapers, internet ads and youtube downloads (if you don't know how to download video from youtube, there an app for that).

Suffice it to say that Tiger's season is over and the writers have to go back to working for a living, which includes spelling "Spieth" correctly, understanding "vertigo" and learning a slew of new names, mostly Australian, which will soon appear on the PGA Tour leader boards.

I am a little miffed because Ben Styles at The Bluffs (Ho Tram Strip) promised me some advance notice on the player list for the upcoming $1.5 million Asian Tour Ho Tram Open in December. Unfortunately, Darren Clarke (yes, THE Darren Clarke) was so excited about his invite that he took to twitter and blabbed about it to his three million followers.

Yeah, I get it. It is something to be excited about and Viet Nam is the biggest growing golf destination in the world, and The Bluffs is an amazing project, but c'mon!

OK, so now the world knows that Clarke, a Ryder Cup captain and the 2011 Open champion will play in the event, as will Robert Rock, a two-time winner on the European Tour and the brand ambassador for The Bluffs.

I do know that there will be a few more big names playing in the event, but as they are not being publicized, I will keep my trap shut until then. Suffice it to s ay that they are familiar names, but probably not John Daly because if you let him near a casino, he will either own it after the weekend, or have to sell another guitar to pay off his bill.

Hmm…"now appearing in the lounge…" nah.

I was kinda hoping they would invite Charles Barkley, just so people could see how NOT to swing a golf club. Man, I twitch every time I see him on video.

I'm not sure if Tiger Woods was invited or not. Considering the event and his father's history with Viet Nam, it would make sense to invite him, but the way he's playing The Bluffs would eat him alive. On the other hand, Tiger and Barkley could hand out at the blackjack tables and later hit on the pole dancers. (Note - those girls have shot down more guys than the US Air Force, so tread lightly…)

Some people might think that the kids on the Asian Tour won't stand a chance against someone like Clarke, Rock or any other European Tour star, but ya gotta remember that those guys aren't used to the heat in SE Asia, so they have an advantage in that respect. If you don't believe me, just ask Ian Woosnam, who had to withdraw from the Thai Open a few times due to dehydration (and from hanging out at Patpong until 3am the night before the event).

The Asian Tour kids have a lot of game and they are used to the playing conditions here, but I am not sure they will be used to the conditions at The Bluffs once Ali MacFayden gets done double-cutting and rolling the greens. I wouldn't even put it past him to spray a little Primo (a chemical which limits vertical growth of the grass and makes the blades a bit thinner) out there as well.

I've played there with the greens rolling at 12-plus and, having grown up on bent grass, didn't have a huge problem with it (it was the rest of my game which sucked), but I can see where people used to greens rolling at 10 or under will freak out.

It also depends on the direction of the wind in December. One direction makes the course friendly, but the opposite direction makes the course a snarling beast. Wanna bet which direction it will be for the event?

My advice: If you want to see how top professionals play, head on down to The Bluffs for the event. It's gonna be a great show and the casino and pool are waiting for you too. — VNS

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