Viet Nam News
by Robert Bicknell
When they say that “golf is a microcosm of life” and has many active parallels, I really never considered this particular aspect of it until now. This particular parallel is geared mostly towards the male golfers and, seeing that this is a family newspaper, I will do my very best to avoid offending people with graphic terminology. Instead, will simply allude to certain things and the readers with sick minds can readily understand what I am getting at, while those innocent readers can blissfully allow it to go straight over their heads.
In a nutshell, most male golfers are not as long as they think they are, nor are they as good as they think they are. Female golfers don’t have this problem, but when playing with male golfers, probably wish the guy was longer, or more honest with himself.
Of course, I am talking about length of drives and playing from the correct tee box. I have no idea what you were thinking and please don’t tell me because I get embarrassed easily.
The fact of the matter is that most males always overestimate their length off the tee and their skill level. They also think that playing from anything other than the back tees is a loss of face, as if it reflected on their manhood or something.
This is a huge problem in Asia especially. Here in Việt Nam less than five per cent of the male players use the White Tees and automatically head to the blue tees despite the fact that their drives barely reach the fairway bunkers (which are designed to be where the average drive off each tee would land) and, in some cases, these guys cannot even reach the fairways.
Yes, this is where the female in the group of players rolls her eyes skyward and wishes the guy was longer or would just swallow his pride and play the White tees.
Many players in Việt Nam think the blue tee is the “men’s tee” and the white tee is for senior citizens. They regard the red tee always as the “Ladies tee”. Clubs in general don’t help matters by actually labeling the tees that way on the scorecards.
Funny enough, most of the men who are willing to play from the White tees are foreigners. I suppose they understand that length is not important, but what you do with it.
Scoring is more important than being long. After all, what good is length if you simply cannot get into the hole?
For the record, Yes I am talking about golf.
When I was a lot younger, my friends and I always played off the back tees (Championship tees) regardless of which course we were at. This included The International GC in Bolton, MA. The “Pines” course is 8325 yard long, Par 73 has a slope rating of 154 and a course rating of 80.0.
Now, I was driving the ball 300 yards back in the day, but even for me that course was not a lot of fun with par 5’s measuring 674 and 715 yards, par 3’s at over 270 yards and the 18th hole which is 656 yards and is a Par 6.
Yeah, a Par 6…
Even today, I’m 58 years old and I still don’t get out driven too often. In fact, due to technology and the gym, I’m even longer than back in the day, but believe me, I would NOT look forward to playing the Pines Course, especially for fun. This course is too much work to be fun.
My own course, Trang An Golf & CC here in Ninh Bình, is only 7173 off the pro tees, but given the opportunity, I’m playing the blues, especially with 96 bunkers waiting for a mistake.
Why kill myself when the object is to have fun?
When you play with better players, you’re not going to impress us with the length of your drives (unless you hit it 400 yards with no cart path assist), but we WILL be impressed by a low gross score (not handicap which can be faked).
It will also impress people if you play fast, buy drinks for the group in the snack bar when it’s your turn and display proper course etiquette.
If you want to impress the ladies, show them you have a soft touch around the… greens.