Viet Nam News
By Robert Bicknell
Ah yes, it’s that time of year again when we can enjoy the endless serenade of Silent Night and other equally annoying Christmas songs being piped in our direction throughout the day. Why doesn’t anyone ever play Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer anymore?
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against Christmas (the secular holiday – which means parties, spending money and everyone in festive mood), nor am I against Christmas (the religious holiday – which signifies the birth of Jesus Christ), but I do take issue with listening to these songs over and over and over until my brain melts.
Who ever thought there was a “War on Christmas” has obviously never been in Asia this time of year. We even have them here in my clubhouse at Tràng An Golf & CC… there is no escape.
But, on the positive side, this time of year almost everyone seems happier. Let’s face it, people need to laugh and smile more, especially with the world the way it is. So this is a good thing.
Christmas leads to New Year, which in turn leads to Tết (Lunar New year) so we are looking at 6-12 weeks of parties, drinking, shopping and golf. These are also good things.
Here in Hà Nội, the added benefit is cooler weather which leads to tall, thin Vietnamese ladies wearing black leather jackets and high leather boots with 10 cm heels and they go about their daily mission of blowing up their credit cards in the department stores.
Ah yes, my favorite time of year.
However, I am married so I can look but cannot touch, but this is enough for an older guy like me. I don’t have to buy a painting to enjoy it. Looking is enough…and that’s why we have shopping malls (which is the equivalent of an art gallery). We can just sit with a cup of coffee and enjoy the view.
This time of year also means Christmas shopping, but when you think of that special golfing someone in your life, what should you be thinking about?
Oh sure, I know you think I meant something else, but that only means you’re even more demented than I am.
However, if there is something that golfers run out of on a frequent basis, it would be balls and tees. These are two highly disposable items. Granted, we don’t WANT to lose a ball in the lake or trees, but it happens, and tees break all the time – except for those sick pink plastic ones which I detest.
So these are two relatively safe gifts for your friends, but you should make the effort to know which type of ball they prefer. Giving someone a box of Pinnacles or XXIO when they are a dedicated PRO V1 user wouldn’t go over very well.
When it comes to golf balls as gifts, the old axiom of “it’s the thought that counts” is BS. Get them the right balls and they’ll remember your generosity. Give them the wrong ones and they’ll know you don’t really care about them and bought a gift in desperation.
Footjoy and Adidas socks are pretty good gifts too.
Unless you’re as rich as Midas, or buying a gift for immediate family, forget about buying them a set of golf clubs. Heck, even a single Driver will set you back US$500++ nowadays and a putter is easily over $150. Who wants to spend that kind of money? Besides, players are very selective about the clubs they use. You might give them a voucher for a club fitting. That would be useful.
If you give someone a “ball retriever” as a gift, are you subtly telling them they suck as a golfer because they are always losing balls in the lake, or are you being a concerned friend who wants to give them something useful?
Face it, you’re telling them they suck because if you wanted to give them something useful for their game, you’d buy them a package of golf lessons.
DVD’s, golf instruction books, etc., are also not so subtle messages that they suck at golf. You’re much better off giving them balls. Lots of balls.
Why take a chance at offending them?
Trust me….get them balls. VNS