Sunday, January 17 2021


Sandbagging is still a problem in Việt Nam

Update: October, 08/2017 - 09:00
Viet Nam News

By Robert Bicknell

The handicap system in Viet Nam was originally set up by yours truly in 1998 while I was with Thủ Đức (VGCC) golf club, so I know what I am talking about when it comes to this subject. When I first started there, we had guys winning tournaments with scores of net 55, net 61, etc. Completely ridiculous scores. We became super strict with the handicaps and that kind of cheating came to an end.

Sadly, at a recent tournament at my new club, we had two B-division players coming in with scores of net 61 and net 64. Both scores are almost mathematically impossible based on their handicaps – providing their handicaps were real. Neither player had handicaps from golf courses where I know the director of golf, so I cannot verify that their handicap systems are accurately enforced.

Sad to say, there are a few clubs in Viet Nam where we KNOW the handicaps are worthless and their staff are either uninterested in putting in the effort to administer the system properly, or they’re making money under the table.

No, I will not mention the clubs, and YES, the Viet Nam Golf Association was notified of the player’s names, scores and home course. They are the national governing body and the rest is up to them how they handle it.

But anyone from those clubs entering tournaments at my club in the future will automatically be given a choice of System 36 or not playing. Simple solution.

After 6 weeks straight of work with no days off, a tropical storm system which dumped close to 300mm of rain on us (subsequently forcing yours truly to run around the course all night redirecting water off the course by opening and closing spillways) and then a two-day tournament, I need a few days of holiday so I’m back in HCM City for a bit.

I figure my holiday schedule will look like this: Sleep, eat, gym, sleep, eat, help daughter with homework, eat, play with hamsters, sleep.

Of course, I will probably spice it up by adding in “ice skating with daughter”, but am not sure if that will be before or after “playing with hamsters”.

And speaking of that, she has two hamsters, but one of them seems to think I am lunch. My hand seems to be her favorite chew toy. This is quite strange as I get along ridiculously well with animals of all types, but this one hamster seems to have it in for me.

For the record, hamsters don’t react to verbal threats. Come to think of it, they don’t seem to react to anything except food and a wheel. No matter what I say to this hamster, it always comes back down to “chomp!”

And no, despite what you might be thinking, I did not help the hamster break the sound barrier on the way into orbit. I would never do that to an animal, only to people who irritate me.

Animals are safe.

The first day back in the gym reminded me that I am no spring chicken any longer. Weights that I used to handle with ease now cause me a bit of effort. Of course, not being in a gym for six months does affect matters a bit. However, I am sure that, before the end of my holiday, I will be hammering out reps at my former weight loads… or be in a hospital having numerous surgeries to repair a lot of rips, tears and breaks.

I will not go down without a fight.

To be honest, I know it will hurt, but it’s a good hurt. It lets you know you’re alive and your body really does appreciate the work you put into it. Nothing good ever comes without effort and the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

Except sleep…that comes without effort. I’m good at sleep and I have yet to injure myself while sleeping.

But, with me, you never know what will happen.

I hope my obit doesn’t read “killed by his mattress” or “fatally wounded by hamster”. - VNS



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