Saturday, January 18 2020


Moving on to pastures new

Update: November, 19/2017 - 09:00
Viet Nam News

By Robert Bicknell

Well, sad to say, for better or worse, I have ended my relationship with Trang An Golf & CC in Ninh Binh. It was a long four years of my life.

I have to admit, it was a hell of a ride though. One year and a half as a consultant, then two and a half years as the GM. I would like to say it was all fun, but those of us who have lived in Viet Nam for a long time know this is never the case. There are always the little hiccups.

Yet, there were a lot of good times and we really built an interesting club, especially the new Precision course, which is an 18-hole Augusta National style par three layout that even Robert Trent Jones III was impressed with. When you can impress golf royalty, there must be something to it.

I used to laugh when people thought the course would be easy, but came back to the clubhouse afterwards whimpering. And the lake in front of the 18th green is loaded with golf balls. C’mon people, its only 146 yards… heh heh heh.

I am sad that I did not stay long enough to play the full new 18, but there are times in life where you have to make choices and they are not always easy.

In this case, I chose my health (mental and physical) and family.

My daughter has been growing up without me there and she’s now at the age where a steadying father presence is necessary. Skype video every night just doesn’t cut it anymore.

The other thing is that my health was deteriorating. When I first came up here two and a half years ago, I could dead-lift 220kg, could do 45 lb curls all day and generally felt like the incredible hulk. While far from being a “bodybuilder”, I was in decent shape, but now I have trouble opening a coke bottle.

So I’m heading home to get healthy again, hit the gym like a maniac, drive the guys at Star Fitness crazy and see what is next on the horizon.

I have always felt that “life is a journey, not a destination”. We must always continue to grow and that means learning new things, trying new things and not being afraid to fail. So, I am thinking of new things to try in the future.

Of course, I will continue writing my columns and, having more time on my hands, I might actually make the effort to make more sense. Nah, what fun is that? Better to continue shooting from the hit and watch people blow coffee out of their nose.

I have been writing three different books in my spare time – of which there really hasn’t been much, so I might decide to try and actually finish one. My problem is a lack of tolerance. I’ll write a character, get pissed off at him and then write him into a malfunctioning chainsaw scenario. 

Yes, my mind does work in a strange ways. This comes from chasing a little white ball around a meadow in the hot sun without a hat for 50+ years.

Strangely enough, the books are not about golf. Well, OK, one is, but it would have to be published after my death because otherwise…

I figure it will be only a matter of weeks, or a month at best, before I start to go completely off my rocker and begin to look for new challenges and new clubs again. Actually, I am already looking for a new club gig.

I am truly not happy when I have too much time on my hands.

I was thinking of taking a short trip back to the US, but considering the way the country has been going, and with my temperament and the availability of guns… what could possibly go wrong?

OK, maybe they would describe me as a “disgruntled golf pro” or something like that as I wiped out a small gathering of village idiots or something.

Also, it would be the beginning of winter, and I would die because this old body has spent too long in Southeast Asia.

It would be far better, and safer for all, if I find a new job quickly… VNS


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