Saturday, August 15 2020


New equipment, old pro

Update: January, 14/2018 - 09:00
Viet Nam News

By Robert Bicknell

Well, as I mentioned last week, the golf game was certainly an eye-opener for me, half good / half bad. It’s not easy when you have arthritis in the feet, believe me. Unfortunately, I am also stubborn and giving up isn’t in my nature.

The first nine holes were a nightmare and the second nine was heading for the same until I finally decided to ignore my legs, adopt an open stance and just power the club with my arms and shoulders. No weight shift to speak of, frankly because my feet wouldn’t allow it.

Finishing birdie, par, par, par, par took a lot of the sting out of the round. However, golf being what it is, that little voice inside my head was quacking: “Why didn’t you think of this fix earlier, you dummy?”

The other sad-fact is that it’s become obvious that I can only play golf at courses which allow buggies on the fairways. The good news is that The Bluffs allows it, and everyone knows how much I love playing that course.

Apparently, I am not the only one because Golf Digest magazine just named The Bluffs as the 35th best golf course in the world. This is a huge jump from the earlier Golf Digest rating of 74th in 2016 and it’s well deserved as I know Sonia Mai (GM), Ali Neil MacFayden (Superintendent), as well as their staffs and the ownership have worked like hell to continue improving the course and service even above it’s already 5-star level. Greg Norman must be very proud!

Imagine Việt Nam having the 35th best course on the planet… If that doesn’t announce to the world that Việt Nam is a hot golfing destination, nothing will.

On that note, am I the only one who thought the par-4, 433-yard No 12th hole at Kapalua (where Dustin Johnson’s unleashed a 430+ yard drive and almost aced it) is like the 392-yard 12th hole at The Bluffs?

Needless to say, next time I’m there I won’t be holding back. I’ve always thought I can drive that green and, if the wind cooperates, I’m going for it. No more playing safe.

By the way, Dustin Johnson was using his new TaylorMade M4 driver. I just picked up my new M3 last Friday and I need to tell you that this is easily the most comfortable driver I have ever hit.

On the closing holes last Friday (my personal “black Friday”), even without massive weight shift, I was able to launch a few monster drives which stayed in the fairway due to the “Twistface” technology in the clubface. It also makes a nice “rifle shot” sound at impact, which is a confidence booster.

In a nutshell, any shot off the toe or heel of the club will curve back towards the centre of the fairway, as opposed to older clubs where you would get a toe hook or heel slice that ended up someplace you didn’t want to be.

TaylorMade is having demos throughout Việt Nam in the coming weeks, so you should take time to come and check it out for yourself. They will also be holding demos for their new iron sets and putters, as well as the M3 & M4 drivers.

Incidentally, I also use the TaylorMade Spider Black putter (same as Dustin Johnson). I was always a blade putter type of guy until I tried out this club and was instantly hooked. My putting improved to the point where the only time I miss the putt is if I misread it. Where was this club when I was young and playing for money?

Before anyone accused me of favoritism with all the TaylorMade plugs this issue, first allow me to add the disclaimer that I am a TaylorMade-sponsored home professional.

However, if any of the other equipment representatives in Việt Nam (Titleist, Cobra, Callaway, PING, etc) send me information on their product launches or events, I would be more than happy to include it in this column without question, and have done so in the past.

I am always happy to help promote local events and equipment reps because we are all working hard to improve golf in Việt Nam.

And that is truly the bottom line…-- VNS


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