Thursday, September 09, 2004

Who is Big Bertha?

iTunes' party shuffle is playing: Nutbush City Limits - Ike & Tina Turner - Nutbush City Limits

Tay Ping Hui! It's Mediacorp! It's Singapore the meritocracy! Not Mediocrity! See lah! You go play golf with Tiger Woods then he become No. 2. How, like that? You suck! You are the regional hub for incompetence! It's all your fault! I am not a golf fanatic. And I think golf on telly ranks with billiards, Formula One and darts as the most boring things to watch on the planet.

Formula One commentary: And they're off, and they're going round, and round, and round, and round, and round, and round, and oh, pit stop. My friends had thought I was a recent convert to golf until I responded excitedly to news of 'Veejay' Singh being number one by asking, 'you mean Utt is no longer at MTV?' But golf is a difficult game. For me at least. I tried my hand (and arm and back and neck) at it last year, going to the range several times with borrowed clubs and hitting 300 balls at one go, before a concerned friend said I was crazy to hit 300 balls at one go. I had previously thought, hey how hard could it be? The damned ball isn't moving, it's just sitting there waiting for me to hit it. What a stupidly simple game. There's no one throwing the ball at me, or hitting it back, or taking a swing at me with a nine-iron, or worse, with his biggest Bertha. Where is the biffo? Where is the gladiatorial contest? Where is Happy Gilmore? Actually, I did try my hand at the game a while back. When I was ten I think. My dad took the family to the driving range and let us loose with our full sized clubs. I remember myself lying on the ground bleeding because I had stood behind my sister while she took a back swing. I ate the seven iron, and it was very painful. Last year I brought danger to the driving range again. When hitting my 249th ball (or so), the five-iron flew out of my hands, hit the ceiling, richocheted back to the floor, bounced to the front and landed on the drain covers. The noise was tremendous, as was the ensuing silence from the rest of the golf-ball hitters at the range. The guy in the next lane was still in a crouching position when I retrieved the club and apologized meekly to anyone who appeared to be staring in my direction, and there were many. I think I still like going to the driving range. They haven't banned me yet. And the driving range I like going to is a public one, not one of the stuffy country clubs where they force you to wear de rigeuer golf outfits (collared shirts and proper shoes). You can go there in a singlet and no one bats an eyelid until you let your club fly into the ceiling. So, there is a pretty little place called Green Fairways. And to get there, you drive down that leafy avenue called Eng Neo Avenue (yes, I like green leafy avenues), heading northward till you reach a gate that has a sign that says Green Fairways golf driving range or something. As you drive down the winding road, you'll see some pretty greenery. You will see a yellow signboard that warns you about 'Dead Slow Horses Crossing'. Spooky, but not as inconvenient as on Cluny Road, where there is a sign telling you about 'Slow Children Playing' outside a kindergarten. Anyway, once you're past the danger of the Dead Slow Horses and their horsemen, you'll come to a carpark and you'll see the driving range. If you're up for it, take out your clubs and find a lane, turn on the fan and go buy your basket of balls. If not, there's a coffee shop that sells decent kopi and nasi lemak. It is quite a pretty place to be at, once you've paused for a breather at say, your 248th ball (because at your 249th, your grip might weaken and you might fling the club to the ceiling). There is also a proper 9-hole golf course adjacent to the range, if you're so inclined. But for mine, the water hazard in front of the tee off on the first is enough to discourage me and make me stick to the range. I just like hitting the damned balls that aren't moving, and I don't really care where they go except if the little caged buggy comes by to pick up the balls. I like aiming for the moving buggy. Now, that's sport. Fairways Drive (off Eng Neo Avenue) Singapore 289631 Tel: (65) 468 7233 Fax: (65) 468 7047 Course: 9 holes, 1887m, Par 32


Blogger Cowboy Caleb said...

Here is how I used to play golf.

Meet on green at 7am. Everytime we see the drinks cart, we have a beer. At 9th hole, break for drinks. Get tipsy and resume play. By 15th hole group collapses. I have never actually finished an entire game before with my gang.

9/09/2004 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger FF said...

Your entry brings back painful memories of a time when I first picked up a golf club. My dad bet me $5 that I couldn't putt the ball. I took a swing and hit him in the glasses, which broke and the shards pierced his eye. Everytime I'm reminded of golf, I remember how much blood was dripping from his eye and how scared shitless I was that he was going to go blind.

9/09/2004 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's grub at the pub 50m away from dead slow horses after you're done flingin the 250th,nothing fancy but it's laidback and conducive to pensive musings in the evenings. alcohol always helps

9/09/2004 09:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

E-K: Since u're on the subject a must watch: Robin Williams' version of the history of golf in his Live in Broadway show. Just got a new golf set this week. This Green Fairway... sounds interesting need to go when I next drop by Singapore.

9/09/2004 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger cour marly said...

I used to go to the driving range as a kid too. Brothers go for tennis lessons, Dad & I go whack golf balls as far as my short-sighted eyes can see. So not very far lah.

And I lways took the last last last berth. Keep me from becoming a public menace.

Speaking of tree lined avenues... the Dunearn/Bt Timah stretch between Eng Neo and Farrer/Adam has some gorgeous rain trees. Stand in the middle of the uncovered pedestrian bridge near Singtel Academy and the view is specially lovely after rain.

9/09/2004 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Mandrake said...

woot, going to check out that range, if not for the range itself, then the dead horse that walks! so if the children are slow, will the dead slow horse walking walks into them?

9/09/2004 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger JellyGirl said...

Cricket, man. Cricket is another one of the most boring things to watch on the planet.

9/09/2004 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Woof! said...

And that road has the nice blinky lane dividers!

Off to the left side as you drive near the stables is this little road that leads up a slope.. nice place to switch off the engine, open the doors, and just veg out..

And if your golf is seriously screwed up, there's always the "private" 4-lane part way on the far right side you can only kill 3 other people..

9/09/2004 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger littlecartnoodles said...

I know nuts about golf. The only thing that I am qualified to comment on for this post, is that Tay Ping Hui was my patrol leader in the Scouts. The guy is a natural leader.

9/09/2004 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Mr Miyagi said...

Thanks for the suggestions, I will check out the other stuff at the place. Right after I kayak. Right after I hit 300 balls.

And Cour Marly, I love the trees near that place. Magnificent.

And Jelly Girl, cricket is life, everything else is periphery.

9/10/2004 01:15:00 AM  

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