Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Dear Golfers,

Can anybody out there kindly explain to me WHY Thai golf course's persist with that most inane and usless attempt at speeding play up; namely The Call Hole?

As far as I can tell:

1. It does sweet <deleted> all to speed play up.

2. Is possibly one of the most dangerous things you can do on a course (stand in the landing area of golf balls being fired at you from 150+ yards is NOT something I would choose to do ordinarily on a Sunday afternoon).

3. The Locals never buy into the concept, whilst your caddie goes into apoplexy if you suggest doing the same.

4. Like a lot of things in LOS...it has the IMPRESSION of doing something useful, therefore it is here to stay...irrespective of common sense kicking in somewhere down the line.

Rant off and I look forward to an explanation in support of The Call Hole.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Easy - TIT

Its through the looking glass on the golf course too.

Panya Park has a sunday special that takes effect at noon. Obviously someone came and paid for the special but because the course was not busy probably teed off before noon. The manager set a standing rule that you cant pay for the special before noon. Now, dozens of golfers line up exactly at noon and there is chaos for the few with 12:05 tee times trying to get to the front. Why? TIT

Have to stay amused by all that or go crazy.

I have to agree though, standing around a par 3 green and telling strangers to tee off at you never appealed to me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well in theory it should speed up play, but it'll only work with lower-handicap (ie will almost always get it on the green from the tee). Of course in practice it's fairly useless.

Don't really think it's that dangerous though - there's usually a tree or a caddie to hide behind! :D

Hmm...that's coming from me, who once managed to catch an inside edge off my driver on the first tee somewhere in Queensland, that went at some pace between my legs to thwack a playing partner in the chest who was standing 10 paces behind my back... :o

In my defense, we were all still slightly "long-and-wrong" from the previous evening...

Link to post
Share on other sites
Easy - TIT

Its through the looking glass on the golf course too.

Panya Park has a sunday special that takes effect at noon. Obviously someone came and paid for the special but because the course was not busy probably teed off before noon. The manager set a standing rule that you cant pay for the special before noon. Now, dozens of golfers line up exactly at noon and there is chaos for the few with 12:05 tee times trying to get to the front. Why? TIT

Have to stay amused by all that or go crazy.

I have to agree though, standing around a par 3 green and telling strangers to tee off at you never appealed to me.

YES!!! Good to know someone else has suffered from this particularly frustrating load of <deleted>!

I recently arranged a social tournament for 12 of us with military precision whereby I arrived 1 hour early wishing to pay the 12 green fees etc. Only to be greeted by Atilla The Hun in a skirt telling me to come back at 11.30am to pay the 'special rate'.

Our first tee time was 11.31...go figure!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Well in theory it should speed up play, but it'll only work with lower-handicap (ie will almost always get it on the green from the tee). Of course in practice it's fairly useless.

Don't really think it's that dangerous though - there's usually a tree or a caddie to hide behind! :D

Hmm...that's coming from me, who once managed to catch an inside edge off my driver on the first tee somewhere in Queensland, that went at some pace between my legs to thwack a playing partner in the chest who was standing 10 paces behind my back... :o

In my defense, we were all still slightly "long-and-wrong" from the previous evening...

Actually I always thought the call hole worked best for high handicaps as they (me included) are likely to miss the green with tee shot and therefore the group on the green can putt out while other group finds the ball and get ready for chip onto green.

It is not a just Thai thing; in my experience they have call holes in Indonesia, Malaysia and China.

TH

Link to post
Share on other sites

Something I omitted from my original post is that they always seem to put a bloody kiosk after a 'Call Hole' par 3 which totally defeats the object of trying to speed play up!

So AFTER nearly being killed, then having the group behind you stood on the green watching you putt because they have all arrived at the green, you have to wait for the group in front to finish their 3-course meals (and phone calls) before you can progress anyway!

Bahhhh, humbug...I am off to bed to read another Charles Dickens novel.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the call hole is basically the caddies discretion hole.

Get a beer, listen to the caddie's instructions, and get through this aggravation that all golfers endure.

You must consider that most likely the group ahead of you and behind you are members of the club. Don't rock the boat if you are a guest.

Par 3's in Asia are just packed. They should do away with them and just have par 76 courses.

Has anybody played those par 6 holes? Now, that's when you get group separation!!

Last thing: Don't ever let the fact that people are standing behind the hole effect your swing. They took the risk standing where they are. Me, I stand a good distance back with a caddie with good eyes looking at the ball flight.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the call hole is basically the caddies discretion hole.

Get a beer, listen to the caddie's instructions, and get through this aggravation that all golfers endure.

You must consider that most likely the group ahead of you and behind you are members of the club. Don't rock the boat if you are a guest.

Par 3's in Asia are just packed. They should do away with them and just have par 76 courses.

Has anybody played those par 6 holes? Now, that's when you get group separation!!

Last thing: Don't ever let the fact that people are standing behind the hole effect your swing. They took the risk standing where they are. Me, I stand a good distance back with a caddie with good eyes looking at the ball flight.

I take your pont regarding 'caddie discretion' but unfortunately it only seems to work on us Farangs...they don't seem to be able to impart their discretion on the oh-so-important Thai golfers.

Yes, I have played St. Andrews with the two par 6's. The first par 6 is just like something off a PlayStation game...ridiculous. The second one is just about 4km of straight downhill fairway that you are continually thrashing away with your 3 wood...no wonder they shortened it and made this one a par 5 for the big Pro tournament last year.

One last comment (moan) is that we got stuck behind a 5-ball group at St. Andrews containing a Thai 'Superstar' (some wnaker from one of those infantile game shows probably) and coming down the last, which is a par 5, there were FIVE groups on that particular hole waiting for the superstar to finish his phone calls, stop messing around, stop laying on the green, pissing about etc.

All this after the privilege of coughing up 3,300 baht to play a VERY overrated course.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the call hole is basically the caddies discretion hole.

Get a beer, listen to the caddie's instructions, and get through this aggravation that all golfers endure.

You must consider that most likely the group ahead of you and behind you are members of the club. Don't rock the boat if you are a guest.

Par 3's in Asia are just packed. They should do away with them and just have par 76 courses.

Has anybody played those par 6 holes? Now, that's when you get group separation!!

Last thing: Don't ever let the fact that people are standing behind the hole effect your swing. They took the risk standing where they are. Me, I stand a good distance back with a caddie with good eyes looking at the ball flight.

I take your pont regarding 'caddie discretion' but unfortunately it only seems to work on us Farangs...they don't seem to be able to impart their discretion on the oh-so-important Thai golfers.

Yes, I have played St. Andrews with the two par 6's. The first par 6 is just like something off a PlayStation game...ridiculous. The second one is just about 4km of straight downhill fairway that you are continually thrashing away with your 3 wood...no wonder they shortened it and made this one a par 5 for the big Pro tournament last year.

One last comment (moan) is that we got stuck behind a 5-ball group at St. Andrews containing a Thai 'Superstar' (some wnaker from one of those infantile game shows probably) and coming down the last, which is a par 5, there were FIVE groups on that particular hole waiting for the superstar to finish his phone calls, stop messing around, stop laying on the green, pissing about etc.

All this after the privilege of coughing up 3,300 baht to play a VERY overrated course.

I really liked St Andrews; however, I went when it was less. crowded. It still backed up and I was playing a single behind 4 groups. So... I chose not to join any groups and my caddie found a dead spot so I could play uninterrupted and played the rest of the 18 before the sun went down. I will be part of the group overrating this course because I do think it has some absolutely ridiculous course undulations which cause alot of bad depth perception shots.

Link to post
Share on other sites
[..I take your pont regarding 'caddie discretion' but unfortunately it only seems to work on us Farangs...they don't seem to be able to impart their discretion on the oh-so-important Thai golfers.

..

You really seem to have a chip on your shoulder about being a farang in Thailand. Have you never played with a Thai before? I don't think I have ever been treated different (good or bad) playing with all farangs or as the only farang with 3 Thais.

My suggestion is you go spend a weekend or something and play a few courses in China. It will make you really appreciate golf in Thailand. Don't forget to take a pile of cash with you or make sure your credit card balances are way below your limit. Also be prepared to have some of the worst and worthless caddies you have ever experienced to say nothing of some seriously rude golfers

TH

Link to post
Share on other sites

Golf in Thailand is the best in the world, bar none.

A blog I wrote on Golf in the Kingdom

I know I talk about golf too much but it helps reduce the trauma of my game. As I am fond of mentioning, my game is full contact with safety equipment not optional. This is fine in most parts of the world where golf is a private agony. Dragging your bag, hitting the ball, recovering, hitting, recovering, chipping, dropping, hitting, and lets not forget the goal, the final insult, putting. By now, my group has moved on, perhaps turning the corner at nine, leaving me alone which is what I actually prefer, they are after all your friends and there is concern for their safety. Being in front of you is probably a wise course but to be truly safe they should crouch somewhere in a direct line between your ball and the hole, not a chance of it going there.

Even then golf is a fickle mistress. More than once I have been narrowly missed by my own drives. In one case I hit a line drive directly into the square block that marks the womans tees, the ball ricocheted back at full speed and fired between my legs, one inch higher and I would have gotten my first hole-in-one and I am quite sure I could not have endured either the procedure or the press. No there is no safe haven within 112 yards when I pick up my driver and tee up. After about five holes, I find my golfing companies watching my drives from the center of the fairway or clustered around the flag on the par threes. Its part of my plan, despite my best efforts and their good intentions, it is almost inevitable that this defensive posture is punished with my only good shot of the day. Normally golf does not entail a lot of running and screaming but my group always seems to be the exception.

GOLF in the kingdom is differant however. Its very differant and everyone who has played here will tell you that golf in Thailand is the best in the world. It may be because golf here is so cheap, it may be because there are so many courses and so few players, it might be the style of playing three holes stopping for an hour to drink, or it might be the tropical paradise that is Thailand, but in my opinion it can only be because of the CADDIES!

It is required of every golfer who picks up a club that he/she take a Thai caddie on the round. The vast majority of them are pretty and shy Thai girls. Its impossible to know if they are Thai girls because they wear many layers of ugly baggy polyester swaddling and wrap other areas in complex bandaging of towels with umbrella blockers but the occasional fingernail exposure gives credence to the rumor that underneath that mass of fabric, a pretty shy girl exists. They add much enjoyment to the game, breaking out in laughter for my first few shots, then scattering as it gets worse, and finally working in tandem to clear the field of casulties. They turn my usual lone agony into a spectator sport, with the golf group looking like a strange choreographed routine consisting of golfers, caddies, and medics with umbrellas used as shields and hand carts for evacuations.

So amidst this swirling colorful display is the golf itself. Thailand has added hazards that the rest of the world can only dream of. Monkeys are top of my list, the little bastards have learned to steal drives and barter for food. People in every water trap which can be disconcerting. Snakes in the trees that love to drop on tee boxes during the back swing. Motorcycles racing around the cart paths add to the fun and exitement.

Playing golf in 115 degree tropical heat, especially as I play, is exhausting work. Thankfully our 40 kilo Caddies carry the bag and remove the damaged trees for us or we might not make all eighteen holes. The tropical heat has created a style of play unique to Thailand. Every three or four holes there is a small way station with live saving food and drink. This allows the caddies to walk the entire eighteen holes without carrying food and keeps the noodle carts away from the course. Of course, being that half the group is carried into the station by the caddie support team, we take the opportunity to drink until the swelling goes down. Each hut is a well stocked bar and usually after a few hours we remember to move on. So with no slow traffic, we are able to turn a 4 hour game into 12 or 14 hours. Often the lights are on by the time we tee off on the eighteenth. Yes, a few courses in Thailand are lit at night, with some of the weaker golfers preferring the cold night temperatures where it can dip to a life threatening low of 85F in the winter. Wimps.

As we recuperate in the clubhouse, the damages are totalled, the lies and slander disseminated, food comes in mass quantities as is customary during waking hours, after all we have not eaten since the 15th hole. Green fees, 800 baht ($20), caddie 200 baht ($5), food 300 baht ($6), two windshields and traffic light 1200 baht ($30), medical charges including evacuation 1600 baht ($40), 375 golf balls at 10 baht each, one dead water buffalo 22,000 baht (wasnt my fault I swear), and of course my birdie on the second par eleven (priceless).

I have always found that golf plays the same with the Thai groups or the westerners. Its slow, lots of betting, lots of fun. The Farangs seem to be so serious, as though they are working on their PGA career with 24 handicaps, easy to anger and so impatient. Club members get a lot of respect and often create problems on the course, acting just like they own the place, because.... they do own the place. I am a guest on their turf and show my appreciation for being there by being extra patient. Considering the damage I can do to their course with a golf club, I try to be VERY patient.

Link to post
Share on other sites

[..I take your pont regarding 'caddie discretion' but unfortunately it only seems to work on us Farangs...they don't seem to be able to impart their discretion on the oh-so-important Thai golfers.

..

You really seem to have a chip on your shoulder about being a farang in Thailand. Have you never played with a Thai before? I don't think I have ever been treated different (good or bad) playing with all farangs or as the only farang with 3 Thais.

My suggestion is you go spend a weekend or something and play a few courses in China. It will make you really appreciate golf in Thailand. Don't forget to take a pile of cash with you or make sure your credit card balances are way below your limit. Also be prepared to have some of the worst and worthless caddies you have ever experienced to say nothing of some seriously rude golfers

TH

Somewhat of a generalisation! I am merely speaking from experience of over 100 rounds of golf across the Kingdom whereby "...it only SEEMS to work on us Farangs" means, we are firmly requested to stand aside on a Call Hole by the caddies, and I can only remember once being called up myself.

I don't think this represents me as someone who has a chip on their shoulder about being a farang in Thailand. I love the place and I also know my place in society here.

I have already heard too much about China. I concur with your comments regarding golf there!

Link to post
Share on other sites
My suggestion is you go spend a weekend or something and play a few courses in China. It will make you really appreciate golf in Thailand. Don't forget to take a pile of cash with you or make sure your credit card balances are way below your limit. Also be prepared to have some of the worst and worthless caddies you have ever experienced to say nothing of some seriously rude golfers

TH

I don't know where in China you have played but I have been three of times to China and played very good golfcourses and have had no problems with the caddies.

In Kunming we played Spring City, one Robert Trent Jones and one Jack Nicklaus course, and that was the best golfcourses I ever seen. Fantastic design, maintenance on fairways and greens that could not been better and very hard working caddies. And when they gave you the puttingline and you could follow their advice, the ball was in the hole.

And then we played Sun City, a Jack Niclaus design, and it was as good as Spring City.

OK, it was not cheap playing there but it was worth it.

Then I have been two times with ferry from Hong Kong to the Mainland. There are many good corses around there but one of the best must be Pine Valley. Looks like a Nicklaus design but it is a Phillipino that been working for Nicklaus that designed it. Fantastic golf course. very good value for money.

Two days of golf, one night in 5-star hotel, ferry and transfers under 10 000 bath.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know where in China you have played but I have been three of times to China and played very good golfcourses and have had no problems with the caddies.

In Kunming we played Spring City, one Robert Trent Jones and one Jack Nicklaus course, and that was the best golfcourses I ever seen. Fantastic design, maintenance on fairways and greens that could not been better and very hard working caddies. And when they gave you the puttingline and you could follow their advice, the ball was in the hole.

And then we played Sun City, a Jack Niclaus design, and it was as good as Spring City.

OK, it was not cheap playing there but it was worth it.

Then I have been two times with ferry from Hong Kong to the Mainland. There are many good corses around there but one of the best must be Pine Valley. Looks like a Nicklaus design but it is a Phillipino that been working for Nicklaus that designed it. Fantastic golf course. very good value for money.

Two days of golf, one night in 5-star hotel, ferry and transfers under 10 000 bath.

Played a couple of times around Beijing area, I think one was Beijing Country Club, but primarily in Southern China, to the north of HK. I agree that the golf courses tend to be in very good shape. I have had some good caddies, and certainly we developed a very good relationship with our regular caddies over the year we played every weekend. But going to a new course, I have had few good experiences; mostly they seemed to be going through the motions of what someone trained them to do without understanding why.

My biggest compliant as I said was the price. I don’t think we ever paid less the USD 100 for a round and mostly a lot more. Compared to SEA, it seemed like a serious rip-off to me.

I notice you did not mention the much advertised Mission Hills in Shenzhen. Prices there are over USD200 a round, though apparently there are packages that are much more reasonable.

If you liked it, more power to you. I will admit that I am may be a bit biased since I lived in China for over 2 years (and probably spent over $10,000 in golf) and am not impressed in the slightest with much of anything Chinese.

TH

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a fan of golf in China by and large (although I've only played on courses in the south - Shenzhen and Zhuhai areas). I'm a member of the club in Macau which is great - very friendly.

I love golf in LOS - my local club here is Krung Kavee, but have played Lamlukka a few times too. Will try out Alpine when I find a willing victim.

My fave course in Asia that I've found so far though is Cengkareng, next to Jakarta airport. Good course (they held the Indonesian Open there a year or two ago), dirt cheap, and famous for the club girls wearing skirts just slightly shorter than the average belt! Oh, and the only course I've found yet to serve frozen marguaritas at the on-course drink-stops! The first one did wonders for my game, but the next couple took their toll...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

My understanding is that the "Royal & Ancient" made a ruling some years ago that you should not call on , after a golfer died as a result of being hit by a ball on a call hole.

However this ruling does not seem to apply in Thailand. My suggestion would be to just " go with the flow". If there is a backlog and everyone is calling on . Do it. If its quiet. Dont bother.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
My understanding is that the "Royal & Ancient" made a ruling some years ago that you should not call on , after a golfer died as a result of being hit by a ball on a call hole.

However this ruling does not seem to apply in Thailand. My suggestion would be to just " go with the flow". If there is a backlog and everyone is calling on . Do it. If its quiet. Dont bother.

A 'Call Hole' is a call hole..be it england, thailand or where ever. It can work either way, but I usually find in Thailand that it doesnt speed things up.

Have never had any problems, every group that I have seen and played with has waited for the following group to Tee Of before putting out.

Yes farangs do take the 'good golfing manners' a little serious. I'm afraid that I'm included. However am trying to lighten up. I do find the chatting, phone calls etc when you are trying to T off a lot off putting but that is Thailand.

The gambling bit is all part of the fun. I tried to get some Thai friends to play skins, or first 9, last nine stableford points etc etc..no joy ..they want to pay up or collect at every hole. Also they quite often change the rules after 9 holes, or sometimes less if one person is winning a lot or another is loosing a lot..just go with the flow........

Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, every time a caddy has ever told me to 'call' the hole, it's been to prod the people in front to go faster. It doesn't speed things up, rather is like a kick in the rear to ake you up or something.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...