Golfing In Asia 1988

In the fall of 1988, Elmira and I joined a couple of friends on an extended tour of southern Asia, which included India, Nepal, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

In riding by bus through India we saw a couple of golf courses that were really rustic, with burnt grass and compacted sand for putting greens. The heat and lack of water eliminated any “green”.

Our young male Indian guide said he was a golfer and encouraged us to participate. So, at our next stop the Hotel was happy to make arrangements. Our friends were not golfers and found other things to do. A small bus took us to the course. Seeing cows we realized that the course was also a grazing pasture.

We paid dues, bought balls and rented clubs. The clubs were short for short Indian people. A caddy, a small middle aged man, wearing a sari, was assigned to us. He carried both bags and always teed up the ball. Also assigned were two ball boys, one on each side of the fairway. Their job was to spot your ball. If you even got close to the edge, the ball boy would shout, “Snake, Snake!”

The fairways were flat and straight with the only hazard being the animals. On one drive Elmira’s drive went through the legs of a calf.

It was so hot and humid not one dry thread was on our bodies. We went back to the hotel and fell into the shower.

We went to Nepal, and rode in a plane which circled over the Himalayas before going back to India to fly to Singapore. Here again we made golf arrangements at the hotel. This was doubtless one of the most beautiful courses in the world.

We met a young American man who lived in Jordan and who sold throughout the area. He asked to join us and we had a delightful day. We rented clubs and pushcarts and played without any assistance. Actually we scored very well.

Our next stop was Bangkok, Thailand. What hustle and bustle that I have never seen before!! With few signal lights, I never figured out how to cross a street.

It was restful to again get on a golf course. This time we were assigned two typically small Thai girls to be our caddies. The golf bags were as tall as they were. On more than one occasion I felt like carring the bags for them. They were instructed to keep our score and knew numbers in English. They shouted out those numbers at the end of each hole. That was sometimes embarrassing. It was a very hilly course with no sight of anything until one reached the hill top. Invariably there was a body of water. I must say our scores weren’t very good.

It was time to go home via way of Japan and the northern route.

David T. Daniel
Southbury, CT © 2014

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