U is for Under Club. In terms of playing, this is what 90% of golfers in Thailand do throughout their vacation. I often hear Thai golfers bragging how they once hit their 7 iron to the green on the 160 yard par 3 16th hole at Thai Country Club or caught a great 8 iron that just made the front edge of the island green 145 yard 17th hole at Khao Kheow in Pattaya. Well of course these were their best shots, downhill and probably down wind, but they all come to think that’s their average distance.
This is particularly true of male Thai golfers, whose ego seems to be more important than their score. If you have a greater than 10 handicap, try this. The next time you have an iron shot of 100 to 150 yards, use one more club than normal. I will bet you a round of golf at the Thai golf course of your choice, including Alpine or even the pricey Blue Canyon, that you will wind up closer to the pin that you thought possible, and will not be long! Why you ask?
This is because you will swing easier and hit the ball closer to the sweet spot. Then, try this amazing stunt on the next hole.
When teeing off with your driver, try to hit the ball 20 yards less than you normally do. Yes, that is right, try to hit your driver shorter! Again I bet your tee shot actually flies longer, and more importantly straighter, than normal, in spite of you trying to hit shorter.
Three weeks ago I played with 3 Australian gentlemen on their Thailand golf vacation at Navatanee Golf Club in Bangkok. During our golf round I kept an eye on their shots and found that over the first 15 holes they all came up short 80-90% of the time, and one was even a 9 handicap golfer. This is a the result of their big egos as they all claimed to hit the ball 20 yards further then they really could on any consistent basis.
I guess nobody wants to admit they hit 5 iron from 150 yards out, but I do not care. After all the score card only knows your score, not your club. Again, part of the problem is ego, especially after taking a golf lesson and seeing a professional hitting it the distances they do. Yes, other golfers can hit longer without a doubt, but what the holiday golfer does not know are the conditions, the wind, the elevation, the club specifications (lofts) of clubs and a variety of other factors which influence how far the golf ball goes. Golf in Thailand is easier the further and more accurate you hit it, so make sure you know your distances, take one extra club, score better, enjoy your golf, and never under club again!