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)
Tel: (65) 468 7233
Fax: (65) 468 7047
Course: 9 holes, 1887m, Par 32