By Robert Bicknell

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June 3, 2007

Chi Linh report and another one bites the dustÖ

Well, I finally got my fat behind over to Chi Linh Star again after a few months lay off, mostly due to weather and the fact that I was too lazy to drive that far. Sloth can be a real pain sometimes.

However, it was good to see Lars again and I swear he never ages. Always youthful and full of energy, it makes me suspect he has a portrait in his attic, ala "Dorian Grey".

The course was playing tough as usual and the early morning downpour really didnít help matters as the bunkers were a disaster. Happily, the club labelled all bunkers as GUR (Ground Under Repair) and allowed a free drop from them. This was good for me because I am normally a sand magnet and spend more time on the beach than the Baywatch film crew.

One of my friends told me that the greens had improved significantly and were back to normal, so I was excited to give them a try. The rain allowed the approach shots to bite pretty well, but due to the rain they were slower than usual. No matter, thatís a temporary inconvenience and will continue to improve as the weather gets warmer.

Also, Chris made sure there was an ample supply of chicken nuggets available for me. Its amazing, even when they throw a full buffet for a tournament, Iíll still ask him "got any nuggets?"

Chi Linh has the best chicken nuggets that Iíve tasted in Vietnam so far. (That explosion you just heard was Jeff Puchalski going nuclear and telling his kitchen to start making nuggets and ordering the guards at Phan Thiet to shoot me on sight).

Oh yes, that reminds me, another one bites the dust...

On Saturday last week, I attended the wedding of one of our professional golf community here in Vietnam, Calvin Silva.

No, Calvin isnít a manager, golf pro or even superintendent, Calvin is a "shaper", the guy who uses a bulldozer in the way that an artist uses a brush, if you can imagine that and if youíre good, you can name your own price. He is and does.

Most golfers tend to attribute a beautifully shaped golf course to the architect and that is true to a point, but once the design is finished, its up to people like Calvin to make it a reality.

At the wedding, I bumped into the legendary Rob Cooper, who I havenít seen in many years. Perhaps, it was his shoulder-length hair and baby mutton-chop sideburns, but I swear he was going for the "Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider" look.

The Ferragamo loafers rounded out his "gone Hollywood" appearance.

Surprisingly, he was quite more reserved than normal, but I suspect that his wife had something to do with it. Despite the fact that she appears to be a very tolerant and understanding lady, I would not be surprised if someday she stabs him in the neck with a fork during dinner.

Its funny, but whenever one of the golf family gets married, almost everyone shows up which demonstrates one unmistakable fact...

Weíll go anywhere for free food and booze.

I believe that I was the first one of the gang to get married here in Vietnam, as I will be celebrating my 11th wedding anniversary in July (unless my wife kills me in June), but the circle keeps getting smaller.

I think that Tom Benefeld, who is now in the GM / Superintendent slot at Kings Island Golf, is the last unmarried member of the group and, I couldnít resist pointing it out to him at the party. Ever see the facial expression of a rat caught in a trap?


Now, far be it from me to set a friend up for a fall, especially a long fall from an enjoyable bachelorhood, but misery does indeed love company.

Tom is a good looking guy, has the build of a silverback gorilla, has a great sense of humour, is very well educated and gainfully employed. There is no valid reason why such a guy with all these wonderful attributes should remain unmarried here in Vietnam...

Did I mention heís very wealthy?

That should cook his gooseÖ.

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