By Robert Bicknell

September 2008

Golf & Life turns three years old...

For those of you following the ongoing saga…Vietnam Golf & Life magazine celebrated its third birthday last month and, in recognition of that, had models running around with champagne and not much else.

I half expected the models to be in their birthday suits and a golf glove (naturally) while drinking champagne, but what they did was pretty close to it. I have no complaints.

I often get questioned about some of the girls in the magazine, mostly by my wife who assumes that if there is a beautiful model on the same page as my column, she knows me. Allow me to set the record straight right here and now…

I have never played golf with those women and I require clarification of the definition of the word "golf".

Furthermore, I have never met those beautiful ladies and I have no idea how they got onto my page. (But if the editors want to include me into one of their photo shoots next time, I would be happy to oblige, but for the sake of dignity and decency, I’ll keep my clothes on. After all, this is not Geriatric Monthly Magazine)

You know me…I’ll do almost anything to promote golf in Vietnam.

Sadly, 99.999 percent of those girls would look at me like a senile old uncle, you know the ones…affected by Mad Cow disease and wandering around the garden talking to themselves? Bingo. That’s me.

The problem is that in my heart I am still 18 years old with an extra stiff shaft. (Oi, I am talking about GOLF CLUBS…what were YOU thinking? You see? That’s what happens from too many Viagra and Cialis adverts in your e-mail box)

My friend Chavalit once told me that only young dogs are stupid enough to chase airplanes flying overhead because the older dogs know from experience that they cannot catch them.

So, call me stupid then because I still think I am young and good looking, but self-delusion isn’t new to me as I still think I can putt pretty well too. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that beautiful young women don’t want to drive an old car…

Facing reality is not easy.

To be honest, when I am standing on the back tees, my ego says "grip it and rip it" but my body says "the only thing you’ll rip is a groin muscle."

I am not ashamed to say that I find the Blue tees more comfortable and if someone asks me to play the White tees, I won’t complain but the problem is all the players who say "You’re a pro, you have to play off the back tees!"


I am an old club pro, not a young Tour pro. With each and every day, Grahame Harris’s words of wisdom on aging with dignity ring in my ears. Such pearls like "Why kill yourself out there? Get graphite shafts and swing easy"

Now, I mention this because by the time you read this, the Gannon Vietnam Open Championship will be over and, most likely, I will have lost again to younger, stronger pros in our division.

I have asked Jeff Puchalski to let the pros over 50 years old – me and Mr Do, play off the blues or the whites as "Senior Tour"…but he looked at me as if I had lost my mind.

For those of you who don’t know him, Jeff is a wonderful guy and an excellent pro who holds great tournaments, mixes a mean Margarita and has a sadistic streak a mile wide.

When I told him that the yucca’s drive me crazy, he planted 75 billion more of them and claimed they "reproduced on their own" due to the wonderful climate at Phan Thiet…

Yeah, right.

So the reality of the situation will be that, I will lose to younger players, get sunburned beyond belief, have my legs ridiculed by Bob Van Mol (and if he isn’t there, he’ll probably hire someone to do it for him because traditions are hard to break) and find a yucca in my toilet.

But, I will most likely have a good time because the other reality about getting older is that all your friends get older too and we still have a lot of things to talk about…

You know…things like graphite shafts, distance balls that spin a bit, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, Viagra vs. Cialis, and best of all…prostate exams.

I can hardly wait…

Back to Issues