On Wednesday, I played my first round of golf in Singapore.
The Managers meeting for the Pacific division was held Monday thru Wednesday this week. To close things out, everyone got together for lunch, golf, and dinner. It was a good day. I got to meet a lot of people from offices in other countries that I've only met on the phone or by email.
As far as golf in Singapore goes, I have one basic observation. It's hot. Like, "Africa Hot" kind of hot. Factoring in the round of golf I played in Virginia on January 2nd a few years ago, I can now officially say that I've played golf in both 40 degF and 40 degC temperatures.
Hot is something I've been dealing with for a while in Texas. I've played in weather this hot before. The problem was the water. There was almost no water on the course for people to drink. In Texas, there's water at least every 4 holes. I had one bottle of water with me when we started. Aside from that, I only saw one water fountain on the 11th hole.
Halfway through the back nine, I was toast. I was starting to get a headache and barely cared about the game. I just wanted to be done.
Aside from the dehydration, I just didn't like the course design. It was really narrow and was very hilly with a lot of doglegs. I've never seen a course with so many blind shots. I'm sure that after you've played it (The Keppel Club) a few times, it gets easier as you get to know it. But the first time you play there, it just kills you. I must have landed in 4 different bunkers that I didn't know were there before I hit the ball.
And then there's the damn metric system. When you see the marker in the fairway that says it's 150 to the middle of the green, they're talking in meters. It's actually 165 yards away. I can't count how many times I grabbed the wrong club and came up 10 yards short of where I was aiming.
These factors, in conjunction with the fact that I hadn't swung a club since March, added up to the highest score I've gotten on a golf course in about 10 years. Based on my handicap, I should have shot a 95. I finished with 113. It's a good thing I was putting well, otherwise I may have broken 120.
The evening ended well though. The food was great and the people were too. It really is fun when we pull together all of the best people in the company to spend time with each other. It's a really great crowd of people who don't spend nearly enough time together because they're spread all over the world trying to hold this expanding company together.
All in all, a tough round of golf, but a learning experience. Next time, I'll be packing water like a camel.