If you have ever played golf in Hong Kong, you will understand this tale and if you have ever played in China, you will understand that the word “Snack” has multiple meanings.
On a business trip to HK back in 1995, I managed to slip away for a brisk 18 @ possibly one of the best municipal golf courses in the world, Kau Sai Chau. Well, I say brief, but like anything to do with golf in Asia, it involved a car ride, boat ride and a bus ride to get there. Built on an old British firing range and scattered with traditional Chinese graves, there’s nothing easy about this course, especially the North Course, a must to play on your visits to HK.
Me and my mate Dave were teamed up with a couple of nice American chaps who had also slipped away from work for a game of ball & stick. Both were very nice, as this was a time when our America friends seemed to be more humble & friendly, however, one chap was rather large, six foot 3 and weighing in at about 130kg. We all started off quite nicely and thought it would be a fun day out, but then the wind arrived and balls started harking back to the old course roots of Army Golf, left right, left right, left, never to be found in the course grass that grows just off the narrow fairways.
Now we had seen many a sign that said “beware of the snakes” but being fool hardy white guys running low on balls, we thought “what the heck & how big can the snakes be”. So on a very testing par 5, myself and the large fella hit our drives into the love grass and decided it didn’t look too dangerous to look for our balls. The thing is, when you get in the grass, it’s like your looking into the eyes of the snake in a Walt Disney movie, you find one ball, then another, then another and before you know it, that semi-rough becomes a little thicker and ideal for snakes to hide in.
Now as we all know, snakes only really attack when they are startled, so being quiet will always be a safer option, however, true to stereotypical form, my new American friend cried out how great it was to find so many free balls, and it was at this point that Hissing Sid reared up and showed his displeasure at being disturbed. Apart from American football, I’ve never seen a 130kg man run 100 meters in 9 seconds and I’m pretty sure the shockwaves were felt in Sweden as his size 14 feet pounded down the fairway, leaving a few pot holes for the greenkeepers to fix up later. Needless to say, we didn’t go anywhere near the rough for the remainder of the game and left the balls in the rough to be hatched by our friend Hissing Sid, who I’m sure was having a good chuckle to himself all day long.
I was later to discover, that snakes aren’t a problem just over the border in China, as they are affectionately known as “Snacks” there and will be served on the menu in the bar afterwards, however, when in Hong Kong I was informed, there are times of the year that when our snake friends are looking after their eggs, stay well clear… lesson learnt - dapper dan
The course you should play http://www.kscgolf.org.hk/index-e.asp