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    The Dapper Times - Golfing Adventures Of Dapper Dan & More

    Spot The Ball - 1st edition

    Spot The Ball - 1st edition

    Welcome to what will be a regular feature on the balls blog, a good old fashion "spot the ball" competition.

    Tell where you think the ball may be in the comments below and stand a chance of winning a full balls outfit and many runners up prizes.

    Also, get involved yourself, and send in your spot the ball suggestions and if selected, you will receive a balls outfit.

    Looking forward to the fun - dapper dan

    The Singapore Shopping Trolley Dash

    The Singapore Shopping Trolley Dash

    I tried my best to play golf all year round in the UK. Come sun, rain, snow, sleet & freezing fog (that’s tail for another day), I would be out there grinding out a 90+ with a swing that at that point, never seen a lesson. Sometimes it really would be a round too far, so when the opportunity came to move to Singapore and play all year round in 30” degree sunshine, I was happy to say bye bye to the British weather and long winter nights. How I got to Singapore though, that was an adventure in itself, which I will attempt to put down in words now.

    So people always ask me, “how did you end up in Singapore”, to which I respond, “I pushed a trolley around a supermarket 22 years ago”, queue the blank look on their faces. I guess it wasn’t quite as simple as that and that it all started back in 1947. 

    My mother & her parents were stationed in the army in Singapore after the war and she would always be going on about how nice Singapore was during my childhood, so I guess I just had to give it a go when the opportunity came along. The thing is, back in 1993 when I accepted my job in Singapore, unless you knew people who had visited/worked in Singapore, or you were some geography geek at school, you just didn’t know where the “Secret Garden” was to be found. At the same time I was offered to move to Singapore, I also had the option to move to Italy and my friends thought I was mad but no madder than some folk up north, who, according to another friend of mine, told me that he moved to Singapore because he was the only person who applied for a vacancy at the job centre in Sunderland. The 3 other candidates didn’t take the opportunity due to the following reasons. One guy had just got himself a new girlfriend, one had just brought a new car and the third, well his mother didn’t know where Singapore was, something I was later to learn a common trait in Sunderland.

    So, when said opportunity knocked on my door, all I had to do, was get myself to Singapore for a 2nd interview after a 10-minute initial chat at a HK trade fair. Fortunately, a few weeks later I was scheduled to travel to HK, Korea, Japan & Taiwan for 3 weeks, with a couple of days in HK to finish off with. I convince my boss Clive that I needed a day’s rest on arrival in HK to get over my jetlag, so on arrival in the old HK airport, I was met by a future colleague who handed me a ticket to Swingapore. Straight back on the plane I got and landed in Singapore around 7pm, where I was whisked away for my first taste of chilli crabs & Tiger beer, before being dropped off to sleep for 6 hours, so I could start all over again the next morning.

    The next day, there was a very quick tour of the company facilities, before my future little boss & I got stuck into duck rice & more Tiger beer at 11am, something I would have to get use to apparently. Three hours and 6 bottles of beer later, I was dropped off at the Raffles Billiard room and instructed to woo the big boss, who was having a long lunch with friends. Now some say public speaking will be the most nerve racking moment in your life, what a load of rubbish, because as I gulped down white wine like it was going out of fashion, the next 3 hours passed in a blink of an eye and I had no idea what I had said to my future big boss, but what I do remember, was that I looked like I’d just had a shower I sweated so much.

    Then came stage 3 of the interview. On route to the airport, big boss to be stopped off at a supermarket to buy provisions for the dinner party he was holding that evening, and my job was to push the trolley around in my suit while he filled it up. How this looked to fellow Saturday afternoon shoppers I don’t really know, but what I did find out later was, that my supermarket trolley skills and candour sealed the deal with the big boss to be, and 22 years and 700 games of golf later, I’m still here, sitting in front of my PC, attempting to regale you with the adventures that were to come.

    Since that day, I’ve always thought that there should never be any excuses to let your buddy’s down by not turning up for golf at the last minute, or even be late for that matter, as technically speaking, I travelled halfway around the world to be on the first tee in Singapore and bring you balls.

    Finally, to whet your appetite, here's a list of topics I lined up for you over the next few months, so make sure you tune in to read more of the adventures of dapper dan – get in the hole!

    Next time... "between us and first class there were 10 carriages full of people & livestock, what to do..."

    • The train to nowhere - China
    • Tails of the Gold Monkey - manila
    • A bridge too far – Romania
    • 1998 riots – France
    • Taxi! – China
    • On Ya bike – Australia
    • The Crowd – Korea
    • Beerhaving @ 6.15am – Japan
    • Speed golf & beeround - Phuket
    • The Pond – Portugal
    • The Fog – UK
    • The Snake – HK
    • Crocodile Rock – South Africa
    • The Mulligan – USA
    • Bamboo Matches – Selby UK
    • Trophy Hunting – UK
    • Crazy Golf – Singapore
    • Lost & Found – Thailand
    • 54 holes/6 hours – UK
    • The Birdie – Dubai
    • The Traffic – China
    • Paradise – Bali
    • The Bus – China
    • Monty – HK
    • Should Never have been a Hole in One – multiple
    • The Boat – Indonesia
    • Sleep Walking – Jakarta
    • Customs – Canada
    • 28 Pints & Still Standing – Yorkshire
    • 3’s a crowd, 2’s not enough – Malaysia
    • Tour De Holland – 1 day

    The worse bag of "Knife & Forks" .... ever

    The worse bag of

    Welcome to what I hope, (that is if I don’t run out of steam and you don’t get too bored), “The Dapper Times”, an alternative take on a golf blog, recounting my adventures around the world that are not necessarily 100% golf related. Wherever I’ve been on my travels, I’ve managed to squeeze in the odd game or two. From China to Cambodia, Australia to America, Portugal to the Philippines, the thirty plus countries I’ve managed to drive with distinction, chip with charisma & putt with panache, there’s always been a story to tell.

    To start us off, I will go with golf and my first ever game in Asia back in 1991 while on business trip in Taiwan. This wasn’t my first trip to Taiwan, and on that trip back in 1987, I didn’t manage to find anyone to play with, but I did find a golf store that sold just the club heads, which is where I met my clubs for the next 10 years, a set of Jack Nicholas Golden Bear Irons. Now hauling a suitcase full of club heads back to the UK for my buddy to shaft, seemed like a good idea at the time, that is until I got to the underground and ended up having to recruiting the help of a homeless chap to drag my bags across the platform so I could make my train home.

    Anyway, back to 1991 and my infamous trip with my colleague Dave kirk to Taiwan. Dave had fuelled my love of golf again on moving North to Yorkshire, and wherever we went, our golf shoes travelled with us. So, after a week of entertaining clients for lunchtimes, evenings, then well into the night, we thought our livers could do with a rest. At first all we could find was a golf range in a theme park, where the attendant wouldn’t give us anything more than a 6 iron, as he was afraid we would childishly hit our balls over the fence onto the unsuspecting locals having a family day out. So guess what we tried to do for the next hour… well we had our fun, but we were now hungry for more. The next day we made our local representative drive for 2 hours to a golf club we discovered would let us play if we crossed their palms with silver.

    Now playing at a weekend in Asia is never an easy thing, due to tee times being like rocking horse manure, and when they are available, the price of a week’s skiing in France. (In 1993, we paid US$450 for a round in Tokyo, as an example back then. Well our company did with our creative expenses claims). Anyway, after a 2 hour slog through the Taipei traffic, we arrived at what could best be described as a 1980’s municipal back in blighty in terms of condition, where they rented us both a bag of knife & forks to play with. Wonderful, we now knew why it was so easy to book. As we stepped onto the first tee, we just thought, we’re here now, let’s just enjoy the day, then Dave hit his 1st tee shot. As usual, his ball sailed 280 yards down the middle, but not quite to plan, was the head of his driver sailing 100 yards into the drink. This of course was his fault and nothing to do with the 3rd rate clubs we had sold our livers for to rent. That was the last time his caddie tried to speak to him, and things didn’t get much better as a further 2 clubs decided to get divorced from their shafts during the round.

    After a lengthy discussion with the management after the round, explaining that we could really play golf (Dave 11, myself 18 at the time) and we hadn’t broke the spades they had given us looking for truffles, they let us off. From then on, we vowed always to drag our clubs around Asia with us for future golfing adventures. This I did with Dave for the next 3 years before moving full time to Singapore, where the real fun started with the Singapore Lager & Golf Society.

    So my question to you would be, what’s the worse set of rental clubs you have been forced to use and how did that work out for you? … answers on a postcard to below please.

    All for now – dapper dan Morby

    BEER+GOLF=LOWER SCORES?

    BEER+GOLF=LOWER SCORES?

    So here's the thing, before I moved to Singapore 22 years ago, the thought of having a beer during a round of golf, was completely alien & out of the question. 22 years on, and I find it increasingly more difficult to find my rhythm unless I've had a said quota of beer. Now I'm not implying I'm an alcoholic, although my wife may argue that statement, but there's something about beer that slows your swing down, eases the mind and gives you something to keep your mind of all those swing thoughts between shots. It's also highly sociable here in Asia to share said beer with friends & colleagues during a round, so much so, with many societies I've played with, it's actually compulsory to have at least 2 beers on the course, one for the front and one for the back 9.

    Now the strange thing is, apart from darts, pool, beach volleyball & dominoes, I don't think there's any other hand eye coordinated sport out there that you can drink 6 beers and still perform (I know, I've tried and failed badly). Now 22 years ago, when I was introduced to the concept of drinking beer on the course, I did struggle at first, but now I find myself in the zone hitting greens in regulation between beer 6 & 10 (I'm an 11 hdcp btw). I recently had a very beer infused round when we were celebrating something or other as you do, and played the last 4 holes one under par through beers 12 to 14, chipping in for the birdie funny enough, while missing the easy birdie putts on the other 3 holes. My playing partners just stood in ore and said "how", and to be honest, I have no idea how I do it sometimes, but there must be something shutting down the negative thoughts and just letting the muscles do their thing. I introduced a golf pro I know to the concept of drinking during a round and even with 8 beers pouring out of his pours, he managed to hit 5 birdies in a 2 under round, so there must be something in the science.

    On the other hand, my apparel business has taken me to Dubai countless times over the past 12 years, where it is possible to have a beer or 2 on the course, but it's not really the done thing, and besides, I'm usually the only one drinking at 8.30 in the morning and they look at you a little weird at times. So over the past 12 years and probably 100+ rounds of golf there, I can count the rounds I've actually played well for 18 holes on one hand, and they were probably due to my hangover from the night before shutting down my brain.

    So my question to you would be, are you a sneaky one or two beer person, or a full on "let's go for it" kind of guy and does it help your swing/game?.... answers on a postcard please

    Dapper dan morby

    balls launch the pie hat

    balls launch the pie hat

    Playing in the tropics has its downsides at times, one of them being the intense sun and the burning rays. Many a player prefers to keep as much of their treasured heads covered, to make sure the dreaded "C" doesn't rear it's ugly hat.

    To help you careful golfers out there, we have now added the pie hat to our collections, that can either be worn at a jaunty angle with flaps up for that dapper look, or with flaps down to keep the sun off your fair skin.

     

    Their's a pie hat for every locker room and with all your first time orders, you will get a choice of caps, hats or skins to complete your first balls wardrobe.

    enjoy - dapper dan morby