KOLAN-Hanna Bank Championship 2006- Ulsan Korea

My player this week is Kim Saiki

Sunday: Just caught the four o’clock shuttle back to the hotel, showered, surfed the Net a bit then three of us piled into a taxi to catch the 10:30 PM flight to Korea.

It was an Asiana 777 with plenty of open seats but for some reason we were packed in side by side. Once the boarding was complete, I moved and had a row all to myself. No cramped seating to try and catch some shuteye for me, I stretched out and took up all three seats.

Usually, recalling dreams has been futile in my nighttime regiment but the one on the plane stuck with me. Here’s a quick recap. Our plane had an emergency landing on a city street, losing the wings as we glided through the canyons of towering buildings, stopped just in front of a fire station and being refused help from the two fireman cause the rest were out on a call. It was like the movie Airplane when the passengers were watching a plane crash during the in flight movie when the same was about to happen to them!

  • Thailand wasn’t’ so bad after all; After finding a cheap hotel, off to the course we went to get in at least nine holes. This time the bus took forty minutes with the final leg straight up hill. That was a portend for things to come.

This place reminds me a lot of Jeju Island the last time I was in Korea. Extremely hilly and colder than a witch’s you know what. The wind was howling which had our bodies in total shock after last week. Many sloping fairways which will have us aiming at the rough to keep it in the short stuff.

Monday: Took the 7:30 shuttle so I could walk the back nine before playing. It wasn’t as severe as the front but still bitterly cold and breezy. kept hemming and hawing on whether to play or not but took the chance and it wasn’t bad. Played the front nine and the back tomorrow.

  • Flush your troubles away; Something as simple as exercising your bodily functions is taken very seriously here. After making a deposit in the commode, I figured one of the myriad of buttons on my right must be able send my calling card along its merry way. But no, I was treated to what best be described as a wash, dry and simonize before learning how to turn it off!

And then there’s the urinal. Do they really need to show you in which direction to stand? Does anyone mistake this for a crapper?

Watch what you press.

Walk of fame?

Tuesday: It’s cooooold out there! Waited till later in the afternoon then played the front nine. That was plenty.

Wednesday: It was a glorious day. Bright sunshine and very little wind put everyone in a pleasant frame of mind. We played the back nine then called it a day.

  • You pig! Not being able to use her food coupon, which was good at any restaurant at The Lotte Hotel, Kim gave it to me and I took full advantage. The seafood buffet was my challenge of choice and I put a hurtin’ on it. Sampling multiple configurations of sushi, hot entrees and desserts I just about rolled out of this exquisite establishment. My favorite was the creamed snails with spinach. Yummy!

  • A little tune up; Before gorging on the multitude of seafood delights, I joined a few other loopers for a bit of lubrication at The München Bräuhaus. A unique and quite useful feature is a button, resembling a doorbell, on each table. Just give it a push and the waiter comes a runnin’.

Paul, Travis, Andy and Danny going through a few brews at the Bräuhaus.

  • One time reunion; Lance is back on Paula Creamer’s’ sack as Colin is back home for the birth of his baby girl.

  • In a pickle; Or should I say a pickle here, a pickle there, a pickle everywhere. Don’t’ know what fascination the Koreans have with sweet pickles but it seems you get them with everything you order. So far my seafood pasta at the course, ham and cheese croissant at Dunkin’ Donuts and a bacon and egg sandwich from a local vendor all came with the same garnish.

Thursday: The plan was to do an E-9 prior to the pro-am but Kim just wasn’t up to it. Went out around ten, putted a little, ate lunch had a good gabfest then called it a day.

  • Don’t you trust us? Met up with Nancy Scranton, Marisa Baena and Jeff Steffler for one of the freebee diners provided by the tournament. We had a choice of the seafood buffet (home of those lushes creamed snails), a Chinese restaurant (not rated very high by other players) or the Italian eatery on the 24th floor. Italian it was but Nancy had to stop by her room first so we headed on. Each of us had a coupon which entitled the holder to the free eats and was colleted immediately upon being seated. When Nancy arrived, the same was done but this time by a different waitress. You guessed it. She now wanted our coupons. Thinking we made the point that they were already colleted we supped and proceeded to leave. Not so fast round eyes!  They thought we were trying to skip out and we were forced to go through all coupons to find ours.

  • The place were no one knows your name; I mentioned our search for a reasonable hotel but didn’t expound on its opulence. We chose The Rendez-Vous for its price (around 40 bucks a night) and location (just across from The Lotte). What we didn’t expect were all the extras included for such a  paltry sum. Of course, it’s clean as a whistle with the traditional rock hard Korean beds, pillows that keep your neck in a painfully crooked position and a shower without a shower curtain (Korean style). But there’s more. Except for The Lotte, all the local hotels are either frequented by ladies of the evening or couples just wishing to have a little privacy away from home. Pretty much everything is provided with all the lotions and potions to make your stay complete even a partially stocked mini-bar is included. But there’s more. How about free porn on channel two and an array of condoms atop the dresser. My room even has an Ethernet connection but still unable to update my site even though the Web is accessible. Oh by the way, it’s all cash and they never asked our name. You won’t find this one on Orbitz!

  • Lets take a walk; Plenty of shops across the street with well know eateries such as Dunkin’ Donuts, KFC and McDonalds. Other restaurants, drinking establishments and trinket shops abound completing the international flavor.

 

 

Friday: Just a mediocre day. Posted a +2.

  • Again with the bill? Used my coupon for the breakfast buffet at The Lotte but another gent slipped a tab for $!8 on my table soon afterward. Doesn’t anyone pay attention?

  • It cost lots at The Lotte; Lane didn’t realize how pricey this joint can be. He sat down for a cup of java the other morning and was shocked by the final tally. $7 US without a refill!

  • This visa isn’t good in thousands of places; Everyone who played last week was not in this event as was the case with Becky Morgan. She decided to holiday in Thailand waiting for the Japan event but a withdrawal got her back in the picture, or so she thought. Unfortunately, she had her visa stamped in Korea on the way to Thailand and it was only good for one week. They wouldn’t let her back in.

Saturday: Ditto plus one. Shot three over.

  • Smoke ’em if you got ’em; I thought the warnings on cigarette packs were stern in Europe but the ones here are much more graphic. Take a look.

Must have been a four pack a day man.

Sunday: A little better but too many three putts the first two days did us in. Shot +1.

  • I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date; Scottish Johnny (Laura Davies’ looper) was off to the races even before his round was finished. Knowing the shuttles back to the hotel were every half hour, and the three o’clock was close to departure, not being finished did not deter him in the least. They were on the eighteenth green, and just needed to putt out, so why waste time. He gave Laura the putter, Donna Wanna (Meena Lee’s cadero) a farewell a peck on the cheek and took off for the bus. He made the three o’clock and Laura the three thirty. Nice to have an understanding boss.

  • Cheater, cheater, kimchi eater; Seems to happen every time an abundance of Koreans come together for a friendly game of golf. Accusations of fudging the rules, or ignoring them altogether, arises. Here are a few examples.

  1. It happened in our group as one of our playing partners played another ball after her approach on the par five sixteenth went array. We were unclear whether she played a provisional or not. First she said she did, then upon finding the errant pellet in a not so favorable position, claimed she didn’t. Since her declaration was not prior to playing the second ball she got away with that one.

  2. Also heard the winner had a couple of doozies. She removed some grass from the lip of the cup but claimed she only brushed away some loose impediments and after blowing a shot over a green, the ball appeared in a completely different area.

  3. Jong Jang (a national favorite) had a left-of-left tee ball into the gallery miraculously appear on the cart path with an open shot. Even her caddie knew it had some help.

  4. Played with Se Ri on Saturday and our approach shot to number one hit and move her ball on the green. We were too far away to determine the exact position but it did wind up closer even though it was stoney to begin with. Our appeal to the gallery brought an amazing reaction. They were saying it was even closer than where it now laid!

  • Winding down; Steffler and I took a trek around the block and eventually wound up at the Girl & Beer where a few other caderos were sampling the local brew. It’s the Korean version of Hooters where skimpily clad waitresses serve and entertain with an unusual ritual. After delivering your selected refreshment, they raise their hands and twist them back and forth. Of course, we had to reciprocate.

Back at ya girls.

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