After being in Korea for almost a year, I was finally invited to play a game of golf. I'm sounding like a snob, saying I am finally invited, but that's not what I meant .. I promise. Anyway I was picked up by my host at 5.45am, passed by the hotel to pick up one of my guys and we headed to the golf course.
Now let me explain something to all those who do not know much about golf or about playing golf in a country like Korea. The first and most important thing is you either have to be rich, or second, work for a company that uses golf in business, or third, have a job where potentially people need to invite you to play golf. Well I do not fall into the first category, so in this case it is the third, where I am invited to play.
Golf in Korea is all about business, so when you prepare for a game, you need to look the part as well as act the part, or if you're really good, play the part. Unfortunately my golf skills are limited to the occasional lucky shot! So of course I act the part! Sorry, I keep moving off on a different tangent!
So after a nice drive for about an hour into the mountainous countryside we arrived at the Jung Bu Country Club. Met on the driveway by a valet, who pulled our clubs out of the car, and drove the car away. We then headed into the splendid club house, where we are greeted by a hostess who signs us in, assigns us lockers and we head into the locker room / sauna / shower room! I change into the outfit, put on a heap of sunscreen that is there complimentary, and meet up with the others in the clubs large restaurant. I have the American breakfast, the others all Korean breakfast, and we all sit around for 20 minutes admiring the beautiful mountain view.
Right on time we head out of the club house to the 1st hole where our clubs are already attached to a buggy that I have never seen before. We are greeted by a lovely caddy, who lines us up and introduces herself. Of course I have no idea what she is saying, but enjoy the formality! She didn't have to ask but already knew who's clubs belong to who, had all the clubs placed perfectly for easy access, including a separate section on the cart where all of our putters were kept. On the cart she gave us each a section to put our mobile phones, keys etc. Also on the cart was a bucket of water for what I later found out was used to clean every club after you hit. (Yes she cleaned every club with water, brush, and a towel before returning it to the bag) Around the caddy's neck was a control box which she used to control the buggy. Yes, the buggy was run by remote control!!
So we jump up on the 1st tee, she hands everyone their driving clubs which she knew without asking, and off we went. I will move along fast here now, but just need to say that the course was amazing. It was one of the best kept courses I have ever been on. The greens were perfect, ready for any professional championship, and the view around the course was what every golfer dreams about; no noise except the whistling of the wind between the trees, the sounds of birds singing in the sky, and the occasional water fall from the natural springs around the course. We had nobody in front of us, and no-one behind us. A golfer's perfect day. And to top it off it was about 22 degrees, and not a single cloud in the sky.
Never having to take a single golf club out of my bag as the caddy always did.
Caddy ,after two holes, had already worked out my club distances so chose my clubs and always brought them to me even if I was 100 metres away.
I never stopped enjoying watching the golf buggy just move automatically along the cart path (the way it worked was that under the cart path there were sensors, so it stayed on track and either stopped if the caddy manually stopped it or it would stop at sensors placed where the cart should stop)
On two occasions on the course we used electric walk ways like you find at airports. Both occasions were up steep hills. You jump on and up you go! Unbelievable!
The last highlight was not having to pay the US$1000 bill for the four of us!
Now you understand why golf in Korea is so unique! And the latest news to report is I was invited today to play a game of golf in the coming weeks with another client! Got to love Korea!! and no, I'm not telling you my score!!!