I always want to try to golf at all countries that i visited. usually it is hard to find the time, even on vacations or trips to play golf, especially when you are in asia.
In bangkok, There are just too many things to do, shop, eat, visits, massages that it is hard to find 5-6 hours for golf.
We managed to book a golf course, recommended by our friendly and excellent st regis bangkok concierge. Cost is around $100, caddy fee are cash only, for $10. All thailand caddies are mostly female, with varying degree of youth and experience.
Usually the younger caddies are more interested about their faces and make up then their games, while the older ones are more serious and knowledgeable about golf. They can tell you where to put, as they have seen that put break hundreds of times.
So i ended up with 2 caddies, one young, one old. The younger one is with my walking partner non player. I had the older one.
She was really good, clean your golf balls, clean your clubs, give you advices and distances without any gps or high tech intruments. Her english is of course limited, so the advices could have been better.
At hole 12, i ended up in the woods, on the side. Mis hit, hit some trees. The approach shot was a five iron, it was too strong and it it ended up near the other players in front ahead. No injury happened.
They were not happy, and they were local thai members.
We apolozized profusely, but the local members said to me: the fault is your caddy, she should have told you not to hit and wait. I will report her and she will not caddy for minimum 2 weeks. He then ordered her to turn around as punishment, facing away from him in order for him to hit his shot. All while swearing in thai.
I of course pleaded it was my fault, my decision, my shot that was mis hit and ended too far, and pleaded him not to report her.
He quit the game right after that hole, and supposedly went and reported her to the clubhouse.
The caddy cries discretely and tries to hide her emotions for the next few holes, all while still pretending to caddy and clean clubs, balls.
In thailand, caddies wait the whole day for clients in the sun. They are responsible to clean and care for their uniform. They have to bring their own food and drinks. They get paid around 200 bath, $7 usd per round from the golf course. Most players will then tip another $10-$30 (usually $10). It is not much, but it is important for them.
If they are not caddying, they have to help out on the golf course maintenance, if and only if they are selected.
It is relatively hard work for western standard, easier work for thai standard, so there are many people wanting to caddy.
2 weeks without pay, without money to provide for her family, it is just simply inhumane. Especially when the fault is not really her.
I understand that the expectation of a thai caddy is to know the distance, the golf course, and advise the client accordingly. But it is hard for them to know a new client, how far and how variable the client’s shot are and act accordingly.
Any golfer that is mad enough to quit a golf game, yell at people, mistreat other humans beings, just make the golf game looks bad. Especially when the golfers are much more financial fortunate than the caddies.
Anyway, she received a tip from us, big enough for her not to worry, stay at home and still have much more money then even working working as a caddy for the whole 1-2 month.
The big tip was not asked, pressured or expected. It is just a sign of our displeasure of treatment of other human beings.
When you travel to lower income countries, please tip well accordingly. Please avoid making small unimportant complaints toward the workers. Just because they are late in serving you your foods or drinks, or did not smile as big and sincere as you would like, please avoid the temptation of reporting them.
It is not worth it and can cost them a lot more than your temporary happiness…. Unless you purposedly went there to make you feel a higher status than your relative socialist homonegeous western country. If you do, then think what if someone, make a stupid complaint that can easily cost you your job? Is it nice? Is it fair?