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Music CD Reviews
Book Review: The Complete Guide to Golf in Thailand
by Lang Reid
Books have decided that Lang Reid must play golf, with a copy of The Complete
Guide to Golf in Thailand arriving on my desk (Blue Mango Publishing, Bangkok,
2004, ISBN 974-91847-9-3). Their editorial staff have obviously never seen me
play, or they would not have sent it. On an initial flick through, it did not
appear to have a section called “How to Instantly Improve”, but it did seem
to have everything else!
At a tad short of 300 pages, all glossy colour, it is a
weighty tome edited by Craig Witney. This gentleman is apparently the coach for
the Thailand national team and has held that position for ten years. He also is
a US PGA professional coach, so is someone who knows which end of his club to
hold as well as at which end of the course to begin. He is now several eons
beyond my golf abilities.
Basically each course covered in the guide has one page
dedicated to the contact details, address, email, etc., and then a description
of the course and a scorecard showing par for each hole and the length of the
The next page gives details as to the course designer, when
it was opened, how many holes, the nominated ‘par’ and total yardage. Green
fees for guests and visitors are given for both weekdays and weekends, plus
caddy fees, golf cart fees, which credit cards are accepted and icons for the
facilities offered. There is also a TGA Course Review Score (explained in the
editorial at the front of the book) and a map of how to get there.
The book is divided into geographical regions, being Bangkok
and Central, Pattaya and Rayong, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, Khao Yai and Nakhon
Ratchasima, Phuket and Hat Yai, Kanchanaburi and Hua Hin, and then another
called ‘Other Golf Courses’.
Interspersed through the geographical sections are other
chapters covering the editor’s views on the Best courses in Thailand,
Handicapping systems, Green speed, Professional golfers and Women’s Golf in
Thailand. At the end of the guide there is also an alphabetic index of all the
courses covered in the book.
Being a very amateur golfer, I gave the book to a fanatical
friend who plays golf at least once every week. His initial comments were that
the guide, despite its ‘Complete Guide’ title, is not ‘complete’ as
there are many courses not included. The TGA ratings scale was he felt,
subjective and consequently not all that relevant, but the detailed thumbnail
maps were excellent, as he admitted to often getting lost trying to reach new
The review copy came direct from Asia Books and the RRP is B. 795. Whilst
for the (extremely amateur) golfer such as myself, B. 795 seemed a hefty price,
for my seriously dedicated golfer friend this was not viewed as expensive.
“B. 795 is less than the price of a round of golf,” said he. He also said,
“I would probably buy it just to know where to go when I am away from
home.” A (real) golfer has spoken.
Mott's CD Reviews: The Faces - A Nod Is As Good As A Wink To A Blind Horse
Part One – Small Faces fill large places
Pawed by Mott the Dog
re-mastered by Ella Crew
5 Stars *****
What a glorious band. Formed out of the ashes of ‘The Small
Faces’ and ‘The Jeff Beck Band’, nobody could have predicted the influence
this lovable bunch of rogues would have on Rock ‘n’ Roll history.
When Steve Marriot left ‘The Small Faces’ in early 1969,
he left his band mates without one half of the song writing partnership, the
guitarist, singer, and front man, so on paper not much left then. However, long
time band mate Ronnie Wood was keen to step into the breach (incredibly, Ronnie
Wood had been playing bass guitar in the shadow of Jeff Beck in his band for the
last two and a half years). He brought along his friend and vocalist from his
previous gig, a certain Mr. Rodney Stewart, who at the time was so lacking in
confidence on stage that he would often sing with his back to the audience.
Amazing when you consider what a microphone wielding strumpet he was going to
become over the next couple of years.
After brief rehearsals the band, under the shortened name of
‘The Faces’, set out on the road, recording a debut album along the way
(First Steps, March 1970). Although this album was poorly received both by the
general public and most of the critics, by the end of 1970 they had built a
reputation as one of the most awesome and lunatic live acts on the circuit. And
1971 was to be their Year.
Going from playing gigs at concert halls and college dates at
the beginning of the year, by Christmas they were selling out arenas all over
the world. Record sales went the same way. Nobody has been more prolific before
or since. In that one scintillating year they released three albums. First the
half live - half studio effort ‘Long Player’, which stormed up the American
charts, giving them their first single hit as well in ‘Had me a Real Good
Time’. Then came the international breakthrough with Rod Stewart’s solo
album ‘Every Picture Tells A Story’ (a Faces album in all but name), which
topped the charts around the world. So did the single from the album ‘Maggie
Mae’, which remained on top of the charts for weeks and was being played
everywhere you went. Their appearance on English T.V. program ‘Top Of The
Pops’ had to be seen to be believed. They made no pretense of playing their
instruments to the music they were supposed to be miming to, instead They spent
their time kicking oversized footballs into the crowd, falling off the stage,
and letting English radio Disc Jockey John Peel (a non-musician) pretend to play
the Mandolin solo in the middle, while Ronnie Lane mugged up behind him.
So when it was announced that there would be one more Faces
album before Christmas, expectations were high, and the boys did not disappoint.
Never has rock music been put across in such a charmingly fun way.
First up is ‘Miss Judy’s Farm’, a great fat slab of
Rock ‘n’ Roll from the combined pen of Stewart/Wood, giving the band a
chance to stretch their wings. A driving riff from Woody fires the song into
life before the plonk of Ronnie Lane’s bass comes into drive. Kenny Jones’s
no frills drums lend solid support to the song, while Ian McLagan - in old
fashioned Rock ‘n’ Roll style - sensibly sticks to the piano to duel with
the lead guitar breaks. Then, of course, on top of this you have the gravel
voiced whoops and yelps of that now full of confidence Rooster of the Vocals -
Rod Stewart, preening his way through the lyrics with a wonderful sureness
inspired a generation. After two minutes of the song, Woody slows the whole
entourage down to a snail’s pace before the entire band roars back in to bring
the opening song to an exciting conclusion, with each artist battling to be
Continued next week…
Rod Stewart - Vocals and Harmonica
Ronnie Wood - Guitars
Ronnie Lane - Bass and Vocals
Ian Mclagen - Keyboards
Kenny Jones - Drums
Miss Judy’s Farm
You’re So Rude
Love Lived Here
Last Orders Please
Stay With Me
That’s All You Need
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