Taipei Golf Club
The golf itself at Taipei Golf Club is probably not going to be remembered by us forever.
But, that time when we wanted to play golf but couldn’t use a credit card and the ATM was broken and we only had enough cash for one of us to play and we used all our cash to play golf and didn’t have enough money for a taxi and ended up asking for a ride to the train station from a member (we think!)- now that will be the golf story that we talk about and remember forever!
There were two golf courses in Taiwan that were on our bucket list– Sunrise Golf Club and Taipei Golf Club. But, while we were there, the weather, particularly in Taipei, didn’t cooperate with our golf plans.
Our trip started and ended in Taipei. Since the weather wasn’t so nice upon our arrival, we decided that it would be best to wait until we returned to Taipei to play golf. And guess what- unfortunately, the weather wasn’t so great on our return! So, on our second to last day in Taiwan, despite the cloudy skies and the threat of rain in the forecast, we decided it was now or never! (You know us by now and know that we will never say never to travel- but I just added that here for drama’s sake!)
An Unforgettable Arrival
We made our way to Taipei Golf Club via the train. Once we exited the train, we still had a 5 minute or so taxi ride to get to the course. After the journey, we arrived at TGC very excited to play! We checked in with the pro shop, which, due to language barriers, wasn’t the easiest thing. After finding some help from a nice young gentleman, we found out that they don’t take credit cards, only cash! No problem, because usually we travel with a little bit of cash on hand. But, since it was our last full day in Taiwan, we didn’t have a lot of cash on us. Ok, now what. Good thing that the pro shop has an ATM machine! But, wouldn’t you know it, the ATM machine wasn’t working! Argh!
Somewhat embarrassed, we found a quiet corner to try to figure out our next move. TGC has 36 holes, and 9 of those is a par 3 short course. Now, remember when we said we didn’t have much cash on us? We only had enough for one of us to play, and only enough for the short course. Menekse, being the most wonderful wife in the world, said that I should go ahead and play. It would take our last dollar, but at least “we” could say that we played golf at TGC. After some convincing, I agreed and laid out our last dollar for 9 holes and a small bucket of balls. After all, it’s all for the love of the game, right?!
For the Love of the Game
After hitting a few balls on the driving range, we made our way back to check in with the starter. While there, we saw the young man that helped us earlier. I asked if he would like to join us, and he happily agreed. So, we made our way to the first tee of the short course.
Measuring in at just over 2000 yards, the short course at TGC consists of 9 par 3’s, ranging in length from 100 yards (hole number 3) to 136 yards (hole number 1, where we made birdie!). The course takes you inside a very pretty forested area, and there is a little elevation change that makes a couple of the holes interesting.
We especially liked the 113-yard sixth hole, which plays uphill and over a ravine to a ‘Redan’ style green. The 108-yard ninth hole also crosses a small lake, where we just missed our birdie putt right, was another of our favourites.
An Accomplished Playing Partner
While we were playing, it was evident that our young playing partner was an accomplished player. During our round, we got him to open up a little about his game. We learned that he is ranked within the top 10 junior players in Taiwan, and played in the Junior World Championships in 2018 at my old course Torrey Pines, and has qualified to play there again this July. Remember- our offer to caddy for you when you make it to the bigs still stands!!!
Our young partner finished the round at one-under-par, but he could have been at least 2 shots better if it weren’t for the hairy greens! We had to smile when he admitted that the courses in Taiwan aren’t in as good shape as courses that he has played outside of Taiwan. And, when he said that golf is easier in the US (for example) because the course conditions are so much better, we really had a good laugh!
After finishing our round, and saying our goodbyes, we started to think about how to get to our next destination, a Lamigo Monkeys baseball game (and here you thought the day couldn’t get any better!!). The stadium was just a couple more train stations away, so all we needed to do was take a taxi back to the station and then take the train to the game.
An Unforgettable Departure
Oh, wait a minute, that’s right- we just used literally our last dollar to play golf! And walking back to the train station wasn’t really an option as it was about 5 kilometers away (3 miles) and we were already starting to run a little late for the baseball game. Standing out front of the clubhouse, we really had no idea what to do! So, we did what anyone would do in the situation- we decided to hitchhike back! And, why not start hitchhiking while in the parking lot of Taipei Golf Club!!!
Trying to build some courage, we asked a guy that was walking out of the clubhouse if we could have a ride. Unfortunately, his English wasn’t so good, but through some hand gestures, he understood that we needed a ride! He opened the door to his brand-new BMW M Model and let us in! After what seemed like forever, and more than a couple of Google translations, he dropped us off at the metro station. I’m sure our faces have never been redder from embarrassment as they were when we thanked him for the ride and closed his car door! Thank you Taipei Golf Club, your members are the greatest!
Looking back, it is clear that I would have spent our very last dollar playing golf and wouldn’t have thought about not having any money for after the round. I will also admit that it’s likely not my last time doing that! But, that even Menekse didn’t think about keeping a few dollars for a taxi ride back is what makes us laugh so hard!
Like we said earlier, there is no doubt that this will be the golf story that we will talk about and remember forever!!!!