Inbound golf tourism – Mata Pribadi says no!!

You may have seen in today’s Jakarta Post, Golf Promo Indonesia’s Mr. Dennis G. Kloeth’s open letter to the newly appointed Minister  of Tourism, Lampposts and Things that go Bump in the Night.

Mr Kloeth is lobbying the Minister, Mari Pangestu, to actually talk to him after three weeks of fruitlessly trying to get past the Ministry’s excellent electronic telephone operator, and this in order to get him (her?) to listen to his ideas on how to enormously grow the “inbound golf tourism” industry.

The potential is fantastic, says Mr Kloeth, for filling Indonesia’s wonderful golf courses with happy, high spending, big tipping tourists and thereby boosting Indonesia’s foreign currency earnings.

It appears the Minister is rather unwilling to listen to him. This is an absolute disgrace of course and something really has to be done about it.

Yes, the last bloody thing we want here in Jakarta are hordes of foreign tourists clogging up our wonderful courses, driving up green fees and overpaying and shagging our caddies for heaven’s sake.

So, send an e-mail or post something in Facebook or whatever TODAY, telling anybody who might listen that all the courses here are shite and that, despite Mr. Kloeth’s description of Indonesia’s infrastructure as “perfect”, the traffic is just about the worst in the world and that any visitor will spend more time in traffic jams than on the golf course.

And if you are unfortunate enough to actually get a visitor who plays golf then be sure to take them for twice round the park at Fatmawati GC; that should help convince them to stay away.

In the interim we will have to rely on the Minister remaining indifferent to pesky foreigners trying to get his attention while he is trying to avoid becoming the next Nazarrudin  – and of course his Ministry’s “electronic telephone operator”.

This entry was posted in Business, December 2011, Sport. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Inbound golf tourism – Mata Pribadi says no!!

  1. Just Your Average Golfer says:

    So basically what you’re saying is you don’t take too kindly on foreigner tourists because of the traffic jam, fear of them hogging up the field, and shagging the caddies?

    From what you’re saying and looking at where you’re hailing from, i am guessing you’re talking about jakarta specifically. The thing is, maybe having the extra money coming in from outside indonesia won’t be so bad if there’s some way to divert the traffic of incoming foreign golfers to other golfing locations other than Jakarta? Off the top of my head… Batam, Bali, Surabaya, etc…

    And shagging the caddies? Puh-lease! i’ve seen a lot of perverted chinese old geezers going all touchy-feely on the caddies on my visit to surabaya’s Ciputra event couple weeks back and for the caddies it’s A-OK. Why? more money for em’ of course! Besides, if some 45-year-old deadbeat is gonna spend his cold hard cash on playing golf with a lil’ extra serving of rump on the side, who are you to complain? The caddies aren’t complaining, the golf course owners are certainly not complaining…. so this part of your idea is…. well… pointless…

    And if you’re going about this from the perspective of moral rights and etiquette, please remember that not all of us golfers are pervs in polos and tights… while some of the golfers may behave inappropriate, some of us play with creed and pride of being professional.

    Last words for the author of this great blog : Stop thinking locally, instead think globally… widen your perspective. Sure, you’re doing a great job in thinking outside the box, but you’re missing the opportunities. Sure Jakarta cannot take extra tourist clogging up the traffic and courses. So divert them somewhere else. Indonesia isn’t small… there are so many beautiful landscapes for golf courses instead of jakarta. And by promoting what you’re currently writing, you’re just showing to the world how egocentric and close-minded you are. And if you think indonesia can survive without the money from tourism. You’re dead wrong.

    • Mata Pribadi says:

      JYAG – first of all many thanks for a long and thoughtful comment – we don’t get so many of them so you deserve a fuller reply than usual!

      I am a very keen golfer and 99% of my golf is in the Jakarta area so the sentiments expressed indeed relate to the Jakarta area specifically and while framed, I hope, in an amusing and certainly in a tongue in cheek way, there lies a serious concern.

      NIMBYISM? … guilty as charged!!

      Yes, the traffic in Jakarta is appalling, even with the fourth lane added to the Jagorawi Tol, coming home around 17:00 on a Sunday from the courses to the south is a nightmare while the journey back to the centre from Tee Set’s Sewangan venue the other Sunday took more than two hours. Regarding caddies, my objection to tourists shagging our caddies was on competition rather than moral grounds! Being a very happily married chap myself and with a wife who has a lower handicap than me, I don’t partake but have good mates who do (while not disgracing themselves on the course) – and to the benefit of both parties – some even ending in that fateful walk up the aisle.

      Playing the Jakarta courses during the week is one of the greatest pleasures in life – the same cannot be said of the weekend, however, where all the best courses are chock-a-block throughout and where conditions are exacerbated by the citizens of an Asian nation to the north of here.

      For the rest, and as one who loves the country and who CHOOSES to live here rather than having been dispatched here for a year or three by an employer, I can only agree with you; yes, develop golf tourism to the many other wonderful courses in the country, yes Indonesia needs FDI (and the tourist dollar) to develop in golf as in almost every other area, but please – not in Jakarta!!


      PS I note that the support to our view that can be seen in the comments below all come from Jakarta based golfers!

  2. Ric Wymer says:

    Since most of the Ministerial Departments play golf and enjoy the 19th hole activities, this proposal from Dennis is going no where. Suspect Dennis has been living outside the country to long and has picked up the concept that Governments are actually voted into power by the people to do something good for the majority. What a silly notion that is. All for one and one for all is the catch cry here and be thankful. We don’t want to stress out our beautiful caddies with extra distractions!!

    • Dansingh says:

      How they get their positions is well dcnomeuted and involves American Express travellers checks in the main, Keeping their position is, one imagines, a variation on the same theme.Bapak Samsudin is on Mata Pribadi’s radar screen and may very well get some focus in our January edition if we can get the staff out of Eastern Promise where they appear to have encamped for Xmas/New Year.

  3. I couldn’t agree more. We don’t need tourists slowing down already slow play and adding to the traffic woes…

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    • After speaking with a caddie and coming to the understanding that that these folks are not wealthy and that their incomes are not fixed, we decided to rent our home to 6 caddies at a rate of under $60/day. These folks have limited funds to travel to various tournaments and if their golfer does not place in the top 10, the have extremely modest allowances for living expenses.Unfortunately, greed runs rampant in this community. We moved here from a larger city a few years ago and have had multiple incidents where we have had money stolen from us from unethical or deceptive practices. Rather than become cynical in our outlook, we continue to remain positive, but are certainly more careful with our money and choices. Putting your full faith and trust in any local person or business is a recipe for disaster. If you should have an incident, do not count on any consumer protection as you will find none in WV.As far as I can understand, some of the reasons for the greed and materiality that pervades this culture are: 1.) There is a dichotomy in Greenbrier county that goes back over 100 years where wealthy landowners from the South would come to the Greenbrier to excape the heat, humidity and disease back in the day. Local folks were not people of financial means as a general rule. This created a culture where there are 2 distinct economic groups – the “haves” and “have nots”. There is no middle class.2.) The “have nots” have lived next door to folks with nicer homes, better cars, clothes, etc. for years and ultimately have compromised their morals and ethics to justify the extortion of wealth from those that they perceive to be of means. If you are middle-class, you are likely to be mistaken for a person of means as has been our experience. Many folks in the county are poisoned by an “entitlement” mentality and feel that they are owed a standard of living greater than what they are willing to work towards. In addition to those on the lower end of the income scale, you will find that this type of thinking is found in many folks with higher paying jobs in the few service sectors in the County.To be fair and honest, not everyone in the county subscribes to this philosophy, but to illustrate the broader truth, generalization necessary.This is why the rents are so “out-of-whack” vs. what you are seeing in other geographic areas. Until Greenbrier County attracts jobs for middle-class folks who have diverse educational and economic backgrounds, this phenomenon will continue to play out. The area could desperately use some value-creating manufacturing facilities that employ a vast and diversified work force. Until then, people here will continue to remain the center of their own universe and you need to understand that it is all about them when you are here.

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    • Great common sense here. Wish I’d thought of that.

  4. Mata Pribadi says:

    While extremely well qualified in many ways, Mari would not make it as a caddy in these parts as SHE does not have the, erm, right attributes …

    • Marianne says:

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  5. The Caddy Whisperer says:

    I was trying to get my head around the gender of the Minister and couldn’t put my finger on it and no handle to support the proposition that the the Minister is a “he”

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