The Thai is the limit for Walker
As a teenage golfer playing for Durham's youth team, Johnnie Walker had to mind his p's and q's around the blazer brigade on the county committee.
But now Johnnie and dad Richard are running bars in central Thailand, anything goes.
"Thai golf can be a bit different to ours," said Johnnie, a three-handicap member of the Imperial Lake View club in the city of Hua Hin.
"I have been living and working out there from November to April for the last three years.
"And at some clubs I have known a round of golf take eight hours and eight beers.
"People come out on holiday determined to enjoy themselves.
"And most clubs there are only too ready to cater for them with drinks kiosks dotted around the course.
"Something that is very popular out there is a skins game with a difference - the more skins you win the more bottles of beer you have to drink.
"So the better you are as a golfer when you tee off, the more chance you have of ending up well over par in every sense!"
The host at Johnnie Walker's Sports and Music Bar has built up a fun reputation at work.
Added Johnnie, "All the journalists in Hua Hin use my bar as a sort of unofficial Press club.
"One day a couple of them walked in and told me they had got my bar put on a world wide Internet hangover guide."
Johnnie, 30, learned golf at his home-town club of Bishop Auckland and he was a member of their team that won the Clark Cup three times in the 1990's.
Sadly, his change of lifestyle stemmed from the death of his mother, Marilyn, at the age of 47 from a brain tumour that turned cancerous. Said Johnnie: "A few months afterwards some friends of my dad took us both on holiday to Thailand and we fell in love with the place.
"We decided to work out there.
"My dad used to be a publican in Cumbria and he opened a bar called Jungle Juice in Hua Hin four years ago.
"I followed him out to Thailand to learn the trade three months later and now we have ended up running the two bars."
Every summer, Johnnie comes home to Bishop Auckland and keeps his hand in at his old job as a sales executive with Reg Vardy Plc.
There has been a brief change of plan this summer because of his 14-year friendship with the former assistant professional at Bishop Auckland, Dave Fletcher.
For the past 10 years Dave, 34, has been the professional at the Chester-le-Street club and takes regular holidays to Hua Hin to catch up with his old pal.
Dave is also a former assistant at the Blackwell Grange club in Darlington and Calcot Park in Reading, Berkshire.
He was the last winner of the Federation Brewery Trophy in 1999.
Dave appointed his own assistant this year, but the new man pulled out of the job at the last minute.
Said Johnnie: "Dave urgently needed some help in the pro's shop and I have been filling in the gap for a few weeks."
Now the pals are trying to fit in a game of golf in the near future.
But Dave warned, "I shall be checking through Johnnie's golf bag before we tee off.
"We do not drink alcohol on the course at Chester-le-Street. Things can get a bit dangerous with golf balls flying about!"
WE have talked about getting the right rhythm over the last two weeks. That is something you need to "feel" is right.
So get it feeling right well before you tee off. Before you start your warm-up, try swinging two or three clubs together a dozen times.
The extra weight makes you more aware of where your clubhead is.
This is what we mean when we talk about "feeling" the club more throughout your golf swing.
It helps you concentrate on getting as much clubhead speed as possible going through the ball at the right time. The idea is to work your hands, arms, shoulders and hips in unison so you create a sense of "cracking the whip" at the point of impact.
This is why it is important to work them together all the way back and all the way through in your swing.
Good rhythm helps you keep everything nice and square as you come into the ball.
So don't forget to warm up for your warm-up!
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