I love snow. I love it in ski resorts on chalets and pine trees, I love it in Farquharson paintings and on nature programmes, I even love it in my back garden. I do not, however, love it on my golf course. Snow is the scourge of winter golf. Frozen fairways can still be played on, wind and rain can be battled through, but six inches of snow and you really are forced to admit defeat.
Cormack, Stewart and I had an Alliance warm up game on Tuesday around Banchory?s winter course. At that time there was only an inch of lying snow so it was really pretty playable. To be honest I think the course should have been closed but nobody had put the sign up so we batted on. The going was difficult because the ball was bouncing hard on the frozen ground but collected a big doughnut of snow as soon as it began rolling and stopped immediately as a result. Putting was impossible so the aerial route was preferred even on the greens, or whites. Gimmes were anything within a driver?s length. Given the conditions the scoring was impressive: Stewart won with 66, Cormack was 68 and I chipped in from 20 yards at the last for a 69.
Back in the clubhouse we conducted our post round analysis and concluded we were very clever rather than very stupid for having attempted a round of golf. Some of the older members were helpful to recall far worse on-course conditions. There was the time they?d completed a sub-70 round in 90mph winds with six feet of lying snow, and then there was the time the course was completely flooded but they?d still broken par in the Spring Meeting with the aid of a compass and a small rowing boat.
Later we were disgusted to learn that the Alliance at Montrose was cancelled. Apparently there was even snow at the coast. I was astounded and confused, my weekly winter pattern thrown totally off kilter. What was I going to do? Not work surely. Thankfully Cormack solved the dilemma with the suggestion of an Allliance pool tournament. The fiver challenge would be decided on the baize rather than the links this week.
The event was completed adhering to strict R&A guidelines and was played in the best possible spirit. Golfers are inherently competitive and this spills over into any other sporting activity they turn their hand to. So, the inaugural Alliance Pool Cup was tensely and closely contested. In the end Stewart ran out as a deserving winner. Unfortunately it seems my bad luck is not just confined to golf. I had to endure a huge number of lip outs and some ridiculous in-offs.
According to the forecasters it looks like the snow?s here to stay for a while so we?re already planning more pub-sports challenges ? darts next week.