Week 7 ? Newmachar

Date: 8 November

Weather: Rain on front nine, cleared on back nine

Greens: Summer but cored and heavily sanded

Mats: No

Preferred Lies: Yes

My golfing pride is going to make writing about this week?s event very difficult but I?ll attempt to remain objective throughout.

Things began well on all fronts. 1 ? Stewart and my navigational skills proved to be top drawer as we found the usually elusive Newmachar Golf Club without a single wrong turn. 2 ? I didn?t have to pay an entry fee as I?d won £12 from the previous week. 3 ? The bacon rolls arrived in a trice and were of high quality. 4 ? I made a birdie at the 1st. Stewart and I have decided that making a birdie at the 1st is indeed a very bad idea. We?ve both done it this winter season and both times things have gone miserably downhill afterwards. Franz Klammer would have been impressed by how expertly I went downhill today.

Stu was -1 until the 7th when he shanked one across two fairways and ended up under a tree en-route to double bogey. So, we both stood on the 8th tee at +1. For me this was very good as I don?t have a good record around Newmachar and it?s an extremely tight and testing course. Every hole features some sort of trouble: almost all are tree-lined and many have water hazards to complicate things further. It?s a course that suits the patient thinker. Unfortunately I?ve got the patience of an irritable badger and most of my thinking involves expletives and phrases like: How did it bounce that way? How could that possibly miss? Or, my favourite: Why am I so unlucky?

There?s nothing I dislike more on a golf course than internal out of bounds. It?s a simply ridiculous concept and a hazard that I seldom fail to fall foul of. From the 8th tee I found the 7th fairway and, you guessed it, internal OB. I?m not going into minute detail about how my round collapsed after this but I played the six holes from the 8th to the 13th in +12. (7, 5, 9, 4, 6, 5). The 9 was particularly good and involved two balls in the same pond.

Stewart and Chris were having a similarly awful day, between the three of us we found the water on eight occasions (four by me) and we played the back nine in an aggregate of 142. Despite this miserable performance we were fairly philosophical on leaving the 18th green. It was just one of those days. We were further cheered on hearing the other Banchory scores three of which involved letters rather than numbers.

I?m usually very positive after the Alliance and truly believe that the next week will see me taking a step up and winning a scratch prize. I?m really struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel this time. I?m now going to shut myself in the garage with the lights off and have a good long think about myself. When I emerge I?m heading straight to the driving range.

November 22: A great discovery

November 17: Going cold turkeyNovember 9: A series of unfortunate eventsNovember 1: The weather turnsOctober 25: A costly exerciseOctober 18: A gritty performanceOctober 4: To pastures newSeptember 20: Arboreal adventuresSeptember 13: High hopes