Week 1 ? Braemar

Date: 13 September

Weather: Fairly cold, windy, odd rain shower

Greens: Summer

Tees: Summer

Mats on fairways: No

Preferred Lies: No

A wonderfully picturesque setting and an excellent wee course with superb greens. It?s the highest track in Scotland and there are no bunkers, they did have some for a while but all the sand blew away. The round got off to a good start as the clubhouse provided an above average bacon roll ? a 9/10 in fact. Things got better on the second tee when the group in front let us through. Slow play is a problem in the Alliance and any progress through the field is a bonus. When we walked off the 18th green the group behind were four holes back. Despite its elevation Braemar did not witness an equally high standard of golf from me. A handful of three putts and various other frittered shots interspersed with a huge amount of self-loathing and vociferous moaning resulted in a lacklustre +7. Cormack played solidly and his level par round was good enough for second place and £65. Luckily for me and Stewart, Cormack had driven to Braemar so we could enjoy a few pints in the clubhouse afterwards. We then went to a pub called Kylie?s to play some darts and had a few more beers, then visited the Balmoral in Ballater and then the Huntly in Aboyne for good measure. Thursday morning was not pretty.

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