Week 6 ? Peterculter

Date: 1 November

Weather: Bitter cold with the odd squall rolling through.

Greens: Summer

Mats: No

Preferred Lies: Yes

A nice surprise when I arrived today. Secretary Ron informed me that I?d won £3 at Edzell the previous week. It meant my entry fee was just £9. (Minus the £5 I?d doubtless be handing over to Stewart in about four hours time.)

This was the first fixture of the Alliance season where the weather made it a real battle. It was extremely cold with temperatures below freezing including the wind chill. I opted for two T-shirts, two jumpers and full waterproofs plus bobble hat and gloves. Getting ready my dad reminded me of the time that Seve appeared for a round in the Old Dunhill Cup wearing three hats: a peaked cap, then a woolly hat over that, all topped off with a sowester style rain hat. Brilliant.

I would have had quite a good day at Peterculter had it not been for an unfathomable piece of bad luck on the 5th. Having just bogeyed 3 and 4 I really needed a birdie at this shortish par 5 to get back on track. As I stood up to the tee the sun somehow managed to peak through the seemingly impenetrable clouds and shine right into our faces. I made a good strike and the ball was last seen heading straight down the right edge of the fairway. It was never seen again. Three off the tee and I was thrown into the pits of despair, a resulting 8 and I was +5 through 5. Although I didn?t speak for the next three holes I managed to show a ludicrous amount of grit and play the final 13 holes in level par to return a 76. Stewart played a very average round of 74 but it was good enough to beat me, again.

I was unpopular in the clubhouse yesterday evening for having not mentioned the other Banchorians who are brave/stupid enough to compete through the Alliance Season so, for starters, here?s a rundown of another three ball:

David Bisset ? My father is a veteran of many Alliance seasons and a 9 handicapper. Dad?s renowned for taking his putter from some extremely strange places and for winning money when the tour goes to the worst courses in the worst condition. He?s a steely competitor and can never be ruled out until the final putt has dropped.

Jim Murray ? You?ll often here the shout of ?good touch for a big man,? from Jim?s playing partners. A 6 handicapper, he?s silky smooth around the greens, although he did tell me he took six to get down from 30 yards at one point yesterday. This season Jim?s been a victim of Secretary Ron?s vicious handicap cutting policy. He had a great score at Ellon (a gross 71) and was chopped to 5. Apparently there?s no way back up!

Derek Randall ? The third member of this trio, Derek is a very genial Welshman aged sixty something. He plays off a 15 handicap and is often a bit guilty of digital golf: either on or off. He?ll either return a net 65 and scoop the money or NR with incredible tales of strange shots and other mishaps. In the car park at Edzell I asked him how he?d fared and he replied he?d had four shanks and three missed putts of under a foot, enough said.

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