Venue: Huntly
Date: 3 October
Weather: Fine, mild and just a wee breeze
Greens: Summer
Mats: No
Preferred Lies: No

As Arctic foxes take on new coats and Canada geese fly south, I too am making a change for winter. That is: I?m going to write my blog on a Thursday rather than a Monday. This is because my golfing focus has shifted from the Saturday medal to the Wednesday Winter Alliance.

Cormack has travelled to the States to try and earn a crust on the Hooters Tour so Stewart and I have a new partner for this season. David is another Banchory member who plays off four. He used to play off one and his handicap is heading back in that direction.

The fourth meeting of the 07/08 Allinace took place yesterday at Huntly Golf Club. As we?re into our third winter of regular Alliancing, Stewart and I now know the best route to get to most of the courses on the circuit. Locating Huntly GC was not going to pose a particular problem. David clearly didn?t trust our navigational skills, however, because he brought his brother?s Sat Nav with him. We refused to look at it for most of the journey but when we arrived in the town of Huntly we decided to check it just to be sure. It guided us in the correct direction until the golf club was almost in sight straight ahead. At this point the irritatingly good-natured female voice told us to, ?bear right.? ?Bear right?? Stewart asked. ?No, bear straight on.? I said. ?Bear right? she insisted. Deciding we were more intelligent than her we went straight on and, sure enough, there was the golf club ahead of us. ?When it is possible, turn around.? She said. The device was switched off. We?ve decided to rely on good old fashioned maps for the rest of the winter.

Huntly is a very short course but it is quite tricky. The greens are tiny and the yardage markers on the fairways are incorrect. Stewart will dispute this latter statement but, sorry Stewart, I simply cannot hit my 53 degree wedge 135 yards.

I realised it wasn?t my day fairly early in the proceedings. I hit a perfect tee shot on the first into A1 position. I then struck an immaculate wedge shot dead on line. It hit the bottom of the flag and finished two feet from the cup. I missed the putt convincingly. From there I conspired to fritter away shots with carefree abandon. A mis-club here, a three putt there, a fairway bunker here, a hooked tee shot there. I plodded my way round haplessly to a seven over par 74. David played solidly for a level par 67: good enough to win the fivers and his nett 63 won handicap class one.

It?s been a while since I?ve complained of ill fortune (I guess this is because I?ve had some good rounds over the summer and you make your own luck,) but I really was unlucky at Huntly. Absolutely nothing went my way. I?m taking it on the chin though. My mantra this morning is: ?It was just one of those rounds.?

Weather wise it?s been a very tame start to the Alliance. I haven?t required my waterproofs once. I think the benign conditions are hampering my chances. In order to win money I need a howling wind and terrible greens. I?ve spent weeks preparing for abominable weather and I?m getting an Indian summer. It?s just not on.

Next week it?s the Scottish Alliance Championship. Members of all Scotland?s Alliances battle it out over 54 holes to see who is the country?s best Alliancer. This year the event is to be contested at Monifieth and Arbroath. I?ve noticed that former PGA Champion Andrew Oldcorn is in the field. I wonder if he fancies playing for a fiver?