Regular readers of this blog (Dave from Clapham) will be aware of a mini-drama unfolding in my golfing world over the past few weeks: The saga of the Considine Trophy. Two weekends ago this 36-hole club scratch event was abandoned midway through the second round due to an apocalyptic deluge. After much debate and consultation with the R&A it was decided the second 18 should be replayed at a later date rather than reducing the event to one round. This was much to my chagrin as I held the lead after one round.

Owing to a series of pre-arranged activities (as discussed last week) I was only able to squeeze in two rounds between the day of the abandonment and the re-scheduled second round yesterday. Given I played like a complete drongo on both outings my confidence was not high as I drove to the golf course.

There were a few other reasons why my expectations of success were low:
1- On Saturday a friend and I had gone for a walk. I?m probably using the term ?walk? incorrectly as this was, in fact, a 15 mile route march taking in two Munros and the circumnavigation of a large loch. On completing this trek I was pleasantly shattered, but shattered nonetheless.
2 ? My tiredness was compounded when the baby woke screaming at 4.00am yesterday morning. She wouldn?t settle so that meant no more shut-eye for us. I can confirm that four hours sleep after a 15 mile hike puts me in a very bad frame of mind.
3 ? I woke (at 4.00am) to discover I?d pulled a muscle in my side. I?d done it leaping over a stream on the hike. I?d felt something twinge at the time but it wasn?t until my 4.00am alarm call I realised it was actually a bit painful.
4 ? I?d picked up some other injuries on the expedition. My right knee was giving me trouble, but worse were the blisters. I?ve got a couple of beauties on each big toe and one on the knuckle of each second toe. It was quite painful squeezing into my FootJoys.
5 ? Prior to my 1.00pm tee off time yesterday we decided to have a lunchtime barbecue. A venison burger, two eggs, three rashers of bacon and three sausages later and I was as stuffed as Tiger Woods? wallet.

Basically I had a barrage of excuses ready to explain my lacklustre performance. So I was by far the most surprised man at Banchory when I managed to put together an extremely solid round of 67, win the competition by three shots and get my handicap cut to 0.9.

Of course I?m absolutely delighted to have won but Jessie has pointed out something that gives me cause for concern. I seem to play my best golf when the circumstances appear to be working against me. My best score this year was recorded in the rain. I?ve returned other good scores: with a hangover, after I?d driven through the night, when the greens had just been hollow tined, and now brimming with barbecue, out of practice and fatigued.

Actually I guess it makes sense. If my expectations are low I relax and just enjoy the game. When my preparation has been impeccable and there?s nothing to stop me but my self-doubt, my self-doubt kicks in and screws things up. So, I need to have something else to worry about during each round. Perhaps I should purposely leave the hob on or the bath running with the tap in before I head to the course. I don?t suppose Dr Karl Morris would recommend this as good positive psychology but I?ll try anything.

The Alliance heads to Huntly on Wednesday. For any thieves in the area I’ll be leaving my car unlocked. I?ll let you know how we all fare on Thursday.