Paul O’Hagan, GM staff writer

With next month’s issue in the bag focus moves on to this weekend where the Golf Monthly tribe will head south for 54 holes on the fine links of Royal North Devon.

With editor Mike and equipment editor Jezz on holiday this week the banter has been somewhat quieter than usual, no doubt it will be turned up a notch when we arrive on the Devon coast. Here are my thoughts on who might challenge this weekend:

During his holiday Jezz did find time to let us know he has finally joined the category 1 gang. One round in the 80?s on Friday though and we may witness the shortest visit to category 1 in history, I fear this means Jezz will not take the winnings this weekend.

Those of us still in the office are wondering whether Mike and Jezz?s week off has involved hours spent down the range, on the putting green and in the gym. This preparation could help or hinder because as Clive explains in his blog this week, nobody wants to many swing thoughts!

We have concluded that with his new handicap of 1 contributing editor Fergus may struggle, particularly as the Scotsman seems to shoot high when he travels south of the border. Jet lag has to be a serious issue when travelling all the way down to the Devon Coast!

Mike is a member at Royal North Devon and kindly arranged the trip for us but I fear playing a course he knows so well may add too much pressure for our editor to compete at the top. At the same time news editor Luke Norman may struggle to overcome his Norman nerves on such a big occasion, particularly with a rare medal card in hand! Instruction Editor Neil has had to cope with the pressures of moving house recently, he has had very little time for golf and this obviously takes him out of the equation.

Through a process of elimination I think that only leaves me. Well rested, no pressure, not too far to travel and no nerves, surely their can only be one winner!