Week 4 – Ballater
Date: 18 October
Weather: Rain (persistent on front 9 then abating on back 9)
Greens: Summer but cored and heavily sanded
Mats: No
Preferred Lies: Yes

I picked up a voucher for £40 from my performance at East Aberdeenshire. Surely this will be the first of many ?in the money,? finishes through the winter season.

Cormack has gone to America to try and make some money on the Hooters winter tour. I can?t understand his reasoning, hot winter sun and perfectly manicured courses competing for top prizes of $20,000 versus wind and rain over winter courses for a top prize of £100. Oh well, it?s his loss. So Stewart and I had a new partner at Ballater ? John: an 8 handicapper from Newmachar, a very nice chap who gets an inordinate amount of backspin from the most improbable places. Given we were playing with a stranger Stewart and I vowed to improve our on-course behaviour. He was going to try and remain positive all the way round and not give up if things took a turn for the worse. I promised to cut down on the swearing and limit the number of times I lament my bad luck. (Which is incredible by the way.)

Ballater wins the prize for the fastest production of a bacon roll on the Alliance circuit, approximately 20 seconds from order to first bite. Unfortunately the speed was unnecessary as, although our tee-time was 10.01, we didn?t get going until 10.15 or so. People in the Alliance have the habit of inventing times so they can get off early. ?What time are you boys?? ?We?re 10.25.? ?Oh right. Well we?re 10.24 so we must be just in front of you.? Whatever you like.

It was one of those days when the rain is persistent but not heavy enough that you feel the need for full waterproofs. I put my jacket on but left my trousers in the bag. By the 9th hole, my slacks were soaked through and weighed about two stone. At that point I regretted my laziness.

Big Stu was -4 at one point during his round but he finished badly to end just -1 (-3 was the winning score.) I produced a supremely gritty back nine of -2 following a calamitous +5 on the way out and regained some pride.

Click on the links below for other blog entries

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