More than a game: A busy week

Fergus' wife has barely seen him for the last week. The only way she can keep up with his movements is by reading this blog.

This past week has been a bit silly. I?ve contested the last two rounds of the Club Championship, the last two rounds of the John Marr Trophy, the Gilbert Herries Quaich qualifier and made an aborted trip to play in the Journal Cup. If I kept a diary these would have been my entries for the week:

Monday night ? John Marr trophy round three: A solid one under par 68 tonight. Surely this signals great things for the coming week. Nett 66 gives me a one shot lead with one round remaining so maybe I?ll defend my title. My game feels solid and I can?t see any problems on the horizon. I am very good.

Tuesday night ? Felt twitchy this afternoon as I knew there?d be no golf in the evening. I Attended my father in law?s 60th birthday party which was the perfect distraction. Made a slight modification to my takeaway after short practice session with a broom handle in the wine cellar.

Wednesday night ? Club Championships round three: What a gritless plonker! The field endured pouring rain for about nine holes tonight and I should have made it work in my favour. Instead I scuppered my chances with a lacklustre 74. I?m eight shots back and surely out of contention. I?m off to sit in a darkened room and think quite carefully about myself.

Thursday night ? John Marr Trophy Final Round: I won?t sleep tonight. To be honest my final round of 72 (nett 70) wasn?t too bad and Ross, my closest adversary, shot a 70 (nett 66) to win by three ? He played well and deserved it. The reason I?m hitting the keys very hard as I write this is: I was pipped to runner up position by an 18 handicapper coming in with a nett 58. Nett 58! What are you supposed to do against that? Oooh I?m angry.

Friday night - Club Championships final round. This entry was originally scrawled on the back of a beer mat and on second glance I?ve decided it can?t be published on a respectable website so here?s a modified version: Super result. A 67 and I sneaked into second place. Was jolly pleased for the winner David Brand and I accompanied him and some other fellow competitors on a little jaunt to our favourite local inn. We imbibed a pint of ale and sung some hearty songs.

Saturday ? Gilbert Herries Quaich qualifier: Not sure how I managed it but I negotiated the course in 70. I?d like to thank Alka-Seltzer and Deeside Spring Water for making this possible. I?d also like to apologise to the hosel of my gap wedge for the shank that came off it up the fourth. The Alka-Seltzer hadn?t quite kicked in and I was still seeing two balls. Unfortunately I picked the wrong one.

Sunday ? Journal Cup at Porthlethen: A prestigious North East District team event so it was an honour to be selected to play. I was looking forward to the competition until about 3.30 this morning when I woke to what sounded like a hundred drums being beaten ferociously somewhere in the house. It took me a few minutes to realise we hadn?t been invaded by a Mohawk war party and the persistent battering was in fact the most incredible rain storm. The downpour continued for the rest of the night and it was still raining when I set off for Portlethen at 7am.

I don?t mind playing in the rain, I?ve got quite used to it. But, when we arrived at Portlethen there was another problem: fog. At first it was totally unplayable but it cleared a little and we forged out into the greyness. After three holes I?d lost two balls and was five over par. On the par five fourth we were forced to play irons from the elevated tee as we couldn?t see where the fairway was. I managed to locate my ball but was very pleased to hear the hooter telling us to leave the course. A player in the group in front was even more delighted. He was about to hit his eighth shot from 200 yards short of the green. He?d lost three balls on the hole already!

Sitting in the clubhouse awaiting a decision from the officials I experienced a sensation I don?t remember feeling before. I didn?t want to go back out and play. Have I had enough of golf?

Monday morning: Sensation has passed, already practiced my putting on the carpet and arranged a game for Wednesday evening. Phew.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?