More than a game: A costly exercise

The best gamblers know when to avoid placing a bet and when to go all in. Let's hope Fergus never visits Las Vegas.

Week 5 ? Edzell

Date 25 October

Weather: Intermittent rain, relatively mild, unusually still

Greens: Summer but cored and pretty wet

Mats: No

Preferred Lies: Yes

I?m one of those golfers who have a warped view of their ability. I believe I can hit it further than I actually can; that I can find the green from spots where even Seve would be forced to chip out sideways and that I really should be holing at least 50% of those 30 footers. In general I feel my scores should be better than they are. This over-inflated opinion of myself is proving to be costly so far in the Alliance season. I always have a cheeky £5 side-bet with Stewart but stupidly refuse to take any shots off him. Yes, he?s a pro and I play off 3. But I really should be lower than that, and my ego?s too big. At the moment I?m effectively paying an extra £5 entry fee.

Edzell is a superb inland course not far from Carnoustie. Tight and tree-lined it requires good play from the tee. Particularly today as the ground was sodden meaning absolutely no roll.

At the turn things were going exceptionally well. A birdie at the 9th got me back to level par and tied with Stu. Of course I then proceeded to come home in +5 to completely take myself out of the picture while he plodded back in level. Cue the customary handing over of the £5 note.

We?ve got a new partner for the next few weeks: Chris. He?s 55 and a 13 handicapper. On today?s evidence he could be a big money winner on the circuit. He had a fairly mediocre day that included an 8 yet he still came first in his category. I predict that Alliance secretary Ron will be considering a handicap adjustment sooner rather than later.

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

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?