More than a game: To pastures new

You take the high road and I'll take the low road and I'll be making double bogeys at East Aberdeenshire afore ye.

Week 3 ? East Aberdeenshire

Date: 4 October

Weather: Fairly sunny, breezy

Greens: Summer

Tees: Summer

Mats: No

Preferred Lies: Yes

We were supposed to be going to Huntly but the course was flooded and a last minute change of location was decided upon ? not an uncommon occurrence through the Alliance season. The notice was posted on the Scottish Golf View website but that was the only means of finding out about the change. Luckily my father (an Alliance veteran) spotted it and informed our contingent but, needless to say, about a quarter of the field showed up at Huntly ? a course over an hour?s drive from East Aberdeenshire. The new venue was not a particularly popular one. A round here is more like navigating the ?Haute Route? from Chamonix to Zermatt ? with holes titled ?Hill? and ?Big Dip? you get the general impression.

Almost every hole on the course is blind and a certain amount of luck is required if you?ve not played it before. At one point I made an aggressive shout of Fore! thinking my ball was bound for the next tee. Stewart on the brow of the hill looked back in confusion, I realised my mistake when I reached the summit and saw my Titleist lying about 10 feet from the cup. Despite all these adversities I actually managed to play quite well. Level par with three to play things looked good. Naturally I bogeyed my way in and finished three shots back of the winner. To rub salt into the wound my dad pipped me by one for the handicap prize.

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?