- Neil White
The first day of winter golf and the putts needed whacking and two extra clubs were required on green approaches.
I would have scored well around Northamptonshire County if I had managed to do both consistently but the course is so well manicured it is easy to forget that it offers no run at this time of the year.
This is a problem because many of the holes demand accurate and powerful driving in order to open up three-point possibilities.
I tried to plot my way around but that tactic only had limited success because I couldn't reach enough targets in regulation.
Oh, and I also found too much sand. There are plenty of devlishly-placed bunkers at Northamptonshire and they were akin to magnets for my little white ball.
I am a fan of quirky holes which are not in abundance here but there are a couple. The short fourth has a blind tee-shot over gorse, leading downhill to the green and the 9th was the first time I have seen a red light at the tee to denote that people are still putting. I resisted the obvious temptation to try to smash the ball the full distance.
The 18th is the coup de grace - a gorgeous par five which leads towards the handsome clubhouse with bunkers awaiting errant shots in front of a huge green.
There is great attention to detail at the Northamptonshire, with soft Tarmac tracks protecting the course and preventing confusion because there is quite a distance between some holes.
However, there are too many not-so-memorable long par fours for me to make it among my favourites.
Of course, I report that with the caveat of indifferent weather and the Covid restrictions which curtail the full experience.
It was also great value at £50 with a county card.