"Watch out for the ninth. It has big dips in front of the green and beyond and I watched two scratch golfers make a mess of it on YouTube."
Fortunately, having come to grief on the aforementioned hole on a previous visit to Delamere Forest, I took the advice I was giving to my fellow tournament competitors, took an extra club and made par.
What a pity I didn't pay such keen attention on the rest of the holes because I slunk away having played one of my worst rounds of the year.
This beautiful Cheshire course is deceptive. There isn't much heather and the fairways seem wide. But I can testify that a lack of precision around the greens can be very costly.
As said, it wasn't as if the course was new to me. Intriguingly, I wasn't caught out by the more memorable ones - my best were the downhill third which offers great views of Cheshire and the spectacular 14th which winds down into the furthest corner of the course to a green, protected at front and sides by bunkers.
However, blobs came aplenty elsewhere.
I didn't cope with the doglegs - coming to grief on the 8th and 18th despite tee-shots which had put me in strong positions.
This was down to finding way too much sand.
There is many a slant at Delamere Forest which feed the ball into bunkers and by the end of my round I felt as if I was playing more often on sand than on grass.
And when I did finally hit the green, I found their twists and turns too subtle. The number of times I edged the hole had me frothing with frustration.
Despite my abysmal return, I felt that a good score could have been achieved at Delamere Forest but not if it is taken lightly. I did my homework but I wasn't as precise as I should have been.
However, my wretched final score did not prevent me from recognising, once again, that this is a special course.
I can't comment on the hospitality because Covid regulations meant we weren't allowed into the clubhouse. A shame because it looked most inviting from outside.
Date: October 02, 2020