My playing partners had never seen me move so quickly. The 35 miles-an-hour wind literally snapped my pal's umbrella holder and the brolly was cartwheeling across the course. Showing rare athleticism, I retrieved it and returned it to its owner who was already downcast by a chastening round at Hollinwell, a woodland course which would be tough even in benign conditions.
He was not alone in his distress. I also contributed feebly to our team's tepid score in a Pro-Am before which we had high hopes.
The truth is if you don't have a good start at Hollinwell, you probably won't get the chance to make up ground on the back nine which includes what must be the toughest stroke index 18 in the country - the par five 17th.
By then, our round had well and truly gone west, the ferocious wind having blown many a promising ball into the punishing rough.
Hollinwell is a very fine course with some belting holes and brilliant views over the Nottinghamshire countryside - even in drenching rain.
I am biased in reckoning the downhill long par-three 13th as my favourite because I nailed a birdie two when, for a brief interlude, the sun came out.
It was a rare success during a round which showed why we should have thought more about plotting our way around Hollinwell than trying to defeat it and the elements.
Anyway, as it is the nearest in the UK's top 100 to my home, I must go back when the sun is shining and the wind is calmer. I am sure than I will be more beguiled by its beauty then.
Date: July 27, 2020