Cruden Bay has become a place of pilgrimage for me since my motley band of golfing brothers first discovered it more than 25 years ago. Following the path the good St Olaf trod, we have often stood poised in the sunshine, with Port Errol on the left and the 4th green beckoning ahead, our cares forgotten and truly on holiday. We are all too aware that we still have to make our way down the 6th, only to see our third shots stutter on the bank and roll inexorably back into the Bluidy Burn. But of course nobody would ever dream of playing short and safe. It would be feeble to do so – and equally feeble to moan over the blind par three 15th; the smothering knoll in the centre of the 17th; or the out of bounds and the gorse on the 18th.
In those summer days the sun was always dazzling, the sea a brilliant blue, our scores effortlessly in the 70s, and the joy of good friends gathering was complete.