He had lost a ball with his first shot of the round, put another in a pond and yet another out of bounds, but he was smiling. That is how good the Meldrum House experience is.
In an area that also includes courses such as Balgownie and Murcar, not to mention majestic Cruden Bay with its sweeping white sands, that is quite a claim.
Donald Trump also believes he will have something to say on that matter shortly, yet you can see why there is such confidence in Meldrum House – and it is certainly hard to imagine that there is an inland course in the vicinity that can match it.
Playing on April Fool's Day, immediately after the spell of glorious weather that saw March out and immediately before six inches of snow landed upon the north-east, my pal Steve and I were pleasantly surprised by the pace and trueness of greens that dare not yet be shaved right down, while the layout, cleverly winding around the hotel, made excellent use of the terrain.
It is hilly in places, there is plenty of water and it is well bunkered, leaning towards heavily in some places, most noticeably at the long 11th, while there are a fair number of blind tee shots, yet the designers of several of the overly Americanised blights on our landscape that have cropped up in recent years should take note. This is Scotland, not Florida or California. Our conditions are very different and we are not all scratch golfers.
What we are looking for when we visit a new course is a bit of a challenge and a lot of fun. Hit a really bad shot at Meldrum – on only my second round of the year, boy did I hit a few of those – and you will be rightly punished. However, on every tee you feel like you have a chance and while it is long, it is not too long. In spite of having to negotiate our way through two four balls in front of us, we were round in three and three-quarter hours.
The match was over on the 17th. Steve had claimed a two and one win courtesy of my missed eight-foot putt on that penultimate green which in normal circumstances might have brought on the full huff. Particularly since I had headed directly to meeting him from a lesson with Neil Marr, one of the country's leading coaches who worked for many years with Paul Lawrie, the former Open champion, and until recently with David Law, the fine prospect who has won the Scottish Amateur Championship in two of the last three years.
I could claim that he had over-worked me or given me too much to think about in his training academy ... but I would be lying. In a very pleasant hour he gave me, after establishing that I was unlikely to commit to endless hours on the practice ground, more confidence in my methods than I have ever previously had.
Only in the ensuing few days – a video of the lesson landed in my inbox before the round was over – did I start to realise just how much better I now understood the mechanics of my swing, following what had felt more like a great chat with a little bit of advice thrown in.
In any case this trip was not all about golf, which helped explain the unshakeable good mood.
Years of work-related globe-trotting that have included visits to countless vaunted restaurants have rarely produced anything to savour as much as the succulent trio of game, delightfully accompanied hake and melt-in-the-mouth sticky toffee souffle which rounded off a day that could only have been bettered by a less fragile putting stroke.
Pre-dinner beers in The Cave, a neat little snug bar, had pleasantly whetted the appetite, while afterwards coffee, dinky chocolates, malt whisky and mindless blethering whiled away a grand couple of hours in the drawing room.
The accommodation matched the food; spacious quarters in the stylishly converted steading boasting an ideally appointed wet room with decent-sized bath and massive shower which freshened things up nicely ahead of a pre-departure full Scottish breakfast.
Only one note jarred and that was the description on the course guide of this as "the exclusive golf experience". For those of us who associate the word "exclusive" in Scottish golf with snootiness and misogyny this is the exact opposite.
It may cost a fair few bob, but this is open to anyone prepared to save up and when they get there they will encounter service that is the ideal combination of welcoming, helpful efficiency without risking becoming oppressive.
Indeed, the real joy of visiting is the contrast not only with those stuffy, old-fashioned places that really do seek to exclude certain sections of society, but with the fine dining hotels that have mediocre golf courses and the sprawling country club set-ups that offer bland food and service.
A visit to Meldrum House is a no-lose situation, no matter what the scorecard says. Hence that far from begrudged smile by the beaten man as handshakes were exchanged on the 18th green.
Meldrum House Country Hotel & Golf Course, Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, AB51 0AE, www.meldrumhouse.com, tel 01651 872 294
Golfer's Getaway: £320 per person for two nights based on two people sharing a twin/double room, includes breakfast and dinner on both days and one round per person each day.