It will be a case of all our yesterdays for some of the more seasoned campaigners at this weekend’s Scottish Women’s Amateur Championship at Nairn Dunbar.

Golf, as we all know, remains a wonderful generation game. Nice to see you, to see you nice? It certainly will be for Alison Davidson as she renews her friendly rivalry with a few well-kent faces of yore.

“It’s great to play in these events with pals such as Elaine Moffat, Diane Macdonald, Karen Marshall and Gillian Kyle, all the senior, or should I say ‘experienced’, players,” smiled Davidson as she looked forward to reacquainting herself with some sturdy stalwarts of the women’s amateur scene.

“We first played together more than 30 years ago and it’s great to get back and renew friendships.”

It’s 27 years now since Davidson, then Alison Rose, won the Scottish Women’s title for the first time at West Kilbride. Barely a month later, she completed a notable double whammy when she added the Women’s British Open Amateur Championship to her collection.

Here in 2024, the 55-year-old Stirling Golf Club member has arrived at the Scottish showpiece with more modest ambitions. The competitive zeal, however, remains undiminished.

Earlier this month, Davidson won the Stirling & Clackmannan County Ladies’ Championship for a record 10th time. It was a victory which underlined both her longevity and her spirited resilience.

Davidson, after all, has been facing a much greater foe than an opponent in a county matchplay tussle.

The former Curtis Cup player’s fight against cancer goes on but golf, with its energising competition and enriching camaraderie, continues to provide a soothing escape from the trials and tribulations of her treatment.

“A year ago, when I was watching the (county) final, I didn’t know if I’d get back to playing competitive golf,” said Davidson, who was understandably cock-a-hoop to have won her county crown.

“I’m still going through cancer treatment every six weeks and I get tired from that. The physical side can be difficult, but then again, the golf helps as it’s a release from what else is going on in my life. Golf is brilliant for that.

“You never lose the buzz from hitting a good shot. When I find myself in a competitive situation, as I did in the county championship, the adrenaline also kicks in.

“It really wasn’t on my mind to play in the Scottish Championship until I went off to Ireland in March to play in a match for the Scottish Veterans. Although we didn't win as a team, I felt I played quite well and thought that I could still compete a little bit.

“I just enjoy getting out on the golf course and thought, ‘why not get out and play in the Scottish Amateur just for fun and see how it goes?’.”

In this game, age has never been a barrier to success. Davidson is well aware that trying to qualify for the top flight of the matchplay stage this weekend will be a rigorous test on a par with the Gaokao college entrance examination.

Only the leading 16 players after the 36-hole strokeplay phase will contest the championship knock-out rounds, while those ranked 17th to 32nd will compete in the Clark Rosebowl. Davidson is steeling herself for the challenge.

“The two rounds on a Friday might be tricky as I’ve not done that for two years,” gasped Davidson ahead of today’s strokeplay qualifier which doesn’t give much opportunity for a breather. “But if I can make the top-16 that would be an achievement at my age.”

The memories, meanwhile, of her triumphs in 1997 will never leave her. “In any sport you want to win your national championship so to have won in 1997 and then the British Ladies three weeks later was a dream come true,” added Davidson, who was also a runner-up in the Scottish Championship of 1996.

As one of the more senior, sorry, experienced players in the field, Davidson is looking forward to seeing the new generation at close quarters.

She has been grouped with Lorna McClymont, the runner-up in the Scottish Championship of 2022, and the highly rated Aberdonian, Robyn Fowlie. “I expect I’ll be a few yards behind them off the tee,” she said.

Another young ‘un that Davidson knows a fair bit about is her 15-year-old Stirling clubmate, Erin Huskie. “It’s great to see another golfer from Stirling making her way,” added Davidson.

A generation game, indeed.