Have you noticed how some of Britain's finest golf courses tend to come in geographical clusters?
A few at random: Royal Birkdale, the best of our Open Championship courses in my opinion, has Hillside and Formby on one side and Southport and Ainsdale on the other. Magical places.
Staying with links tracks, how about North Berwick, the new Archerfield, Muirfield and Gullane? And all those challenges in and around St Andrews? Or what about Royal St George's, Princes and Deal?
Venture inland and suggest a more attractive collection than Wentworth, Sunningdale, Swynley Forest and The Berkshire. Not much more than 15 minutes between any of them.
But they're all a rather a long way away from the Midlands and so I have challenged myself to come up with comparable muster of courses in this region. And how easy it was!
I put together a Staffordshire Quartet and I must admit that playing the places I am about to mention has given me as much pleasure as most other tracks on the planet. How about 'em? ( alphabetically): Beau Desert, Enville, Little Aston and Whittington Heath.
They're not exactly near neighbours but they are all well inside an hour from Birmingham.
Out of the four I am going to single out Enville because many years have gone by since I last played there and it came to mind now because one of the regional Open Championship qualifiers is going to be played there in 2007. On the Highgate, the older of the two courses.
Four of us went down last week and the praise was unanimous, varying only in its degree. The last word went to the single-figure man in the group and he said this: "If I have played a better course than Enville, I can't remember where it was or when."
We attempted to compare it with somewhere. A superior Woburn, said I. Some holes are a reminder of Hollinwell, said someone else. It was a pointless conversation. Enville is Enville and lucky the men who call it their home course.
It's heathland and it's woodland; it's indelibly beautiful and its variety is infinite. The difficulty is defined by the trees but, not to be too gushing about the place, the smallish greens were all rather slow.
At roughly 6,400 yards it's perhaps on the short side for a tournament venue but that, of course, depends on what you look for in a golf course, not that there's anything short about two of the par-threes.
An alteration or two, a tweak here and there, may be on the cards but, whatever happens, it is going to test all those who have a design on a place in the Open of two years hence.
And Enville have a characterful clubhouse, mercifully unlike some clubs I can think of who have turned their lounges into a cross between hotel foyers and a dandy's boudoir. And they sell the choicest Enville Ales from the brewery down the road.
One of my mates came across an old acquaintance at the bar, an Enville member, and he envied him his golf course. "Which one?" said the member. "The Highgate."
"Wait until you play the Lodge," he was told. "That's even better." None of us would believe him.