Now to discover which of this excellent set rolled off the centre of the fairway and into the gravelly bunker…
1. RUNABOUT – what a top-class clue to tee off with, requiring precision and positively discouraging the biffers; ‘light car’ is the slightly odd literal (ODO has 'small car or light aircraft'), derived from AB (‘sailor’) in (fielded by) RUN OUT (‘dismiss’). [see Galspray below for an alternative parsing]
5. SCREAM – SCRAM around E; the literal is nounal, as in ‘Monty’s a right laugh’ / ‘Aye, he’s a scream’.
9. COMPENDIA – ‘summaries’: Collins has the required sense, ‘a concise but comprehensive summary of a larger work’; O[ld] + MP (‘member’) + END (‘last’ – again Collins is helpful: ‘the last section or part; (as modifier) ⇒ the end office’) in CIA.
11. HOOTS – ‘impatient cry’: typically of a Scotch person or a stage Scot; SHOOT with the S moved to the end.
12. THROWER – T(HR)OWER.
13. SUBSOIL – SUBS (‘sub-editors’) + OIL.[amended - thanks to anon]
15. NEXT TO NOTHING – give this a good biff and you’ll reach the short par 4 12th in 1; N + EX + anagram* of NOT TONIGHT.
16. PRONOUNCEMENT - another biff will get you to the short par 4 16th; E MEN in PRONOUN (‘what may be their’) + CT.
20. GNOCCHI – last letter of [reachin]G + COCHIN*.
21. FREEBIE – a reversal of E[uropean] + BEER in IF.
23. ADIEU – U[niversity] with A DIE (‘pass’); the word that triggered one of the all-time great lyrics: ‘adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu’.
24. GUILTLESS – I[rish] + L (‘lad originally’) in GUTLESS (‘chicken’).
25. SIMPER – simply SIMP[l]ER . Very nice.
26. ADJACENT – A + DJ (‘club employee’) + CENT.
1. RECITE – as we turn for home, the tee-shot is arguably more demanding than the first on the outward 9; the literal is ‘deliver’ and the cunning wordplay takes the form of a pesky substitution, requiring the second C of RECCE (to ‘case’ the joint) to be changed to IT. Projected to play the hardest hole on the course today.
2. NAMUR – I had my Poulter moment here, driving out of bounds and endangering the guard on the freight train chugging by, putting ‘Numar’, even though I parsed it correctly, because I just can’t think upside down; yes, it’s a city, county and province in Wallonia and R[ugby] U[nion] MAN reversed. An excellent clue of its type, i.e. where those like me who don’t know the answer can get it via clear wordplay. Maybe…sometimes.
3. BEESWAX – BAX (the English composer Arnold) around EESW (different quarters); literal ‘polish’.
4. UNDERSTANDING – I drove straight into the fescue grass typing ‘over-’ in confidently. The literal is ‘perception’ and the wordplay is worthy of the worst 70s’ British sitcom.
6. COHABIT – ‘live in sin’; first letters of C[onfusing] O[ne’s] H[usband] + A BIT.
7. ECONOMIST – I took out the driver and wellied this down 18; we get John Maynard from SIMON (‘simple chap’ of nursery rhyme fame) reversed in E COT (which can mean a shelter for livestock or indeed for humans, as in modern ‘cottage’).
8. MISALIGN – ‘dress badly?’ is the literal, with dress in its sense of soldiers coming into line; IS (‘one’s) in MALIGN.
10. ABSENCE OF MIND – I’m not sure I’ve ever some across the opposite of ‘presence of mind’; anyway, it’s M in BOND’S FIANCEE*.
14. NEOLOGISM – I was thinking numismatically, but I guess we were mint to; ON LIMOGES* for a word coinage.
15. SPYGLASS – I can imagine Basil Brush delivering this line: SPY LASS around G[oldfinger].
17. OCCLUDE – not a word I use every day, but I imagine the Romans used it quite a bit; OC (‘Officer Commanding’) followed by LUD (‘law lord’, who has come off the bench quite a lot recently) in CE (‘church’).
18. ELECTRA – ‘complex woman’; LATER* around EC.
19. BEDSIT – ‘pad’; BEDS (abbreviation for Bedfordshire) + IT (‘exactly what’s needed’, as in ‘Jordan Spieth has really got it’).
22. BREVE – ‘long note’; two semi-breves, in fact, not unnaturally. Not used in musical notation much these days, but if you want to see how it is represented, check this out. The wordplay is B[achelor] + REV + [wrot]E.