IT’S been a hectic old spell for the golf writers of late, but at least our wheezing efforts at the coalface over the last month have been appreciated. At least, I think they have been.

As the sports editor sat quietly on his plinth and gazed at the pages this scribe had filled with dispatches from the frontline of a variety of events over the summer, the pondering vision that greeted my een immediately stirred up thoughts of Auguste Rodin’s sculpted creation, The Thinker.

A nude man lost in sober contemplation and wrestling with a powerful internal struggle? The likeness was uncanny. Well it was until I had to gingerly interrupt his train of thought with a muffled cough and remind him to put some clothes on.

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“Nick,” he said with a startled acknowledgement of my presence. “From observing your writings, it’s clear to me that you are doing the work of two men … Laurel and Hardy.”

Another fine mess eh? It’s rather like the golfing schedule at this time of the year. Events here, tournaments there, clashes and overlaps everywhere.

As the small band of scribblers move in unison from one competition to the next, like a shoal of tightly packed, undulating krill, there’s always a sense of regret that you simply can’t cover everything.

This week’s Scottish Amateur Championship at Prestwick is a case in point as we head across to the RICOH Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns. It’s not only the golf writers who have to make a choice at this time of year, though.

Some of Scotland’s leading amateurs, notably Connor Syme, Liam Johnston and Robert MacIntyre, have all opted to miss the national championship for tempting offers elsewhere. For the Prestwick showpiece, it is something of a scunner and a problem for this celebrated old championship in general.

Syme, the Walker Cup hopeful who played in the Open, and Johnston, the reigning Scottish Strokeplay champion, are out in the USA contesting the Western Amateur Championship as well as the US Amateur Championship, with MacIntyre taking up an invitation to compete among the professionals on the European Challenge Tour in Finland.

While the Scottish Amateur Championship still boasts a sturdy field, there is a continued sense that something which should be cherished is losing its lustre in an era when opportunities abound elsewhere and the boundaries between the amateur and pro game are as blurred as the wrong prescription of spectacles.

In this respect, the Scottish championship, with a grand history and a shimmering roll of honour, simply can’t just stand still. It tends to be locked into the schedule at this time of the season, but if the leading lights from the domestic scene are putting more value on events in far off lands, the high heid yins at Scottish Golf need to find a way to make it more attractive to the players they themselves are championing.

A strong flagship event should be about showcasing the talent in the country, while offering the more traditional, working amateur campaigners the chance to test themselves against the cream of the crop.

Scottish Golf, whose main focus still has to be the member clubs it serves and the nurturing of the game at its grassroots, wants its emerging players to develop while playing a part in aiding the tricky transition between the amateur scene and the pro ranks.

For MacIntyre, a former winner of the Scottish Amateur Championship, the chance to immerse himself in the cut-and-thrust of the Challenge Tour will undoubtedly be of some benefit as he build towards a career in the professional game, but the timing of that opportunity is unfortunate.

Having lost around £350,000 of sportscotland funding, officials at Scottish Golf have stated their intention to find new sources of revenue. The Scottish Amateur Championship remains without a sponsor and in hectic spells like this, when it goes up against a major professional championship, the profile of the event suffers.

In a schedule that’s as jammed as a hastily packed suitcase, it can be a difficult sell.