THERE are various ways to communicate. Here at The Herald, for instance, this correspondent’s ropey reversing of the editorial pool car into its designated parking bay is orchestrated by an elaborate maritime flag semaphore. Either that, or the frantic flapping glimpsed in the wing mirror is just the sports editor furiously brandishing my P45 again as I return from another week at the golfing coalface.

There will be many of you out there who are au fait with the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it world of social media. Others of a more genteel vintage perhaps prefer to get their message across through the tried and tested means of a scroll of parchment delivered on horseback.

Boot up your Twitter timeline at the conclusion of a tournament and you’re likely to see the great Gary Player offering his congratulations to the weekend’s latest winner.

Loading article content

Across the men’s and women’s tours, the bold Black Knight will be on with praise and plaudits. He’d probably eulogise over Norman and Doreen’s spirited win in the Ranfurly Castle Husband & Wife Salver.

In the wake of Ross Fisher’s record low of 61 on the storied Old Course during the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday, Player, as usual, was quick off the mark. “Whilst delighted for all the players, it’s quite sad to see The Old Course of St Andrews brought to her knees by today’s ball and equipment,” he wrote.

It would have been interesting to see the reaction from the R&A high heid yins had Fisher’s eagle putt for a 59 on the 18th dropped in the hole as they peered on from the grand, pompous edifice of the clubhouse. An historic 59 on this most treasured stretch of golfing territory? Jaws would’ve dropped quicker than the letters on Theresa May’s conference slogan.

Of course, the very nature of the Dunhill set-up means this kind of bombardment can occasionally be unleashed. Receptive October greens and accommodating Pro-Am pin positions combined with hardly a breath of wind makes the old links as vulnerable as a new born gazelle on the Serengeti plains. Saying that, though, you still have to produce the goods.

The debate, however, over technology in golf and the lengths the balls now travel at the top end of the game has been raging for years. The governing body steadfastly stand by their opinion that driving distances have, essentially, shown only modest increases despite great reams of evidence to the contrary.

At the age of 60, Bernhard Langer, for instance, has an average clatter on this year’s Champions Tour of 280.4 yards, which is over 20 yards longer than he hit it in 1987. Would a 59 right under the noses of the R&A in their own backyard get them changing their tune? Probably not.

With courses being stretched here and expanded there, while requiring hefty financial resource to carry out those overhauls, the game at the top continues to get longer at a time when, in the sport’s broader sense, we are championing shorter formats to make golf cheaper, more accessible and less time consuming.

Of course, spectators want to see the heavy artillery get unleashed. The awe can be audible when a corker gets cracked out of the screws and nowhere do fans need a bit of stirring engagement than at the Dunhill Links.

The barrage of birdies and eagles at least illuminate a largely dreary event which at times is about as action-packed as Constable’s Haywain as players wait on tees amid a sea of dithering celebrities and millionaire businessmen.

From the previous week’s British Masters, where there was a feeling of freshness, innovation and spectator involvement, the Dunhill Links, which may have been a novel idea a few years ago, has grown tired.

While it does have merit – the Scottish players usually thrive, rookie pros get a chance to compete, there is good charitable work done – a casual observer would peer at the format and probably think of golf’s usual clichés; a slow affair involving well off people.

On a variety of fronts, perhaps it’s time for a re-think?