DESPITE widespread pleas and demonstrations from the general public, a variety of eating establishments still insist on serving up artistically assembled offerings on a mystifying array of culinary conveyances that are simply not fit for purpose.

Wooden boards, clumps of slate? Not so long ago, in one of those absurdly hip gastro-thingymebobs, this befuddled scribe was presented with an all-day breakfast on a small shovel, presumably so the owner could begin digging his own grave with it once I’d foutered, plootered and slootered my way through the whole flabbergasting palaver.

Give it a few weeks and the latest foody fad will probably see us scavenging on all fours for a garnished woodlouse on the restaurant floor.

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There’s always food for thought and the movers and shakers at Scottish Golf, the amateur game’s governing body, have plenty to chew over after the departure of Blane Dodds from his role as chief executive just as a new raft of contentious strategies have been proposed to bring in more revenue.

The 50-year-old has gone back to his roots with a similar post at Tennis Scotland. He didn’t really leave those roots, of course, given that he was, rather oddly, still the chairman of Tennis Scotland during his time at Scottish Golf.

On one hand, therefore, he was captured beaming jubilantly at a press call announcing a multi-million pound investment by sportscotland into Scottish tennis while, on the other, adopting a downbeat countenance as that same sportscotland reduced the golfing budget. It was a rather strange alliance. A bit like a fry up being served on that ruddy shovel.

It’s certainly not been plain-sailing for the governing body over the last few years. The prolonged guddle that was the amalgamation of the then Scottish Golf Union (SGU) and Scottish Ladies Golfing Association (SLGA) created much division and there was a sense that certain power-seeking officials at the SGU had sought to impose their will on members and representatives without attempting to win hearts and minds. The merger was pushed through after some three years but plenty of bridges had to be repaired.

Eleanor Cannon was brought in as the inaugural chairperson but eyebrows were raised when Hamish Grey, who had been the chief executive of the old SGU for 17 years, was, rather unimaginatively, re-appointed head of the unified body.

That lasted three months as Grey stepped down. Another hunt for a chief was hardly a ringing endorsement of the new regime.

In the period since, Dodds arrived while Steve Paulding, the performance manager with a background in cycling, was one of a number of personnel to depart the scene.

It’s been about as stable as a galleon in a tempest and this latest development will not have done anything to inspire confidence when people are looking for strong, decisive leadership and have been asked to buy into new visions which now seem scuppered. A lack of trust in those running the show will only have been heightened.

Who comes in now is anybody’s guess, but perhaps Scottish Golf just needs to untangle itself and get back to basics.

The body’s marketing man Ross Duncan, for instance, has been involved at all levels for years. He’s a golfer who knows the game and those in it. He sits on the committee at his home club of Peebles and, in that respect, can relate to the work that goes on at the coalface.

Having these appreciative ties with the game’s lifeblood at a club level can be crucial in an age when many ordinary members and undervalued volunteers are often left bamboozled and alienated by havering jargon and vapid sound-bites trotted out by those in command. The human element is often lost in aloof preachings that resemble a press release.

Not for the first time, Scottish Golf is being viewed with narrow-eyed suspicion and, in some quarters, outright hostility. The new man or woman at the helm needs to have that common touch.