Here at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship there are giants of industry who have struck fear into the boardrooms of the world, entertainers who have dazzled kings and queens, and actors who have performed things in front of a camera for a global audience that would make Caligula blush.
Yet plonk them on to the tranquil links, with George and Bessie from Coupar Angus peering on from behind the ropes, and they look about as composed as a pheasant attempting to cross a busy A-road.
There's nothing more reassuring than seeing a high-ranking businessman, with a swing that would send the stock market plummeting, skittering a tee-shot 20 yards and duffing a chip into a burn before uttering those agonising words of resignation "I'll just pick up" amid the general huffing and puffing.
There is a serious side to this lucrative £3m pro-am, of course. For those at the lower end of the European order, it can be a career-changing week. George Murray enjoyed such a moment two years ago in this very event but, such are the fluctuating fortunes of this bewildering pursuit, he requires another this week. With the top of the leaderboard being dominated by players in desperate need of a lift, Murray got himself in on the act with a superbly crafted seven-under 65 over a beautifully benign Old Course at St Andrews to sit just a shot off the early pace.
Two years ago, Murray, who only discovered he had received a call-up to this week's event when he was in Kazakhstan last Sunday, shared third in the Dunhill Links Championship and safeguarded his place on the European Tour.
The former Scottish Amateur champion from nearby Anstruther has since slithered back into the second-tier Challenge Tour but the local air and the home comforts could just inspire something. He certainly started purposefully and, having begun his round at the 10th, Murray charged home in rampant style with birdies on six of his last nine holes.
"I think the reason I seem to do well in this event is that I get to stay in my own bed and go home to my own cooking, even though it's not that great and certainly not as good as when the mother-in-law makes the tea," said a jovial Murray, who was third in the Challenge Tour's Kenya Open at the start of the year but has struggled to replicate that form since. "Marc Warren used this event two years ago to turn his career around and you just need to look at Henrik Stenson to see how quickly things can change in this game.
"Two years ago, I don't think Henrik even had a category and was getting into events through his career earnings. Yet for the last three months he's probably been the best player in the world. Is it one good round that can help make a difference like that? I certainly hope so."
With the season nearing it conclusion, St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns resemble a series of last chance saloons for players looking for a lifeline. A look at the current status of the five players sharing the lead on 64s gives an indication as to why this week's tournament is so important to so many trying to break into the card-saving zone of the top 110 on the order of merit. Mark Tullo, Alexandre Kaleka and Richard McEvoy, whose eight-under cards were conjured on the Old Course, are perilously perched at 114th, 126th and 171st respectively on the money list.
At Kingsbarns, Tom Lewis, who won the 2011 Portugal Masters in only his third professional start but is now on the verge of losing his two-year exemption, languishes in 155th place while Oliver Wilson, a Ryder Cup player just five years ago, is trying to resurrect his career on the Challenge Tour and doesn't have a category for the main circuit these days.
One man who doesn't have the pressure of survival on his shoulders is Welshman Jamie Donaldson. He's had more important things to worry about recently. "I had a best man's speech to do, which is the world's most nerve-wracking thing," said the former Irish Open champion with a smile. "Moving house with a young baby and a pregnant partner is quite a lot, too."
Over the rigorous links of Carnoustie, the toughest of the three venues, Donaldson's seven-under 65 was the round of the day, even if the course didn't fully bare its teeth in largely benign conditions. It remains a formidable challenge, however, and having birdied his first three holes, Donaldson, who won in Abu Dhabi earlier this year, was delighted to get the beast out of the way.
"Even today, in dead calm conditions, I was still hitting a five wood into the 16th, which is a par three," added Donaldson, who sits 19th in the Race to Dubai and will represent GB&I in next week's Seve Trophy. "Then on 17 it was five wood and five iron into the green and then on the last I flushed my driver and still had a four iron in. That's with no wind. It's just a very difficult finish."
Almost as tough as that best man's speech.