Back in the good old days, the length of a celebrity-infused round was often stretched by that diminutive stalwart of the scene, Ronnie Corbett, who would chortle some long-winded anecdote about falling off a stepladder while he was painting the skirting boards before sizing up a 7-iron over a ditch.
There was no sign of the great Corbett at Archerfield Links yesterday - he may have been lost in the long grass of the practice putting green - but the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Ladies' Open, which brings together some of the leading lights of the European circuit and their amateur partners, crept along without him.
It's not what you would call life in the fast lane - then again, regular tour golf hardly hurtles along - but Cassandra Kirkland made a fast start to her challenge in the £180,000 contest. Over the delightful Fidra Links, the 28-year-old from France, who was 10th in the event last season, posted a neatly assembled four-under 68 to claim pole position.
There is a reason for these liberal splashings of motor racing references. Kirkland's uncle is the American former Formula One driver Eddie Cheever, who went on to win the Indianapolis 500 in 1998. "I am good driver for a woman but I don't drive race cars," said Kirkland, whose great-grandfather was from Scotland.
A solid ball-striking round was illuminated by three birdies in four holes from the 11th as the Paris-based golfer, who ended a six-year wait for a maiden professional title at the Sanya Ladies Open in China last season, made a purposeful opening to her East Lothian campaign.
It's not the first time Kirkland has prospered in this part of the world. "I play well most of the time here and it's a course that suits my game," she added, after finishing a shot ahead of a chasing pack that includes the tour veteran Trish Johnson, Lee-Anne Pace and Anne-Lise Caudal. "And I've had two holes-in-one here too so there are good feelings about it."
Heather MacRae, from Dunblane, who made her professional debut in this event in 2007, began with a fine two-under 70 to share fifth on a changeable, tricky day when the wind picked up as proceedings went on.
Having hit 16 greens in regulation, she was let down slightly by her putting - "I probably had 34 putts" - but the impressive nature of her play illustrated the strides she has made this season.
The 29-year-old, a former British Women's Amateur Strokeplay champion, has committed herself to the Ladies European Tour's second-tier Access Series during 2013 and made a significant breakthrough at that level in May when she won the Solvesborg Ladies Open in Sweden.
The feelgood factor lingers on. "It still feels like a couple of weeks ago and it's good to keep remembering the good things," said MacRae, who sits eighth on the Access Series order of merit, with the top-five at the end of the year earning promotion to the main circuit.
MacRae discovered to her cost last season that juggling events on both tours can be a perilous business and the fully-qualified PGA pro, who became the first woman in nearly 80 years to play in the Scottish PGA Championship when she competed in 2009, is benefiting from a more focused approach. "Last year I played three main tour events and four Access events and by the time midsummer came I hadn't played well in any of them and had spent a fortune," added MacRae, who is sponsored by Stewart Spence, the Aberdeen businessman who was instrumental in the rise of Paul Lawrie.
"This is the only European Tour event I'll play in this season. The rest will be the Access Series and the aim is that top five. I'm a determined kind of person. The week before I won in Sweden was the first time I'd thought, 'are you banging your head against a wall?' It was nice to go out and know I can win and know you're not wasting your time."
A fortnight on from the cauldron of the Solheim Cup, Catriona Matthew, who won the Scottish Open by 10 shots in 2011, was more than content with a one-under 71 in the increasingly testing conditions.
"It was probably a three-club wind," noted the world No 10, who is the only member of the victorious European team competing this week. "On the 15th I hit a really good 4-iron 160 yards and the 17th [a par-3] was a three-wood."
Carly Booth began the defence of her crown with a one-over 73 while Bothwell Castle's tour rookie Pamela Pretswell leaked three shots on her closing two holes in a two-over 74.
On the amateur front, the former Scotland rugby captain Andy Nicol showed he is as handy with the dimpled ball as he was with the oval one as the 11-handicapper went round in an impressive gross 75. "It was the round of my life," he boasted at the bar.