Back in those reckless times of yore, yours truly dabbled briefly in the finer arts of gloved fisticuffs and the ringside reputation grew to such an extent that I was given the nom de plume 'Jackson Pollock', as I was always left splattered on the canvas. After spending so much time hanging on the rope, the moniker swiftly morphed into 'The Drying Cloot'. It was time to toss in the towel.
In this crash, bang, wallop game of golf, there can be devastating blows aplenty but Craig Lee has taken them all on the chin. There could have been a time when the Stirling scrapper was flattened by a knockout punch but he has stood firm and bounced back stronger than ever. His runners-up finish in the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre on Sunday was the proof of this fighting spirit.
This week heralds the start of the European Tour's arduous qualifying school process. As usual, there is a giddy mix of entrants, from the starry-eyed amateur with visions of grandeur to the toiling tour professional who has fallen on hard times. For everybody competing, though, the lessons of Lee can provide great inspiration.
Through a combination of hard work, dogged determination, mental fortitude and talent, the 36-year-old with that solid PGA grounding behind him has clambered slowly into the upper echelons. In the Swiss Alps, Lee came within a whisker of scaling the ultimate heights. Rewind the tape and watch his birdie putt on the 72nd hole to win the title and it still looks like it should drop into the cup. It didn't, of course, and he lost in the play-off to a resurgent Thomas Bjorn.
Nevertheless, if you'd said to Lee four years ago that he would be involved in a shoot-out for a first prize of more than £310,000, he probably would have told you to seek immediate medical assistance. That was a period of financial sacrifice for the Scot as he continued to pursue his ambitions. Having successfully negotiated his way through all three stages of the European circuit's qualifying school in 2007, with his entry fee paid for by a close friend that worked in the scrap metal business, there was a danger that Lee himself might have ended up on the golfing scrapheap.
The vagaries of the ranking system meant that after one trying rookie season on the main tour in 2008, he dropped through the trap door and, essentially, ended up back at square one on the Tartan Tour, while bouncing around a series of third-tier tours in the UK and Europe. Like many, he could have disappeared without trace but the desire to get back to the top never left him and the drive remained undiminished. He even sold off his blossoming golf centre business in Stirling to help fund the dream.
Having hoisted himself back on to the Challenge Tour for the 2011 campaign, the financial support of the Team Scottish Hydro programme proved to be invaluable. In an era when the nation's elite amateurs have never had it so good and live a cosseted existence that some assume will continue into the professional game, Lee, a pro for 17 years, took nothing for granted and made the most of the backing he received. As he moved through his 30s, every opportunity had to be grasped with both hands. Getting on to the tour can be hard enough the first time. A second coming can be even more treacherous but promotion back to the European Tour was a just reward for both the likeable Lee and those who showed faith in him.
The golfing gods looked down kindly on him last season as he was the last man to keep his card at 115th on the order of merit. With only a handful of regular events to go this season, Lee was hovering in an equally perilous position and was facing another tense tussle for survival before Sunday's career-changing result.
At 55th on the Race to Dubai - and third on the Ryder Cup qualifying points list, although let's not get too carried away here - he can look ahead with renewed purpose instead of peering anxiously over his shoulder. Just more than a decade ago, Lee emigrated to Australia and gave up golf for six months. Here in 2013, the Scot is on the up instead of down under. In this game of hard knocks and low blows, Lee continues to come out fighting.
AND ANOTHER THING
Nothing is ever simple. For years, we've been told, and have grown to acknowledge, that a grand slam is a fantastic four, unless you're a dab hand at Bridge, of course, and have managed the 13. This week, the newly-installed fifth major of the women's circuit, the Evian Championship, takes place in France. Inbee Park has already won three this season, came up short in her bid for four in a row at last month's Women's British Open but could still claim something of an "impregnable quadrilateral" with a win this week. Whatever happens, Park's achievements deserve to go down in history, grand slam or not.