I don’t know about you, but technology makes me nervous. Ask me to download the latest App onto a mobile phone, for instance, and my agitated, trembling hands

will approach the whole procedure with the same kind of wary, indecisive hovering and footering you’d perform if someone had told you to gently stroke the snout of a sleeping alligator.

There was an article in a newspaper recently suggesting that, within 40 years or so, Artificial Intelligence will be able to outperform humans at every conceivable task.

Being an expert in the field of Authentic Incompetence, it’ll be a miracle if I’m not already being outperformed by the time you’ve got to the end of this sentence.

Even the mere process of opening the ruddy laptop to begin the dour, chiselling of the Tuesday column can often resemble a fumbling, muttering old colonel wrestling with the wrapper of a Werther’s Original. It’s a sair auld fecht …


All eyes are on Gleneagles this week – and the bloomin’ weather forecast – as the good ladies of Europe and the USA cross swords in the Solheim Cup.

The women’s team showpiece really is a terrific spectacle while the potential for a tiff here or a hoo-ha there can give it more edge than Beachy Head.

The Americans are going for three wins in a row but are in the midst of something of a changing of the guard in terms of players. Europe have a side with plenty of experience and, in these moments when we like to cling to any little omen, the knowledge that they have never lost a Solheim Cup on Scottish soil.


What a European win would do for the wider Ladies European Tour remains to be seen. Engrained, weary pessimism and a sense of forlorn resignation about the direction the struggling circuit is heading are widespread.

A former Ladies European Tour No.1 whom this scribe spoke to recently is heading for the Korean LPGA qualifying school later this year in the hope she can find more profitable playing opportunities in the prosperous far east.

READ MORE: Imrie hoping for old pals' act at Solheim Cup

By all accounts, there is nothing in the pipeline to suggest things are going to get any better in Europe in the foreseeable future.

Catriona Matthew’s home side is essentially made up of European players plying their trade on the LPGA Tour.

While the inclusion of Suzann Pettersen as a wild-card pick – she had played just twice in two years after taking time off to have a baby – was reflective of Matthew’s appreciation of what the vastly experienced Norwegian brings to the table, it also underlined the dearth of alternatives on the Ladies European Tour.

The message that sends out is hardly inspiring to those chipping away at the coalface. Upwards of 80,000 spectators are expected this week at an event which showcases the colourful, youthful and vibrant side of women’s golf.

It’s just a shame so many of those colourful, youthful, vibrant characters on this side of the pond have been badly let down.


Things were much better in the good old days. Unless, of course, you lived in the really old days, when life was all dark and satanic and supper consisted of a roasted woodlouse on a stick washed down with a ladleful of your own tears.

Back in its pomp, the Scottish PGA Championship was a popular perennial of the domestic scene.

The list of past champions –including the likes of John Panton, Eric Brown, Bernard Gallacher, Sam Torrance, Sandy Lyle, Brian Barnes, Andrew Coltart, Paul Lawrie and others – underlined its majesty while a golden era in the 1980s and 90s saw it attract thousands of spectators and garner plenty of airtime on the tele.

Last week’s championship could not have been more removed from those cherished days of yore and highlighted the dire straits into which the Tartan Tour has been plunged.


Players were essentially playing for their own money and Paul O’Hara, the eventual winner (pictured), took home £1800.

A year ago, the first prize was £9000. “I wonder how many pros made the cut in our professional national title and lost money?,” asked the former champion Graham Fox on social media. “Shameful, disgraceful and deeply embarrassing that the event was a sweep.”

A response came from Chris Currie, who finished tied 11th and won just £335 from a four day event which cost £120 to enter. “Winnings didn’t cover my entry fee and expenses,” he said.

READ MORE: USA storm to Walker Cup victory at Hoylake

With no sponsor, the Scottish PGA is in danger of simply withering on the vine. The Northern Open, another of Scotland’s oldest professional events, is facing a similarly bleak future.

It is a sorry state of affairs for a Tartan Tour that once had ambitions of reaching £1m in prize money but now, in a changing golfing landscape and with a general tightening of purse strings, seems to be sliding towards oblivion.

Whatever model the circuit is being run to, it needs to be changed drastically.


With a third runners-up finish on the European in his rookie year, Robert MacIntyre has been knocking on the door more times than an Avon Lady.

He’s got a bit to go to catch Oliver Wilson, who had nine second-place finishes before finally breaking through in his 228th tour event. In this game, winning doesn’t come easily.