Amid all the kerfuffle over the dismal palaver of Brexit and the dewy-eyed yearning about ‘leaving a light on for Scotland’ – let’s hope it’s an energy saving bulb or Greta Thunberg will literally glower the EU headquarters into rubble – you may have missed the news about Glasgow’s first ‘cuddle party’ the other day.

Apparently, folk were willing to fork out about 14 quid to join other like-minded souls for an all-embracing exercise in exploring their boundaries and experiencing intimacy with no expectations.

To be honest, it sounded a bit like shoehorning yourself into an over-crowded carriage on the Cathcart Circle line during the morning rush hour and discovering there would be a bus replacement service at Pollokshields East.

Talking of getting up close and personal, the main movers and shakers of the global golfing scene are being enticed into a dalliance with organisers of the Premier Golf League (PGL) as the prospect of a breakaway circuit continues to dominate the chatter in the steamie.

Unless you’ve been sealed in a bathysphere for the last week or so, you’ve probably read or heard about proposals for the PGL; a 48-man, multi-million pound merry-go-round that will draw the top players away from the existing tours and into a global, Formula Onestyle circuit featuring a series of 54-hole, no-cut events as well as a team element.


“We estimate that it won’t cost more than $1bn to launch the League,” read a statement from the organisers, with the kind of shrugging, money-noobject nonchalance you’d get when a bored sultan buys 26 Faberge eggs so he can have a laugh by reversing his goldplated Rolls Royce over them.

A flight of fancy, pie in the sky, a pipe dream, a Quixotic adventure? Whatever you want to call it, the PGL has certainly got tongues-wagging.

Leading lights have not rubbished the idea - and when great wods of cash are involved why would they? - while Greg Norman, who proposed a world golf tour over 25 years ago, gave the notion his fullbacking and roared that golf should ‘get out of the box’. Gary Player, meanwhile, urged the current crop to stay loyal to the tours that have provided them with grand riches.

The PGL certainly has the potential to throw the cat among the birdies and the heightened discussions over the last few days has once again highlighted golf’s place in the wider scheme of sport.

We are constantly told that the game needs to evolve and experiment in order to thrive amid an ever-changing and competitive market place in which consumers demand fastpaced, easily digestible fare.


By and large, golf essentially takes exactly the same thing to every corner of the globe most weeks of the year and simply expects it to succeed. Outside of, say, major championships and Ryder Cups, there can be a distinct lack of prominence and sense of occasion.

Perhaps a Premier Golf League, with its shortenedformat and team aspect, can galvanise the global scene in the kind of way T20 cricket gave that particular pursuit a shot in the arm without changing the fundamentals of the sport?

On the other side of the coin, one of professional golf’s most alluring qualities is its wonderful unpredictability. Anybody can beat anybody else on any given week as zeros become heroes and underdogs rise to be top dogs.

A PGL, with a closed shop of elite players going up against other elite players, takes away a lot of what makes the game special and reduces that springboard of surprise. Rather like watching the bloated excesses of football’s Champions League, the same old faces can become all rather wearisome.

There are more questions than answers with this proposed PGL malarkey and at the moment everybody is dealing with hefty dollops of whats-ifs and maybes.

That both the heid honchos of the PGA Tour and the European Tour have put on something of a united front and issued statements effectively warning players about jumping ship showed the PGL has hit a nerve.

It’s got everybody in golf talking too. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.



There are a variety of distractions professional golfers have to contend with at a tournament.

The booze-fuelled grandstand around the 16th at the Waste Management Open at the weekend, for instance, suddenly featured an emboldened and topless woman displaying her, er, wares as a couple of players sized up their putts on the green below. Apparently, the line was, ahem, two cups to the left.

In Saudi Arabia last week, Sky’s procedure of quizzing players during their actual round almost cost Graeme McDowell a slow play penalty.

McDowell, one of the most amenable gentlemen on the tour, took it all with smiling grace but do we really need this kind of intrusion in the name of “viewer engagement” and “insight”?

Golf is a mind-mangling pursuit at the best of times without the added hassle of a Q&A as you walk towards a plugged lie in a ruddy bunker.

As we all know, it’s sometimes best to be left alone with your own thoughts ... even if one of those thoughts is “why do we play this bloody game?"