AT this frantic time of the season, when the increasingly flustered golf writers are working cheek by shoogly jowl on a daily basis and thrashing away at the laptop for the entire month of July in various media centres, it almost feels like we are involved in a long-term relationship with one another.

And, as most folk in an enduring union will testify, that can have its rewards as well as its drawbacks.

On the one hand, there's the warm, fulfilling glow of companionship, mutual respect and unstinting devotion. On the other, the jaw-shuddering monotony of seeing the same saggy old vision shuffling and doddering around 24/7. For better or for worse eh?

After the Scottish Open, we’ve all shuffled and doddered our way to St Andrews for the 150th Open. As one event blends into the next, the basic logistics of life on the road can cause considerable anguish as you attempt to get a burgeoning pile of semmits, serks and socks washed and dried.

The turnaround from a Scottish Open to an Open, for instance, happens at such a breathless rate, this hattered correspondent ended up hurtling to the home of golf with a variety of garments billowing perilously from the car window in a futile attempt to rid them of their dampness. If anyone sees a pair of boxer shorts lying forlornly on the hard shoulder near the Kincardine Brig’ services, then feel free to send them back to The Herald HQ.

Everything these days is a frenzy isn’t it? This week’s sold-out championship has not even started and the golf-watching punters have already been told that the deadline to enter the ballot for a ticket for the 2023 Open at Hoylake is next bloomin’ week. I can’t keep up.

So, let’s try and calm down and savour the St Andrews sights. And what a sight it was at the weekend in this unique place where you find golf’s truest flavour and spirit. Pictures showed the general public ambling freely on the auld links and wallowing in the history and nostalgia while oohing and ahhing at the vast grandstands that envelop the first and 18th. The emergence of Tiger Woods for a practice round on one of his happiest hunting grounds – a sight we thought we’d never see again – added to the idyllic air.

It was a pastoral scene that conjured the same sense of wistful tranquillity you’d feel when you look at Constable’s Haywain. And it was something of a relief to see because the men’s professional game, embroiled in a turbulent, controversial power struggle, has looked more like Edvard Munch’s The Scream in recent weeks. By the time this whole fractious civil war between the Saudi-backed LIV Golf and the established tours unravels, the golfing landscape in the upper echelons will probably resemble the chaotic splatterings of a Jackson Pollock. Are you impressed by my artistic references here? No, I thought not.

Anyway, the whole saga took another contentious twist at the weekend when the R&A sent out a statement announcing that Greg Norman, the two-time Open champion and the combative general of the LIV Golf invasion force, was not invited to the Champions’ Challenge and swanky, glass-clinking dinner.

"The 150th Open is an extremely important milestone for golf and we want to ensure that the focus remains on celebrating the Championship and its heritage,” read a communication from the R&A’s high command. “Unfortunately, we do not believe that would be the case if Greg were to attend.”

While they painted Norman as some kind of disruptive relation who gets a bit mouthy after a couple of libations at the family barbecue and upsets Auntie Doreen, the Great White Shark responded and called the R&A “petty.” Imagine his jubilant response if a LIV Golf rebel like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen or even Phil Mickelson lifts the Claret Jug on Sunday? The R&A will probably cancel the prize giving ceremony.

Norman may not be on site but his shadow, and that of the LIV Golf operation he drives, will still be hard to ignore as the game braces itself for yet more defections to the rebel circuit.

The Old Course, meanwhile, is bracing itself for a bombardment from the great and the good as the world’s best get set to unleash the heavy artillery. A lovely spell of dry, warm weather has left this grand old lady of golf looking wonderfully linksy and it’s playing so firm and fast, the local constabulary will be handing out speeding tickets at the side of the 18th green.

With conditions set fair for the week, many are fearing that this cherished stretch of golfing terrain will be dismantled in an act of low-scoring sacrilege. Both par fives are potentially reachable in two while par fours like the ninth, 10th, 12th and 18th could be driveable.

The defences, of course, come with the wind and while there’s not a heck of a lot of it in the forecast, there will hopefully be enough of a breeze to fortify a timeless examination that requires patience, discipline and canny shot-making. The Old Course tends to identify great champions.

Forget all the disruptive, background racket for a few days. The charms and challenges of St Andrews, and the game's most venerated championship, is set to be at the centre of the golfing world.