Remember when changing the clocks required a fair bit of co-ordinated endeavour? Off you’d shuffle, gently birling back the hands of numerous time pieces in various rooms while reminding your other half not to fiddle with the little one on the mahogany chest that sits next to the gaudy hinged trinket box Auntie Doreen brought from Lanzarote because you forgot to put it forward in the spring and if you put it back now it’ll be all out of kilter. You get the idea.

These days, of course, much of this clock-changing malarkey is performed automatically by our smart Alec gizmos and gadgets as their tyrannical march towards rendering us obsolete roars on with the clumping gusto of an invading army.

The other day, for instance, I booted up my laptop and was greeted by a smug little notification informing me that “Windows has updated your clock.” It was another gentle yet harrowing reminder of my meek and on-going descent into irrelevancy. Even my own sneering computer thinks I’m a doddering, incompetent luddite who’s unable to change the bloomin’ time by an hour. The end is nigh.

It's the end of the road, meanwhile, for the regular DP World Tour season, which drew to a conclusion in Portugal on Sunday. There are still two big-money events to come for the leading lot on the order of merit, in South Africa and Dubai but, for the rank and file, it’s either a little bit of downtime or a return to the frightful scramble of the qualifying school.

If you watched any of the Portugal Masters over the weekend, you may have caught a very emotional interview with the German golfer Sebastian Heisele. He was in with a chance of winning heading into the closing day – he eventually finished fifth – but after his third round he announced that he was retiring from the tour, regardless of the outcome, to move into coaching.

Asked to reflect on his time at the top table, the 34-year-old, with his lip quivering, his voice breaking and his eyes welling up, said: “Difficult, I’m more of a journeyman than anything. It means a lot to walk off with a good week.” It was an honourable, courageous and dignified admission from a man who has pursued his dream but has now decided to venture down another golfing path.

His interview would, no doubt, have struck a chord with countless professionals who have tried, toiled, tried and toiled again at a frighteningly competitive and often cruel and lonely coalface. This was another keek into the hard reality of touring life. “Difficult”, as Heisele said, can be an understatement.

Heisele was a four-time winner on the third tier of European professional golf and earned a victory on the second division Challenge Tour in 2019. He went to the qualifying school half-a-dozen times and his best finish on the rankings of the main European circuit was 110th. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re reading this and muttering, “who is this bloke he’s blethering on about?”

In this hellishly difficult, unforgiving business of complex demands, we tend to evaluate careers on money and wins. It’s important, though, to respect these journeymen who have reached a level that thousands aspire to yet never reach. They may not attain superstar status – not many golfers do – but their devotion, drive and discipline towards their tireless labours deserve plenty of acclaim even if they never savour the ultimate rewards. Hopefully, Heisele finds fulfilment in his new career as a coach.

As the German took his bow, one of Scotland’s great survivors, David Drysdale, finally lost the tour card he has held for two decades. A share of eighth was a spirited final flourish but it wasn’t enough to stave off a return to stage two of the q-school this week. At least he’ll go with a little purposeful spring in his step after four sturdy rounds on the Algarve.

Speaking to Drysdale on the phone last week ahead of the Portuguese event, the 47-year-old was his usual canny self. Accepting his predicament and being well aware of the fine margins and fickle fortunes of this funny old game after many years on tour, Drysdale never gets too up or too down and maintains an admirable sense of level-headed middle ground. That will stand him in good stead for the exacting rigmarole of the dreaded qualifying school process which can be as hair-raising as Suella Braverman’s use of her e-mails. His unwavering commitment to his craft, meanwhile, continues to stoke the competitive fires. “I still enjoy the practice and the grind and the drive to keep improving is still there,” he said.

Having clocked up 574 tour events during 21 years as a card holder – he never managed a win - Drysdale is not ready to give it all up yet. The term ‘journeyman’ can often be interpreted as damning someone with faint praise but there will be any amount of wannabe tour pros starting off who wouldn’t mind being labelled a journeyman if it means a career of commendable longevity.

Gaining a foothold in the paid ranks and clambering up the ladder is hard enough. Staying in the top tier season after season is even harder. Drysdale’s tenure has been temporarily interrupted but perseverance and pride remain entrenched in his golfing character. Haste ye back.