There have been a few celebratory drinks raised to Sam Torrance down the years. And there were a few more hoisted yesterday. With glasses clinking like a shoogling milk float, one of Scotland’s most decorated sporting sons held court as the guest of honour at The PGA in Scotland’s annual lunch in Glasgow; a lavish, festive banquet that ends with the golf writers washing the dishes.

Torrance’s relationship with The PGA runs deep. His late father Bob, the revered swing guru of global renown, was a proud club professional while Sam’s maiden win as a teenage professional came 50 years ago in Lord Derby’s PGA Under-25s Matchplay Championship at Royal Birkdale.

“I beat the mighty Bernard Gallacher in the semi-final and he wouldn’t give me the match on the 18th despite me having two putts from 10 feet,” chuckled Torrance about his fellow Scot. “I’ve never let him forget it.”

Torrance will never forget his dad either. Since Bob’s passing back in 2014, the game that defined this family has never been quite the same for Sam. “Since dad’s been gone, I’ve not hit a shot properly,” reflected a retired Torrance of that gaping, aching void. “There’s nobody to talk to about it, nobody to impress. There’s still a big hole.

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“Dad had a great time as a club pro. I saw that side of life in golf first and I probably would have become a club pro myself if I wasn’t good enough to play. Nowadays, people I’ve been gambling with for 30 years let me play off six but that’s a bad sign. I’m not getting much fun out of it, to be honest, as I don’t like being inadequate. It’s just gone, which is fine as I’ve had a wonderful career. It was my hobby as well as a career.”

The golfing scene has changed a bit since a young Torrance was cutting his teeth as a touring pro back in ye day. The rampaging emergence of the LIV Golf series in 2022 has led to disruption, division, rebellion and rancour. Whoever can sort the whole mucky mess out, and bring about a truce between the establishment and LIV’s combative figurehead Greg Norman, will probably be awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize. Over to you, Sam?

“If I knew how to sort it, you would’ve heard from me before,” added the Largs legend with a sigh. “I don’t see it (LIV) succeeding the way it’s going. It’s only getting worse. Greg has been out to get the tour for a long time. If you put, say, a Fred Couples or an Ernie Els in his position they may have said to the tours, ‘look I have all

this money here, lets sort this out’. But it’s hard to find a place for LIV. The PGA Tour is not going to let it go, that won’t get fixed. I wish I had an answer. We all love golf and we hate to see it in turmoil. There is so much animosity between great friends.”

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Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have both stoutly declared that Norman needs to step away before any armistice can be reached. “The Saudis can’t complain about what he (Norman) has achieved but who am I to say if someone else should be leading LIV?”,” added Torrance. “But we need to find a way.”

At 69, Torrance, a multiple tour winner, Ryder Cup stalwart and winning captain, will never tire of the adulation he receives from his ain’ folk.

“I’m getting on and it’s lovely to still be getting recognised,” he said before a rapturous ovation in the Hilton Hotel. “It’s like signing an autograph. People say, ‘does it not bother you?’ And I say, ‘it will bother me when people stop asking for one’.”

Torrance, a winner of 21 European Tour titles and 11 crowns on the over-50s circuit, still delivers his pearls of wisdom on television. “I retired over two years ago but they got me back to do The Open and a couple of events this year and I’m doing about nine next year,” he said. “It’s like playing, I just can’t give it up. I really enjoy the commentary. You are also the first to arrive at an event and first to leave … and you never miss the cut.”

Golf has been good to Torrance. But this great Scot remains good for golf too.