It’ll not be difficult to spot David Drysdale in this week’s Asian Tour qualifying school final. “We’re allowed to play in shorts so the out of bounds posts will be knocking about,” he chuckled of those peely-wally legs.

In the pleasant climes of Thailand, Drysdale has found an ideal spot to see out the winter. The 47-year-old Scot is now hoping it will provide him with a golfing sanctuary too.

A trying season on the DP World Tour in 2022 led to Drysdale losing the full playing rights he had held for 18 of the past 21 campaigns. Having failed to progress though stage two of the circuit’s qualifying school process in November he suddenly found himself in the kind of bleak no man’s land that should just about feature barbed wire, craters and shredded tree trucks.

After two decades as a sturdy stalwart on the frontline of European golf, Drysdale’s new reality came as a shock to the system. The quirks, curiosities and vagaries of the rankings, meanwhile, continue to befuddle.

“I ended up in a bit of a weird situation,” reflected Drysdale, who racked up 575 events on the main tour and was a runner-up four times during an admirable stint of impressive longevity. “I now don’t have any form of ranking for the tour and can’t enter anything which is a bit bizarre. I won’t even get into the upcoming events on the Challenge Tour (the second-tier circuit) in South Africa either. It’s looking like I could be the 25th to 30th reserve or something. It’s a bit ridiculous in my opinion. You’ve been on tour for 20 years and you don’t even get a decent Challenge Tour ranking? That’s been a bit of a shock to be honest.

“I sent an email to Keith Pelley (DP World Tour chief executive) in November just hoping for a little bit of support and asking how I could go about getting some invitations but I haven’t received a reply. Listen, golf doesn’t owe me anything. I wasn’t good enough last year. ‘Play better’ has always been my philosophy because all you can do out here is look after yourself. You don’t get anything handed to you. I have to find somewhere to play until I’m 50 and can get on the Legends Tour so I thought I’d give the Asian Tour a whirl.”

The storm tossed waters of the men’s professional game are so boisterous at the moment, you half expect golf to appear on the Shipping Forecast. While the DP World Tour and PGA Tour remain embroiled in a bitter conflict with LIV Golf, the galvanised Asian Tour has benefitted hugely from a pact with the Saudi-backed series and investment has poured in. 

“It’s a bit strange because if I do get my Asian Tour card, the first two events are in Oman and Qatar which used to be on the DP World Tour schedule,” said Drysdale, who is hoping to nab one of 35 tour cards on offer at this week’s five-round shoot-out in Hua Hin. “While those events are going on, the DP World Tour are in Singapore and Thailand, which used to be co-sanctioned Asian Tour events. It sums up the general turmoil in golf. There’s a them and us thing at the moment.”

Drysdale eased through stage one of the Asian Tour’s q-school examination a fortnight ago and is in fine fettle ahead of the final test. He may be climbing the brae on the age front but the possibility of a new lease of golfing life on the Asian circuit has given him fresh impetus.

“I don’t want to be sitting at home for two years and waiting until I’m eligible to go on to the senior circuit,” he said of the countdown to becoming a goldie oldie when he reaches his half century. “I want to be competitive and still be playing. I’ve done it all my days. Back in the 1990s, when I was starting out, I tried all these tours. I went to the Sunshine Tour in South Africa to try to get a foothold so this is a bit like starting all over again. With a bit of luck, I’ll get through q-school and I’ll have somewhere to play golf this season.”

Hopefully, those peely-wally pins will be walking tall all the way to an Asian Tour card.