I WAS reading something the other day about the benefits of having a “Positivity Wall”. Apparently, successful folk in all manner of fields swear by them, so I thought I’d create one myself to replace my “Profanity Wall” which I simply swear at for 20 minutes prior to writing this column.

Anyway, what the self-help gurus suggest you do is stand in front of a mirror, say something positive about yourself, scribble it down on a bit of paper then shove it up on said wall so you become energised, inspired and motivated by a burgeoning assembly of rousing affirmations. That’s the theory, at least. The reality, of course, is slightly different.

As I gazed at the haunting reflection of my increasingly wizened fizzog, which is beginning to develop the same consistency of a perished balloon, my eyes became tormented by the kind of ghoulish vision of foreboding that was akin to a hallucinating Macbeth glimpsing the ghost of bloomin’ Banquo. I was swiftly back at my Profanity Wall before you could hiss a withering expletive.

Once I’d composed myself, I started to think that Keith Pelley, the chief executive of the DP World Tour, would be the kind of fella who would perhaps embrace one of those positivity thingamabobs. He is, after all, a dynamic, thrusting type of chap who wears blue-rimmed spectacles and speaks with composed, confident, authoritative gusto. I could imagine him having little Post-It notes with galvanising pearls like “see the invisible, feel the intangible, achieve the impossible” scattered around his Wentworth office. Or maybe he just stands and curses and mutters at a wa’ like the rest of us?

You wouldn’t blame him. The upcoming arbitration hearing – Pelley and his tour will square up to the outlawed LIV Golf rebels who believe they have the right to play anywhere they like – is consuming plenty of the Canadian’s time, much to his chagrin. On the other hand, of course, Pelley has lots to be positive about. This season’s DP World Tour, for instance, boasts record prize money of over $144m. To us mere mortals, it’s a vast sum. In the madcap world of men’s professional golf, though, it’s like something cobbled together from a rummage under the cushions of a couch.

Last week’s 2023 curtain-raiser in Abu Dhabi was a Rolex Series showpiece worth a whopping $9m, yet it attracted just one player -- Shane Lowry -- from the world’s top-20. There’s another $9m purse on offer at this week’s Dubai Desert Classic. While Rory McIlroy will sprinkle his stardust over the event, Norway’s Viktor Hovland won’t be defending his title. As for DP World Tour headline acts like Jon Rahm and Matt Fitzpatrick? Well, they are skipping the circuit’s Middle East swing entirely.

Big names of the European scene missing big events on their own tour is hardly new – the PGA Tour in the US where they ply most of their trade will always take precedence, even more so now – but those absences may be more striking in 2023. While the “strategic alliance” with the PGA Tour has had plenty of spin-offs for the DP World Tour, the partnership is still weighted heavily in the former’s favour for now. In the ongoing parrying and jousting with LIV Golf and its formidable financial war chest, the PGA Tour’s creation of a series of elevated events worth at least $20m to combat the Saudi-backed assault on the golfing establishment leaves the DP World Tour’s own marquee occasions in the shadows. It’s almost absurd to think that an event worth $9m can now be viewed with the kind of shrugging indifference that Nadhim Zahawi adopted when filling in his tax return. But that’s the top end of men’s professional golf for you. Sodden with cash like never before.

The general state of the DP World Tour varies depending on who you speak to. Last week, European stalwart and now LIV Golf renegade Lee Westwood stated that, “I’m not sure where the [DP World] tour is now,” while weighing in on the lack of leading world stars competing in Abu Dhabi. “If you’d have told me that I’d be playing in a $9m tournament on tour I’d struggle to believe you,” he added. “But then if you told me there’d only be one member of the world’s top-20 in the field, I’d think you were mad.”

While Westwood aired his concerns, others preferred to focus on the tour’s emerging talent and abundant opportunities. The circuit can’t just pander to the top brass. It has a large and varied membership to look after, too. Playing on the tour ain’t cheap. Birling here, there and everywhere, staying in hotels, eating egg and chips etc means expenses alone can be £80,000 and upwards. The implementation this year of an earnings assurance programme, with a guarantee of $150,000 for any player who competes in a minimum of 15 tournaments, is a significant boon to the rank-and-file and new recruits.

The global game in its fractured upper echelons continues to be embroiled in a battle for hearts, minds and wallets, while division and debate rage. One thing that can be agreed on, though, is that those elite campaigners have never, ever had it so good.