Do you ever talk to your golf ball as it goes hurtling through the air? And by hurtling through the air, what I really mean is skittering uncontrollably along the ground before suddenly veering off at a startling angle and crashing to the kind of violent halt that just about leads to you adopting the brace position back on the tee.

I know Jordan Spieth didn’t win the RBC Heritage event on Sunday night – it was a fine victory for the excellent Matt Fitzpatrick in the end – but the Texan’s regular chunterings remain fascinating as he cajoles, coaxes and compels that little dimpled ba’ to do this, that and the other during its various escapades.

As we all know, of course, such commands, requests, pleas and panic-stricken prayers can often be

a futile endeavour as we holler a myriad of instructions like a flustered shepherd trying to get his Border Collie to round up a flock of scattered sheep. What was it that great amateur of yore, Horace Hutchinson, said about all of this again? “If profanity had an influence on the flight of the ball,

the game of golf would be played

far better than it is.”

Then again, I once played with a fellow who would follow up every clatter, thwack, dunt and dink with a muttering barrage of expletives and it had no positive influence whatsoever on his golfing fortunes. I’m convinced the ball itself told him to get tae you know where as it sailed majestically towards oblivion against a backdrop of wailing obscenities.

Anyway, back to the RBC Heritage. Fitzpatrick’s victory, his second on the PGA Tour following that thrilling US Open win last year, earned the Englishman a cool $3m as well as that frankly awful tartan jacket that’s as gaudy as something that would hang in the back of Danny La Rue’s wardrobe.

The contest at Hilton Head was yet another of the PGA Tour’s designated events. The prize fund,

a whopping $20m, was more than the previous week’s Masters which underlines how bonkers the world

of men’s professional golf is at the moment.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve almost lost track of these designated whatdoyoucallthems. And we’re only in April. Rory McIlroy, who was a major driving force in getting these significant changes to the PGA Tour schedule pushed through, caused a predictably hysterical stooshie when he withdrew from the RBC Heritage – the second designated event he has missed this year – and forfeited some $3m from the PGA Tour’s Player Impact Program bonus. We’re sure he won’t have to tighten the family purse strings and look for the cut price deals at B&M.

McIlroy didn’t give a reason for his withdrawal from the Heritage and the reaction and conjectural criticism to his no-show emphasised one thing: the Northern Irishman can’t win with some people. Always open and accessible, McIlroy’s wide-reaching engagement, whether with the media or golf fans, is one of his endearing traits. He got pelters in many quarters, however, for performing an on-course interview for TV while he walked down the ninth hole of his first round at the Masters.

Now, he’s getting similar pelters for withdrawing from an event without giving the masses a reason for doing so. So, let’s get this straight. One week, he’s attracting withering condemnation for being open and accessible. The next, he’s being lambasted for not being open and accessible. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t and all that.

Spieth, meanwhile, spoke of being “mentally fatigued” heading into the Masters after a hectic build-up which included five of these supercharged, multi-million dollar bonanzas. A player should be peaking for a major not gasping and wheezing coming into it. The competitive intensity of these designated showpieces, with all the main movers and shakers teeing-up, clearly took a toll.

If I get fatigued just looking at

the jam-packed golfing calendar, it’s no wonder the players themselves are jiggered.

When it comes to scheduling, the world’s best prefer to adopt a less is more approach. In the current climate, though, with money being tossed around in fevered abundance in the on-going battle with the LIV Golf belligerents, it’s more, more, more. Something has to give. McIlroy clearly decided that a rest was worth more to him than anything on offer at Hilton Head and that’s fair enough.

By all accounts, there will be plenty of tweaks to this whole designated event concept next season. Because what’s a designated event without the tour’s best players? Well, it’s just another event, albeit one worth $20m.

Fitzpatrick’s play-off success on Sunday, meanwhile, underlined the Sheffield man’s patience, poise, resilience and killer instinct. As affairs unravelled at the sharp end, a fairly partisan crowd bellowed out chants of “USA, USA!” as they flung their support behind Spieth. Fitzpatrick flung a spanner in those works, though, with a nerveless victory in the sudden-death shoot-out. “It was like a Ryder Cup out there,” said his caddie, Billy Foster, of the raucous atmosphere.

The Ryder Cup itself is a while away yet but Fitzpatrick will be counting down the days. In two previous appearances in the transatlantic tussle, the 28-year-old has failed to register a single point. Come September, the upwardly mobile Fitzpatrick will be eager to prove a point.