A couple of months ago, you may recall that I started these weekly wafflings with a meandering introduction about the relentless technological advance of generative artificial intelligence and then made some fusty, cornball gag about my own degenerative authentic incompetence.

You don’t remember? Well, I don’t blame you. In terms of nourishing your attention span, these back page haverings probably lead to your mind drifting off halfway through reading the word attention.

Anyway, I was intrigued to see yesterday that one of The Herald’s most read stories on its website was about a church service in Germany that was performed almost entirely by that aforementioned artificial thingamajig.

Apparently, the parishioners were treated to a sermon which was delivered by an avatar with an expressionless face and a monotonous voice, all of which sounds a bit like the sombre response I get from the sports editor when I ask him what he thought of my copy.

AI – that’s short for artificial intelligence for those of you still tuned in – is here to stay. And so, it seems, is PIF. That’s the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia which has its gold-plated tentacles wriggling around in all manner of global enterprises and is now partnering with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour in a bombshell agreement that was shrouded in so much secrecy, it made the Manhattan Project look like something widely discussed by the barflies in the local pub.

As shotgun weddings go, this act of union, which has sparked an unrelenting tsunami of coverage, analysis, opinion, hysteria and histrionics, should’ve been performed by an Elvis impersonator in a tawdry Vegas chapel.

You could say that golf is taking the PIF. It’s not the only sport to take the Saudi shilling, of course, but the way the whole deal has been played out – and there’s still plenty to play out – has been as hard to swallow as an entire jug of cod liver oil.

Not so long ago, the PGA Tour and DP World Tour were quite happy to welcome Saudi Arabia into the golfing fold as long as it was on the establishment’s terms. Then along came LIV to disrupt this whole cosy existence, plunder some of the biggest names in the game with untold riches and spark a money-sodden arms race that has been terribly unedifying.

Meanwhile, all that dewy-eyed piety from PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan, about morals, values and traditions, as well as his crass exploitation of the families of 9/11, has now been widely condemned as complete and utter hypocrisy.

Monahan’s reputation has taken a considerable, some would say irreparable, dunt but he’s not the first high-heid yin of a major organisation to sacrifice his own reputation for profit and he certainly won’t be the last.

With the PIF billions set to pour into the upper echelons of the men’s game – it will be interesting to see if the women’s game gets more Saudi investment as their influence grows – Monahan will look at his crushingly awkward volte face as a price worth paying.

As events over this turbulent time have clearly demonstrated, it’s all about the money. And hypocrisy. But mostly money. “What it’s revealed about golf is that, at the highest level, virtually everyone is a b******* artist who has been duplicitous enough to say whatever the moment called for in order to justify their position,” said the American golf writer Kevin Van Valkenburg in a column which neatly summed up the general situation.

I wish I’d thought of that. But I didn’t, so I just copied and pasted a snippet of his musings up there instead. I’m sure most of you, wearied by tales of millionaires who defected to LIV squabbling and bickering with millionaires who stayed loyal to the tours, would agree with Kevin’s sentiments.

It’s on now to the third men’s major of the year, the US Open, at the ultra-exclusive Los Angeles Country Club, a place so posh even the toilets in the locker rooms politely cough before they flush.

In the storm-tossed waters of the professional scene over the last few months, the majors have, by and large, offered a comforting port amid the billowing tempest. As division and disruption reigned, with big name players appearing here but not there, golf’s showpiece occasions brought them all together on one stage and maintained a calm neutrality in the ongoing power struggle which has merely heightened their status.

While LIV has garnered more publicity for the disorder it has caused rather than its actual product on the golf course, and the embattled PGA Tour launched a series of lucrative, elevated events in a counter offensive against the rebellion, the majors have continued to provide what everyone wants.

Staged just a stone’s throw from Hollywood, this week’s US Open promises to be another blockbuster. The idea, for instance, of Rory McIlroy, one of the most strident anti-Saudi voices who ended up feeling like the “sacrificial lamb” in the wake of the gobsmacking merger, ending his major malaise and delivering a Harvey Smith salute to the PGA Tour bigwigs who let him down badly, is a prospect that will have the tinsel town scriptwriters cooing with drooling delight.

In a week of eye-popping developments, you wouldn’t bet against it.