According to the good folk who cobble together the weird and wonderful observances that make up the official National Awareness Day calendar, you are now reading this column on World Tripe Day. It was nice of them to recognise my endeavours, eh?

Anyway, your correspondent has just returned from an enjoyable yet expensive break in London which hit the wallet with the kind of destructive force you’d get at a testing site for ballistic missiles. Nothing’s cheap these days, is it? Even the word ‘cheap’ is 3% more expensive there than it was in the previous sentence.

I picked up the tab for a fairly modest dinner one night and was convinced that the paper the bill was printed on must have been tailored on Savile Row. I mean, I’d only ordered a sharing platter of tripe, not a Lazy Susan of assorted, highfalutin delicacies that can be so posh they get served with their own monocles.

Talking of eye-watering figures, the 2023 LIV Golf League drew to a close the other night with Bryson DeChambeau’s Crushers GC, which also featured Paul Casey, Anirban Lahiri and Charles Howell III, winning the team title and scooping the first prize of $14 million. Tripe all round to celebrate, fellas?

The money-soaked beanfeast in Miami brought the curtain down on LIV’s second season. By all accounts it’s onwards and upwards next year with the main movers and shakers involved in the breakaway circuit all talking with great optimism about the series going from strength to strength. But they would, wouldn’t they?

Phil Mickelson, a man who does so much LIV PR he’s actually morphing into a human press release, claimed more PGA Tour and DP World Tour players would be jumping on board the LIV gravy train. Bubba Watson, meanwhile, reckoned “10 to 20” investors had expressed an interest in buying his RangeGoats team while Greg Norman, the combative CEO of the LIV operation, spoke for the first time in months and was as bullish as, well, a bull at the height of the rutting season.

While there is plenty of bombast from the LIV lot, the men’s professional game as a whole at the top end remains mired in uncertainty as we inch towards the end of another golfing year of trials and tribulations.

The proposed and highly controversial agreement between the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) which bankrolls LIV still needs to be finalised – if it ever will be? -  and continues to be as fiddly a process as trying to change one of those flush-mounted kitchen spotlights with oven gloves on.

The PGA Tour wants to keep control of its product, the DP World Tour wants to fortify its own position and the PIF wants a degree of influence and a return on its potentially mighty investment. All this sorted by an end of year deadline agreed by the three parties? Good luck.

Perhaps it will all come out in the wash and there will be an eventual co-operation? Or will the men’s scene in the upper echelons just continue to muddle on in this somewhat awkward co-existence?

The news the other week, meanwhile, that LIV had its application for Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status hurled in the bin again due to its failure to comply with various requirements means its players, without access to points, continue to tumble down the global order.

As it stands, only five LIV players – Brooks Koepka, Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson, DeChambeau and Mickelson – are guaranteed places at all four majors in 2024. Talor Gooch, who has won three times on the LIV Series this season and is a highly polished performer, is not in any. Before joining the LIV rebellion, Gooch was 31st in the world. Now he’s 214th and plummeting like this scribe’s bank account after three nights in London.  

The reality, of course, is that Gooch and others chose the LIV money – and lots of it – over the competitive legitimacy demanded by the OWGR. They knew what the price of their defection would be. Decisions have consequences.

As you read this, you’re possibly thinking, ‘I haven’t got the slightest bit of interest in all this LIV-related claptrap’. I wouldn’t blame you. You’re probably aware that LIV exists but that’s no doubt down to the sheer volume of disruption it created rather than any of the actual golf stories it has produced on the course. Money can buy many things, but it can’t buy widespread interest.

For the time being, then, it’s business – and negotiations - as usual in the divided world of the men’s game. An uneasy truce may have been called but there will be a few more battles to come yet.


It has been a terribly sad few days with the loss of Allan Brodie and Kevin McAlpine. The sudden passing of former Scottish Amateur matchplay and strokeplay champion McAlpine, at just 39, was particularly desperate.

Allan, who died at 76, was one of Scotland’s finest amateur golfers and enjoyed a wonderful period of pomp in an age of great competition, characters and camaraderie.

Kevin, the son of the celebrated Dundee United goalie Hamish, made his own name as a golfer before forging a successful career as a caddie. My condolences go out to Allan and Kevin’s families and friends.