There was a time when Christmas lasted for 12 days. In this feverish modern age, of course, it’s now so bloated, it goes on and on for yonks.

In the window of a house not far from me, there's a decorated tree that's been up for so long, when it finally does come down – maybe in early April? – I’m assuming the sense of deflation will be broadly equivalent to the sobbing despondency that greeted the felling of the treasured sycamore that stood next to Hadrian’s Wall.

While we hurtle towards Santa’s annual tumble down the lum, it’s all festive this and yuletide that. In fact, the season of goodwill – or commercial racket, whichever you prefer - gets rammed down the throat with such unrelenting force, I’ve just coughed up a little bit of tinsel while typing this sentence.

As for goodwill in the world of golf? Not bloomin’ likely. For the heid bummers of the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, the on-going power struggle has just about developed into the nightmare before Christmas. Jon Rahm’s defection to LIV Golf last week was the latest twist in this extraordinary tale.

There will no doubt be a few more birls to come yet as the men’s game continues to be consumed by money and the ramifications – should that be Rahm-ifications? – of this extortionate arms race and the greed, entitlement and irrational spending that it has spawned.

And what about the women’s game? Just the other week, a vote on a seemingly inevitable merger between the Ladies European Tour (LET) and the LPGA Tour was binned at the last minute. Speculation swiftly grew that the Saudis, who already invest heavily in the LET through the Aramco Series, could be poised for an even bigger injection of funds and influence.

As for the humble golf fan? Well, I’d like to hear what you – yes, you reading this and muttering, ‘oh for goodness sake, he’s writing about this ruddy LIV lot again’ – actually think about the whole, prolonged palaver?

Rather like hearing the jingle, jangle of Paul McCartney’s ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ being played in every supermarket since mid-October, I’m sure you’re all wearied by it.

Some folk have taken to social media to express their disgust with it all while going to great lengths to say how they’ve fallen out of love with the game and why they’ve lost faith in its cherished values before, presumably, collapsing to the floor in a crumpled heap, curling up into the foetal position and weeping themselves hoarse.

On the other hand, there will be many - yourself included, perhaps? – who continue to deliver a dismissive shrug of indifference when the topic rears its ugly head again and simply carry on revelling in the game they adore.

Why should Rahm’s £450 million LIV deal sully your enjoyment of the Captain & Secretary’s Festive Texas Scramble at Hollandbush, after all?

As the author, George Peper, once said during a speech at an Association of Golf Writers’ dinner a number of years ago, “If professional golf were to vanish from the earth tomorrow, golfers around the world would observe a moment of silence and then go right on playing the game they love.” Those words may be even more pertinent today.

Whatever your views, there’s no denying that in an era when male professionals at the very top of the tree have never had it so good, golf doesn’t have a very good look just now.

But here we are. The June 6 framework agreement – when the PGA Tour, DP World and Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) emerged from behind everybody’s backs and unveiled plans for a shock alliance – led us to this point. Those clandestine dealings saw the trust between tour leaders and the players disappear quicker than Rishi Sunak’s WhatsApp messages.

The tours demanded loyalty but they didn’t practice what they preached with their sneaky volte face on Saudi involvement. They have paid the price with Rahm’s defection. And Rahm proves that every player, no matter what pious cobblers they spout before, has a price.  

LIV’s product, regardless of the bounty and the bluster, struggles to attract eyeballs. In the relatively niche bubble that golf occupies in the worldwide sporting scene, even Rahm’s capture will probably not change that.

Meanwhile, events on the established men’s tours, outside the showpieces of the majors and Ryder Cups, hardly have rocketing TV viewing figures.

The current fractured state – a December 31 deadline for a deal on that framework agreement looks fanciful – does nothing for a sport with a limited audience. Everybody needs some clarity and cohesion.

Not long after Rahm’s departure, Wells Fargo, a supporter of the PGA Tour for over 20 years, announced that it would not be renewing the sponsorship of its well-established event.

This year, the tournament had a mighty $20 million purse but the bank, according to reports, is not willing to meet heightened demands in these times when players, many with a distorted sense of worth, are expecting much, much more. Wells Fargo may not be the last company to look at the budget and say something doesn’t add up.

The rarified echelon of men’s professional golf is wallowing in quite unprecedented and unhinged riches. As for the cost to the reputation of the game and some of those in it? I’ll let you work that out.