I was watching the tele the other night and an advert for a furniture company popped up to smugly declare that it was the “proud sponsor of Christmas.”

It’s a pretty bold claim, isn’t it? Presumably, nothing symbolises the nativity, peace on earth and goodwill to all men quite like 20 per cent off a braided jute pouffe?

Anyway, ‘twas the column before Christmas and all through the Rodger house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Well, that was the case until this correspondent broke this heavy silence of inertia with a futile sigh and muttered, ‘what the hell am I going to write about this week?’ The inclusion of an opening paragraph up there about a furniture advert has merely underlined this state of uninspired torpor.

I’m very much aware that I’ve been writing a heck of a lot recently about LIV Golf, people defecting to LIV Golf and the current tumult involving LIV Golf. Let’s face it, we’re all a bit scunnered of this LIV lark, aren’t we?

All of which means, I’m going to leave it for a few hundred words before I write about LIV again just to give you a breather.

On a cheerier note, it may have caught the attention of some of you avid followers of the amateur game that the bigwigs at Scottish Golf have performed a complete u-turn on plans for a major revamp of the Scottish Boys’ and Girls’ Championships.

Initially, Scottish Golf officials were going to merge the two events into one, 54-hole, no-cut, strokeplay tournament. In this significant, and somewhat contentious overhaul, the matchplay element of the boys’ event, for years a cherished staple of the domestic amateur schedule, would’ve been binned.

That decision prompted quite an outpouring from a wide and varied golfing community who held treasured memories of a boys’ showpiece that dates back to 1935.

Even some of us golf writers got in on the act and penned columns of dewy-eyed sentimentality about those grand old days that were clearly written with a box of hankies next to the laptop and Perry Como’s ‘For the Good Times’ drifting along gently in the background.

Well, Scottish Golf’s heid bummers have listened – maybe not to us lot droning on – and have decided to scrap the whole facelift. They’ll be dancing on the streets and all of that.

For Scottish Golf’s newly appointed chief executive officer, Robbie Clyde, it’s been something of an early boost in the opinion polls. I’m not sure he had much to do with the proposal for change in the first instance given that he only got his feet under the table a couple of months ago.

But, along with Scottish Golf chair Martin Gilbert, the governing body has at least taken on board the various opinions from all and sundry and adopted a measured, diplomatic approach.

As any chief executive will testify, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Those in charge at Scottish Golf – and there have been a few in the hotseat in recent years – have not been blessed with plain-sailing.

Remember the prolonged guddle that was the amalgamation of the then Scottish Golf Union (SGU) and Scottish Ladies Golfing Association (SLGA)? Amid the heated parrying and jousting, there was a sense that certain power-seeking officials at the SGU had sought to impose their will on members and representatives without attempting to win hearts and minds.

The merger was pushed through after some three years of wrangling and bickering but plenty of bridges had to be repaired.

Chief executives would then come and go, so too would bold new visions, strategies and initiatives. The old chestnut of a rise in the annual affiliation fee was always a lurking presence too while there was a feeling that ordinary club members and undervalued volunteers, the game’s lifeblood, were often left bamboozled and alienated by havering jargon, vapid soundbites and aloof preachings from the top floor.

Clyde, who was a project director for the 2014 Ryder Cup during his time with EventScotland, is the latest captain of the ship and will be well aware that there is a considerable number who still view Scottish Golf with narrow-eyed suspicion and, in some cases, outright hostility.

Re-instating the matchplay phase at a Scottish Boys’ Championship is hardly the most pressing issue that Clyde and his team will have to deal with but, in the quest to nurture support and trust, it’s a start.


I’ve not mentioned LIV in this column for over 550 words but here we go again.

Louis Oosthuizen’s victory in the Mauritius Open on Sunday, his second win in a week, made it five successes for LIV golfers in the last six DP World Tour events. The Wentworth top brass must be squirming like Michelle Mone watching a re-run of her BBC interview.

As it was a co-sanctioned event, the quirks of the entry criteria meant Oosthuizen was eligible to play unlike some other LIV rebels who are barred from DP World Tour events.

It simply underlines yet again, the head-scratching state men’s golf finds itself in. Negotiations involving the DP World Tour, the PGA Tour and the Saudi sovereign wealth fund behind LIV are ongoing in an effort to bring clarity and cohesion to affairs.  

The sooner this whole palaver is sorted out, the better.