As a venue, the Stadium course at Sawgrass has often divided opinion since it became the permanent home of the Players Championship back in 1982.

What was it J C Snead, the nephew of the mighty Sam, grumbled about it again? “It’s 90 percent horse manure and 10 percent luck.”

Funnily enough, some of those words could also have been used to sum up the state of the nation address delivered by PGA Tour supremo, Jay Monahan, the other day.

Monahan, who looked about as comfortable as a chronic haemorrhoid sufferer sitting on an extremely large pinecone as he plonked himself in front of an expectant media, spoke for 59 minutes.

In that time, though, there weren’t many answers despite men’s professional golf being rife with so many questions just now.

Monahan was unable or indeed unwilling to offer much detail about the on-going negotiations involving the traditional tours and the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) which bankrolls the breakaway LIV Golf series.

In many ways, you probably would’ve got more substance out of an exchange between Sooty and Sweep.

There were vagaries, one or two banalities and the odd absurdity. “You’ve got 144 players competing in this championship and they’re the greatest players in the world,” he declared with a straight face as he glossed over the glaring absence of two reigning major champions in Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka, among others, from the PGA Tour’s flagship event.

Monahan did say that talks with the PIF were “accelerating” but it seems the journey to a consensus about the future of men’s professional golf has a long way to go yet.

“I want the train to speed up so we can get this thing over and done with,” said Rory McIlroy of this protracted palaver. You – yes, you reading this and sighing, ‘they’re banging on about these negotiations again’ – will no doubt agree with McIlroy’s observation.

“Fans are fatigued of what's going on in the game,” added the Northern Irishman, who won the Players Championship in 2019. “I think we need to try to re-engage the fan and re-engage them in a way that the focus is on the play and not on talking about equity and all the rest of it.”

Despite a few notable omissions from the starting sheet, the Players Championship should serve up some intriguing fare in this, the 50th anniversary of the event.

Scottie Scheffler, the world No 1, is aiming to become the first man in that half-a-century existence to win back-to-back titles.

Since conquering the Stadium course last year, Scheffler’s remarkable tee-to-green statistics have been so far ahead of the rest, the tour’s number crunchers may as well have been taking his data from the 2025 season.

The one thing holding him back, of course, has been his form on those greens. In stark contrast to his other specifics, Scheffler had plunged so far down into the depths of the putting rankings, his flat stick just about had deep sea coral growing on it.

A switch to a mallet putter, however, has transformed his fortunes and the proof was in the pudding – and the putting – when he put on a commanding display of poise, purpose and precision to romp to a five-shot victory in last weekend’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. It was a timely triumph ahead of this week’s showpiece. The rest have been warned.

A golden anniversary always provides a chance for reflection. For us Scots – we will have Robert MacIntyre and the in-form Martin Laird flying the flag – the Players Championship stirs up memories of good old Sandy Lyle.

When he won the title in 1987, during his wonderful period of barnstorming prosperity, the total prize fund moved into seven figures for the first time and was $1 million. This week, it’s a whopping £25 million. Fill your boots, boys.

Lyle’s Sawgrass success was also the first in the event by a non-American. On a dank Florida day, the Scot stood firm in the gloaming to see off Jeff Sluman at the third play-off hole of an epic tussle.

“I can remember trying to hit my second shot into virtual darkness,” he recalled of that final play-off hole. “People think that bunker shot at the 72nd hole at Augusta was my toughest moment. But the one that really gave me the heebie-jeebies was the third extra hole to win The Players.”

The storied Stadium course is set to rock again.