That’s all, folks. After nearly nine years at the helm, Keith Pelley has had one last playful birl in his Wentworth hot-seat, perhaps thrown a crumpled ball of paper into a waste basket with a fist-pump of delight and then nipped into the Burma Bar for a couple of tipples to say ta-ta. 

He may not have done anything of those things, of course, but this was just an elaborate way of saying that Pelley’s time as chief executive of the DP World Tour has come to an end.

There won’t be much time for reflection, mind you. The 60-year-old is returning to his native Canada where he will start a new role next week as the big cheese of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) which looks after Toronto’s four major sports franchises.

Given the general tumult Pelley has had to contend with in recent years on the golfing battlefront, his new post will be as tranquil as Monet’s paintings of water lilies in comparison. 

Let’s face it, the prolonged debate and division in the fractured upper echelons of the men’s game has left wearied onlookers resembling the contorted ghoul in The Scream by Edvard Munch. Are you impressed by my artistic references here? No, I thought not.

Pelley will retreat from the frontline with golf’s civil war still rumbling on. It’s not quite all guns blazing, more an uneasy truce as the various generals and field marshals try to thrash out a peace deal between the established tours and the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) that bankrolls the LIV series. The negotiations continue to be an attritional trudge.

Pelley’s tenure was certainly eventful. He bounced onto the scene in 2015 with great enthusiasm and a positive, can-do attitude. Bold declarations that the European Tour – later rebranded the DP World Tour under his watch – could be a “viable alternative” to the all-powerful PGA Tour were delivered with bullish gusto.

In the often staid environs of golf administration, Pelley’s colourfully-rimmed spectacles drew comparisons to Elton bloomin’ John in his pomp. We’re easily tickled, us scribblers. 

Pelley was an agent of change and certainly had a vision. His suck it and see approach led to some innovative, if short-lived, events that were full of good intentions like the Golf Sixes and the Shot Clock Masters. He had music on the tees and loved the general razzmatazz of sport as an entertainment industry.

Pelley was very much a new-media man and was desperate for consumers to engage with the European Tour brand. There were hiccups, of course. 

The disastrous revamping of the tour’s website and app back in 2017 generated a staggering backlash as players, coaches, the media and fans alike were united in harrumphing condemnation at the chaotic overhaul of a valued resource. 

To his credit, Pelley issued an open letter apologising for the mess as the website reverted back to its old format and VE Day-style celebrations erupted across the golfing world.

Given all the controversy and contention caused by LIV’s disruptive emergence in recent years, the uproar of the website debacle seems laughable now.

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic was certainly no laughing matter but Pelley steered the circuit through the perils, when many doom-mongers feared for the tour’s very existence, and took the circuit towards record-breaking prize money.

The signing of a ‘strategic alliance’ with the PGA Tour brought much-needed financial stability. As that partnership strengthened, however, many thought that Pelley had sold out to the American circuit and had effectively turned the DP World Tour into a feeder circuit. 

Others, though, lauded the abundant opportunities that are now on offer with 10 players, who are not already exempt, gaining playing privileges on the PGA Tour through the DP World Tour’s order of merit.

The success, meanwhile, of the Rolex Series, the G4D Tour for golfers with a disability and mixed competitions with the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA Tour have been worthy of acclaim.

His time over the past couple of years, of course, has been consumed by LIV and all the associated palavers it has created.

Stalwart figures like Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia, wooed by the LIV gravy train, were given fines and suspensions and resigned their DP World Tour membership amid great volleys of bickering, bitching and bitterness. 

Assessments on Pelley’s legacy, therefore, are mixed. But he acted with the tour’s best interests at heart during the most turbulent time in its history. Pelley would deserve a farewell tipple.