THE problem with going away on holiday these days is that the constant presence of gadgetry means all and sundry back home come along with you. Text messages, emails, phone calls, Twitter notifications, Facebook blurts . . . There’s no ruddy peace.

Back in those tranquil times of yore, of course, you could genuinely hide away like an auld hermit with agoraphobia once you’d departed these shores.

Your sole status update probably consisted of a dog-eared postcard that arrived two days after you had returned and was scribbled with a few hum-drum haverings about a trip to a crumbling monastery, the weather being fine but getting cooler later in the week and how you had to cancel a tour of some fusty catacombs because the lobster bisque in the hotel restaurant had aggravated Doreen’s peptic ulcer.

Yes, it’s nice to go away but it’s always nice to come back. Tiger Woods, meanwhile, has been on an extended break, but this week, he’s back. Again. Will it be an eye-opening re-emergence or a hands-over-the-eyes calamity? Goodness knows.

We’ve got used to his various comebacks evolving in a similar pattern. There’s the encouraging hoopla in the build-up, then he plays a few increasingly ropey rounds before he begins wincing and hirpling again and ultimately retreats back into the wilderness.

With Woods, there have been more false dawns than an Arctic winter and it’s hardly surprising that many have taken the latest upbeat declarations of his fitness and form with great fistfuls of salt ahead of this week’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

Woods played a round with Dustin Johnson, Brad Faxon and President Trump recently and, according to Faxon, the former world No.1 was in fine fettle and hitting it “past Dustin half the time.”

Fake news? Perhaps not, but four-and-a-bit hours in the company of madcap Trump could have you believing anything. By many accounts though, including his own, Woods is in good shape. “The fact that I don’t have any pain in my lower back anymore compared to what I was living with for years, it’s just remarkable,” he said.

This week’s event is a relatively carefree, 18-man get together which benefits Woods’ own Foundation. Usually reserved for players in the top-50 of the world, the fact that Woods, currently ranked 1199th on the global order, is the host gives him special privileges.

That status also allowed him to display a sense of humour when publicly announcing that he would be playing and offering thanks to “the committee of one for picking myself to play.”

We’ll probably not learn a heck of a lot from this batter about in the Bahamas. A limited field, a forgiving course, a cosy, controlled environment? It will be very much a gentle easing in, the kind you’d perform as you gingerly slide and squeak your way into a bath tub when you’re not quite sure how hot the water is.

A year ago in the same event, Woods made the joint highest number of birdies in the field but finished 15th out of the 17 players who competed. There appeared something to build on, however, but those foundations were built on sand as his injuries flared up again and he slithered back to square one.

It got worse when images of his police mugshot were beamed around the globe following his arrest for driving under the influence.

The assertion was that his career was well and truly over while those aforementioned images served as a reminder of how Woods transcends sport. This was the fallen hero at his lowest ebb and the world was captivated.

There seemed no way back but here he is, set for yet another comeback. The easy option would have been retirement, but the prospect of being involved in the cut-and-thrust of competitive golf continues to sustain Woods.

The 41-year-old retains a deep, unwavering motivation which is a quite remarkable trait given all that he has endured over the years.

Returning to the summit of a sport he once dominated may be a fanciful notion, but we have to give him credit for not giving up in the face of crippling adversity.