ARE you getting into the festive spirit yet? Yes? Well snap out of it because modern day forms of the media are bigger killjoys than a mild flare-up of the winter vomiting bug on a Lochs and Glens bus tour.

There you are, quietly hoping for a twinkling white Christmas after this rosy-cheeked frosty spell only to be informed that Storm Dylan is on its way by hysterical online ghouls.

Perhaps you’re looking forward to wolfing down a yuletide feast with all the associated trimmings? Well don’t work yourself into a salivating state of anticipation because more than half the population will be struck down by food poisoning due to undercooked turkeys according to gloomy gastronomic reports.

Give it another couple of days and news will probably be flashed up on the rolling ticker of 24-hour, panic-stricken, shriek-o-vision that Santa won’t be able to make his annual tumble down the lum due to a strike by the National Association of Chimney Sweeps.

Over in Carnoustie, there doesn’t seem to be much Christmas cheer over the R&A’s plans to continue its “no re-admissions” policy for spectators at next year’s Open there.

The governing body’s approach of not allowing ticket holders to re-enter the course once they leave, which they had at Birkdale in July, has been greeted with a few heated responses from local businesses in the town.

Phrases like “hammer blow” and “fans being held hostage” have been hurled around in a fevered abundance as the gauge on the media’s fist-shaking, drama-ometer goes pinging into the red.

The custodians of the game in St Andrews have stated on many occasions that the no re-admissions policy is there to protect patrons. Unofficial hospitality has been on the rise, they claim, and this is a way to safeguard spectators from rogue traders. Others will say the R&A are prising every egg out of their own golden goose.

In Carnoustie, it seems to have gone down like a sack of spanners. As the organisers of golf’s biggest championship, the R&A have every right to do what they see fit. It’s their showpiece occasion, after all.

The vast circus of an Open these days is, in many ways, a considerable inconvenience for the townsfolk of the places it visits. Restrictions here, barriers there, bollards and bedlam everywhere? At the same time, the potential for wider economic benefits provides an opportunity to dip the bread in the championship’s sloshing financial gravy boat.

By keeping the paying public penned in, some business folk in Carnoustie are concerned that the Open bandwagon will bypass them. The High Street of the Angus town is not one of the world’s most jaw-dropping boulevards but if someone fancies a pint and a ploughman’s lunch in the Stag’s Head after watching a few hours of golf, before popping back through the gates once fortified to march forth again, then so be it.

Of course, you can’t do that now and in a sense, one of the old charms of the Open continues to be eroded. The link up of the links with the host town is what makes the game’s most celebrated major unique. Absorbing the wider scene in the Auld Grey Toun of St Andrews, for instance, while an Open unravels, is part of the whole experience.

Attending an Open is not for the faint-hearted or for those light in the pocket. You’re out and about in all kinds of conditions with no guarantee of a prime viewing position as you crane and squint past the legions inside the ropes which seems to becoming an increasingly expanding posse that has more hangers-on than a rock pool of barnacles.

Fling in the inflated prices of the on-course food and drink, which can be the equivalent of footing the bill at Michel Roux’s swanky eatery, and you can end up forking out a king’s ransom.

Ticket prices in general at the Open have been going up in recent years while attendances, in Scotland at least, have been trending downwards at golf events across the board.

The golfing public, by and large, are a steadfast, knowledgeable and stoic bunch, but the R&A have to be careful that they don’t take this devotion for granted.