WHAT'S the purpose of new technology in 2021? That’s right, it’s to make gadgets and gizmos you bought maybe two years ago look like something from 1976 as all manner of appliances swiftly go from cutting-edge contraptions to lumpen antiquities in the time it takes you to roll a smock through a hand-cranked mangle.

As a result, you’ll probably have a variety of fusty drawers and dusty units that are jam-packed with technological period pieces, relics and curiosities that used to serve a valuable purpose but now lie twisted and useless like the aftermath of an explosion at the Museum of Twisted and Useless Paraphernalia and Ephemera. 

Obsolete chargers, tangled flexes, archaic adapters? Go on, have a keek in that bureau over there. I bet there’s one of those fiddly SCART thingamabobs abandoned in the dark recesses.

In the world of professional golf, meanwhile, the European Tour, like some cable you used to wiggle into the back of the tele, will soon be no more and we’ll have to get used to it being known as the DP World Tour even though most of us will still call it the European Tour much to the annoyance of those folk whose job it is to promote the DP World Tour brand.

Last week’s triumphant announcement of this multi-million dollar deal will see the Old World circuit boast a total purse of $200m in 2022 with minimum prize funds of $2m during a 47-stop birl around 27 different countries. “We rejoice in our global footprint,” said the tour’s chief executive, Keith Pelley. It’s a good job he wasn’t speaking at the COP26 summit.

And so, professional golf’s arms race continues, driven by the threat of rival tours luring the top players away with vast bags of gold. Greg Norman and the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Investments seem to have ruffled more feathers than a stooshie in Liberace’s dressing room with a major investment in the Asian Tour as well as potential plans for a big-money global circuit. 

Those behind the Premier Golf League, meanwhile, are still hopeful that their circuit will become a reality in co-operation, rather than in conflict, with the PGA Tour.

All this posturing, parrying and jousting, of course, means that it’s a good time to be a player in the upper echelons. Money talks and, at the moment, it seems to be bawling through a megaphone. Come here and play for mega-bucks. No, go over there and earn a fortune. Sod that, why not play everywhere and make even more?

In the here, there and everywhere manoeuvres of the world’s best, something has to give, though.

This week in Dubai, the European circuit reaches its finale with its money-drenched, $9m DP World Tour Championship bonanza. Unfortunately, just a week after the fanfare and the bells and whistles unveiling of a “new era” for the circuit, the late withdrawal of its star attraction and world No 1, Jon Rahm, came as a bit of an awkward blow.

After a hectic season, Rahm, who was sitting third on the Race to Dubai rankings and was still in the hunt to be crowned European No 1, has given his own personal reasons for not travelling to the Emirates – he has a young family and he’s basically jiggered – but his absence doesn’t do much for the brand just days after a major new investment was championed.

Viktor Hovland, one of Europe’s biggest talents on the PGA Tour, is also sidestepping this week’s finale, as is former European No 1 Justin Rose.

The Tour Championship should be - or at least will have ambitions of being - a “can’t miss” event on the calendar. The best events need the best players but in this age of bountiful opportunity, plentiful rewards and lip-smacking largesse, many can easily just give it a miss.

The rebrand of the European Tour has been signed, sealed and delivered with a swanky new logo. Perhaps it’s time for a rethink of the Tour Championship too.


THE golfing gods do have a heart after all. David Drysdale may not have done his hopes of safeguarding his European Tour playing privileges any favours by missing the cut in the AVIV Dubai Championship last Friday but, with his fate out of his hands, he still held on to his card with nothing to spare.

Drysdale clung to the 121st and final card-retaining place over a weekend which saw him in, then out, then back in again as others behind him on the rankings tried to overhaul him. It was like watching a very ghoulish performance of the Hokey Cokey. The gasp of relief from Drysdale, and his wife and caddie Vicky, just about whipped up a sandstorm in the Dubai desert.

The 46-year-old has endured some gut-wrenching card losses in his long career. This time, those golfing gods blessed him with good fortune. Nobody will begrudge Drysdale his lifeline.


MARTIN Trainer won on the PGA Tour in just his ninth start as a member back in 2019. He then proceeded to make just nine cuts in his next 70 events until an out-of-the-blue tie for fifth came along in Houston on Sunday. Golf remains an unfathomable old game.