WELL, you can say one thing for the LIV Golf Invitational. It generated a quite staggering amount of coverage.

If you leafed through the newspaper, tuned in the radio, switched on the tele or scrolled through social media last week, what did you see and hear?

Yes, that’s right. LIV Golf here, LIV Golf there and LIV Golf bloomin’ everywhere.

In fact, the various media platforms were so choc-a-bloc with rampaging declarations and opinionated consternation about this Saudi-backed showpiece, there wasn’t actually room for everybody to have their say on affairs, so folk ended up bursting into spontaneous outpourings of elaborate mime, expressive dance and extravagant shadow puppetry just to get things off their chest. I’m making that last bit up, of course, but you get the general idea. It was a complete and utter frenzy.

From squirming, surly, sheepish press conferences with players, which were as awkward as Prince Andrew suddenly appearing at the Order of the Garter procession, to cringe-inducing YouTube commentary which featured Jerry

Foltz shrieking the word ‘MONEY!’ when Charl Schwartzel holed a winning putt worth some $4m, it was quite the eyebrow-raising week for this rattled Royal & Ancient game.

When it was all said and won at The Centurion Club, the established tours then had their moment of defiant triumphalism on Sunday which left those in favour of the status quo positively giddy.

Sweden’s Linn Grant struck a mighty blow for the good ladies with a tremendous nine-shot win in an event of genuine innovation at the Scandinavian Mixed tournament on the DP World Tour before swashbuckling Rory McIlroy won a thrilling Canadian Open on the PGA Tour to leave all and sundry cooing like turtle doves on a first date. It was such a perfect day, you almost felt the whole thing had been rigged. The respective heid honchos of the embattled main circuits couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome.

Schwartzel won an astronomical sum at a largely hum-drum, no-cut exhibition and most observers shrugged their shoulders. Guaranteeing money in professional golf, and removing the element of performance-related jeopardy, diminishes its competitive validity. The wins by Grant and McIlroy genuinely mattered, however, and golf’s integrity was preserved.

In the euphoric aftermath of his 21st PGA Tour triumph. McIlroy was jubilant and cocked a sizeable snook at LIV Golf CEO, Greg Norman. “I had extra motivation with what’s going on across the pond,” said McIlroy.

“The guy [Norman] that’s spearheading that tour has 20 wins on the PGA Tour and I was tied with him and I wanted to get one ahead of him. And I did.”

It was another salvo fired in professional golf’s on-going civil war. And the battle looks set to rage for a while yet. At the LIV Golf Invitational prize-giving ceremony on Saturday, Norman, once again, declared: “Trust us, this is just the beginning.” Underestimate his bullishness at your peril.

Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed are the latest names to sign up to his series which has three stops coming up on American soil over the next couple of months. DeChambeau, like another major-winning defector, Dustin Johnson, swore his allegiance to the PGA Tour not so long ago. My word is my honour doesn’t mean much, though, when confronted with a humongous cheque. What was it Oscar Wilde said again? “I can resist everything except temptation.”

The US Open at Brookline takes centre stage this week but there will be no escaping LIV Golf and the general tumult which continues to get increasingly polarised and politicised. On Sunday night, Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour commissioner, made his first public appearance since issuing suspensions to the 17 PGA Tour members who played at The Centurion Club and used the 9/11 atrocities to outline his resistance to the Saudi-led series.

Given that a number of his PGA Tour players were granted releases to play in the Saudi International back in February, this emotive escalation of opposition was somewhat confusing. It underlined the mind-mangling complexities and sensitivities of the current situation.

The LIV saga will no doubt be rumbling on, too, when the 150th Open takes place next month. There is a suggestion that the USGA and The R&A, in their role as custodians of the global game and respective organisers of these two major championships, should emerge from the safety of their bunkers and attempt to formulate some sort of ceasefire between the hostile parties. Finding a way for them to co-exist, though, will just about require the combined expertise of every single winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

On this side of the Atlantic, meanwhile, the Saudi influence in golf will be on show again this week back at The Centurion Club when the $1m Aramco Team Series takes place on the Ladies European Tour.

The Saudis, through the Public Investment Fund and Aramco, have a number of events totalling $7m on a Ladies European Tour which simply can’t afford to turn down such a hefty investment. The source of these finances may still be questionable but the money-over-morals debate is more muddied when we’re discussing the need of the female golfers compared to the greed of their male counterparts. 

I’m sure golf was much simpler when it was sponsored by cigarettes and booze. Can you get me a pint and some baccy, please?