Growing up playing golf in Ireland, you got used to playing in the rain  because if you didn’t, you didn’t play.  Nowadays, I’m much more of a wimp and if it’s chucking it down and I don’t have to play, I don’t.  Mind you, I know my waterproofs still work, so do my shoes and so does my brolly.  It’s just that, without a caddy to do all the hard drying, golfing in a deluge is a bit of a faff, when you could do with extra hands.  For me, now, golf is to be enjoyed, not endured.  Coffee please!  And bridge.  Or Cluedo.  Or any indoor game you care to mention.

Not that I’m much of a hand at games – bridge is fun but frustrating; crib is still a bit of a mystery; and as for Cluedo – I didn’t realise you could move Miss Scarlett from the drawing room (or was it the conservatory) to stop someone else from revealing her as the murderer in the right room with the right weapon.

Not my golf course and misty rather than raining but….it’s November weather.

I suppose that’s what most of the LIV golfers have signed up to – more fun, less grind.  Golf lite.  Who am I to criticise them?  But, really, I have no desire to watch them – or write about them.  Plenty of other people know a lot more about it all and once again, I particularly recommend Eamon Lynch, of Golfweek/USA Today, who’s implacable in his opposition to the whole concept.

It’s the time of year when the game’s best (or a fair number of them anyway) are swinging in the sunshine, attempting to put the icing on the cake.  In Dubai, at the Jumeirah Golf Estates, Europe’s finest are fighting it out to be the continent’s No 1, still a worthy ambition.  Rory McIlroy, the world No 1, had an up-and-down first round of 71, one under par and found himself six shots behind US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, who started with five birdies and the mercurial Tyrrell Hatton, who is a law onto himself.

Matt Fitzpatrick finding golf easy in the first round of the DP World Tour Championship [Getty Images]

Elsewhere, players are battling away to get a card somewhere or other and Alastair Tait ( wrote about the trials and tribulations of those fighting it out at the European Tour Qualifying School at the Infinitum Club in Tarragona, Spain.  I’d been mulling over my own memories of Q-School and despite the wonderful stories at every turn, I hated it.  It was brutal, six rounds of hell – or heaven, at least for a while, if you made it through.

All I saw were friends (or lovely, long-standing, a lot-more-than acquaintances) standing in front of scoreboards watching their lives drain away….That’s a bit melodramatic and most of them survived well enough one way and another but that’s what it felt like at the time.  It was hideous and one year we were somewhere near Montpellier and the weather was grim and everywhere was shut, which didn’t help the mood of gloom and despondency.

I can’t remember the year and I can’t remember if that was the one that Retief Goosen won, a lad so shy and quiet that it was just as well that we at least knew his name and his nationality (South African) and what he’d scored because we learned very little else from him.  At least he went on to have a heck of a career (two US Open titles and a lot else besides) and is still starring on the Legends Tour in America.  Not every Q-School winner does so well but at least the card holders head out with hope in their hearts.  Good luck to them all.

Simon Forsstrom of Sweden led the qualifiers [Getty Images]

Alastair wrote about experienced, battle-hardened veterans – Ryder Cup players – losing their nerve at Q-School, double bogeying the last to miss out on regaining their card.  At least they kept giving it a go; I didn’t even have the bottle to cover more than a couple of the marathons; I wimped out, snuffling into my hanky.

The football world cup starts in Qatar on Sunday, so that’s the end of my trips to N17 for a while.  Fortunately – very fortunately – Spurs ended on a high note with a 4-3 win at home to Leeds.  We were behind three times and at the end, the Leeds manager, a passionate American called Jesse Marsch, said he felt as though his heart had been ripped out of his chest.  I’m not surprised.  It was a bonkers game, a manager’s nightmare.  As the sainted Sir Alex once said, “Football, bloody hell.”

My World Cup wall chart should help me keep track of things.

I travelled down from Lichfield with Essie, a Tottenham fan who grew up in the area, a lot closer to White Hart Lane than Portstewart is.  She’d been to the old White Hart Lane but this was her first visit to the swanky new stadium and she loved every minute of it.  Now we regulars want her to come to every game because she’s obviously a lucky mascot.  Even better, despite hordes of people pouring into London – and back out – for rugby, Remembrance events, football, theatre, whatever, the journey could scarcely have been smoother.  Thank you Essie for a wonderful day.

Two very happy, if emotionally exhausted, Spurs supporters after a roller-coaster of a match.