Somewhat lost in the continuing drama surrounding LIV Golf and how it might impact professional golf’s future is an interesting through-line in this year’s majors, which concluded with Cameron Smith’s win in the Open.

Scottie Scheffler, Masters winner, is 26. U.S. Open winner Matthew Fitzpatrick is 27. Smith, the latest holder of the Claret Jug, is 28. And Justin Thomas, winner of the PGA championship, is 29.

This is not exactly a youth movement, but these guys are a long, long way from retirement.

Rory McIlroy, a part of the over-30 crowd at 33 years old, saw Smith storm by him with an aggressive parade of birdies to win the Open.

It seems that the kids are all right.

For any number of reasons, golf is generally a young person’s game. There are certainly exceptions to that rule, chief among them Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson claiming majors at “advanced” ages. Nicklaus won the Masters in 1986 at the age of 46 (with a stunning 30 on the back nine!), and Mickelson won the PGA Championship at 50.

But, even though younger players typically are stronger, more flexible, and have greater stamina, graybeards with some experience typically have been the Big Dogs on the PGA Tour.

You could argue a considerable change is underway, considering the results of this year’s majors.

Players stepping out of college and advancing through lower-level tours seem to step into the big leagues with no fear.

There was a time when players like Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Nicklaus sent shivers down the spines of new arrivals. Those guys had been there and done that, having roamed the fairways of Augusta and all the grand courses of the Open so many times they knew where the most divots were likely to be. A young punk just out of college played in the long shadow of Nicklaus, and he was exactly that – overshadowed.

There was an expected amount of respect going up against your elders, but it was much more than that. Nicklaus and Co. were golf gods of a sort. They carried magic in their bags, and when magic didn’t work they hit driver 20 yards longer. There was a certain intimidation factor to going up against players who had been building blocks of the modern game.

Scheffler, Thomas, Fitzpatrick, and Smith carried none of that baggage in taking home this year’s biggest trophies. If they were shaking in their expensive golf shoes, there was no visible wobbling. They hammered home long putts, hit soft wedges that threatened the pin, and felt pressure only in the post-round massage room.

For Pete’s sake, Smith had most of the world pulling against him – and for McIlroy – on Sunday at the Open and still turned in the round of his life.

No fear.