Professional golf isn’t what you’d call the 9 to 5 routine. Then again, the increasingly ponderous pace of play on the circuits these days is just about threatening to turn tournament rounds into back-breaking, eight-hour shifts.

For Ross Kellett, the structure and security of Monday to Friday employment is a far cry from the golfing globetrotting that would have had Phileas Fogg gasping for a breather, but the Motherwell man couldn’t be happier.

Golf will always be his passion but it’s not his day job now after the stresses, strains, frustrations and fluctuating fortunes of this fiercely fickle game eventually took a toll. “The night before I started my new job I slept better than I had for months,” admitted Kellett who has taken up a sales post with quarrying and waste recycling firm, Blue Group, who were one of his long-term sponsors during his touring days.

Those days are now over. Kellett knew it was coming at the tail end of 2018 but he made his announcement to all and sundry just last weekend.

A winner on the third-tier Alps Tour in his rookie season of 2012, Kellett, always open, honest, engaging and hard-working, chiselled away on the European Challenge Tour in the years that followed. The coalface can be a tough old place, though.

“The poor golf I played made me feel horrendous,” he said. “I just wanted to be swallowed up every time I hit a bad shot. It made me feel worse than a bad day at the office should. When it makes you feel like that, then you have to ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing.

“I wouldn’t say it was ever depression, but it was certainly a low mood which was affecting how I was feeling off the course. In the evenings when I was with pals at dinner at a tournament I wasn’t really engaging with them. I wasn’t speaking to my mum and dad as much when I was home either. When it gets to that stage and it’s not beneficial to my health and to those around me, then you have a decision to make.

“Don’t get me wrong, golf is an amazing life but it’s not all rosy. You are always trying to meet your expectations, you work hard and over the years it can grind you down. I had 75 flights last year, you’re dragging bags through airports and when things are not going well you get a bit disheartened. Did I want to keep putting myself through that?

The answer was ‘no’.”

Kellett played for Scotland and GB&I as an amateur. As a pro he tasted the winning feeling while coming within a birdie putt of a golfing holy grail of a 59 on the Challenge Tour in 2016.

“I’ll leave it with no regrets,” he said. “I’ve not done massive things in the game but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. It’s easy to look back and say I could have done this or that. I try and keep ‘should’ and ‘could’ out of my vocabulary, though. You can only do your best.”

“I have a steady income now and can do things I maybe couldn’t have before as golf was holding me back in a sense.

“There are daft little things I’m looking forward to. Being away a lot during the season meant I missed those summer nights playing golf with my mates, the kind you loved when you were a junior. Life is a bit simpler now.”