The upper echelons of professional golf offer untold riches as the world’s best players battle it out for millions of dollars or Euros on both sides of the Atlantic every week, writes Craig Goldthorp.
But away from the glitz and glamour of the PGA and European Tours comes the relatively low profile Challenge Tour, from which Motherwell golfer Ross Kellett has decided to quit after seven years as a pro.
Bellshill-born Kellett (31), who turned professional with an incredible +5 handicap back in 2012, told the Times and Speaker: “The main reason I have quit is how badly I have felt when I have been playing poorly.
“I have been feeling pretty down and I have taken it into my personal life.
“I have not been in touch with friends.
“When it starts eating into that, you have to look at it and see what your options are.
“Lately I played mini tour events in January in Egypt and I was playing poorly and wasn’t happy.
“I thought: ‘I shouldn’t be putting myself through this’.
“You only get one shot at life and you need to be happy.”
What didn’t help Kellett’s mood recently was when he caught whooping cough – most likely on a plane or in an airport due to his regular travelling to foreign tournaments – in September which kept him out of competitive play for around three months.
But, with professional tournament golf now behind him for good, Kellett has embarked upon a new working life with Stirling-based Blue Group Machinery.
“This is completely different for me and I’m enjoying it,” he said.
“The company sells material waste processing machines.
“I work in the spare parts division, managing spare parts for customers.”
One of the strange things about Kellett choosing to ditch Challenge Tour life is that no one part of his golf game had been particularly weak in recent months.
“I have always been a very steady player,” he added.
“And I was shooting under par in most tournaments.
“And I had a lot of decent scores on the Challenge Tour.
“But when I did hit a bad shot it was making me feel pretty horrible.
“It could be a bad drive, wedge or putt. In Egypt it was a bit of everything.
“I always know there is going to be some poor golf in there and I don’t want to keep putting myself through it.
“It was not a decision I took lightly. I took quite a while to think about it.”
Kellett’s golfing dream had been to win promotion to the European Tour but it was something he never achieved.
The closest he came was back in 2016 when he reached the final qualifying stage and only missed out on making the main tour by two shots.
This fine performance gained Kellett extremely limited European Tour status.
The highlight of the two top tier tournaments he ever played in was finishing 36th at an event in Australia’s Gold Coast in December 2016.