TODAY |

Kiwi golfer reveals why he went pro despite it being 'one of the last things I wanted'

He's used to shooting the lights out on the golf course but Kerry Mountcastle might be one of the only golfers who knows how to switch them back on too.

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Kerry Mountcastle has had to balance work with sport for many years but that's all about to change. Source: 1 NEWS

After all, New Zealand’s latest pro golfer is also a sparkie.

“I've been qualified for almost four years now,” Mountcastle told 1 NEWS.

Rewiring, switchboards, solar panels; he's covered most things an electrician can in the Wairarapa and for the past few years he’s done it all while juggling time on the golf course.

“I’d hate being my boss,” he joked.

While the work-life balance for the most part has been good, golf was forced to take a bit of a back seat in 2019.

“For a long time I've enjoyed playing for New Zealand and being sent around the world to represent New Zealand overseas but towards the end of 2019, I'd kinda started losing a bit of interest,” Mountcastle said.

“So to me, turning pro was one of the last things I wanted to do - I wanted to put the sticks down and come back to work.”

But what a difference a year makes.

Not only did Mountcastle find the spark in his golf again but he added a second Charles Tour win to his resume in Manawatu this month.

But more than just the win, that result had a huge impact on Mountcastle’s thoughts about being a pro because his amateur status once again stopped him from cashing the winner's cheque.

“When you see someone get an 11k cheque for those four days of work, it was kinda... I had to do it,” he said.

“If I can walk away with any kind of money after playing rather than a handshake and thanks for playing, that's a major incentive for me.”

So in the space of a few days, New Zealand’s top amateur golfer has now become our latest professional who now has an added incentive ahead of this week’s Strokeplay Championships at Paraparaumu.

“When the Strokeplay was there last I got the win and tied the course record, so I feel very comfortable there.

“They call it the spiritual home of golf in New Zealand so to have that as my first tournament as a professional means a lot to me.”

But if you think this decision means he's putting the tools down, think again.

“The plan at the mo is go play tournaments, take leave off, then once I'm back at work I'll work full time.”

It’s lucky he knows a thing or two about switches then.