A catch up with Richie Ramsay always makes for an expansive, enlightening and erudite blether.

Ask him, for instance, what club he hit into the fourth and he’ll often respond with the kind of deep, chin-stroking analysis you’d get if you consulted Socrates for a yardage.

The 35-year-old Scot, who is here at Hillside this week for the Betfred British Masters, remains an honest, heart-on-the-sleeve type of character. Golf is his passion and his profession but finding that balance between the demands of the touring life and the contentment of family life is something that Ramsay continues to wrestle with.

Any time the Aberdonian talks about his young daughter Olivia – and the proud father doesn’t need many excuses to bring her up in conversation – his eyes light up as if they’ve just been plugged directly into the National Grid.

Ramsay’s golfing career – three European Tour wins and earnings of around £6 million – will help to give her the best start in life. How long Ramsay continues to pursue this particular path, however, remains to be seen.

In fact, in a frank admission ahead of today’s opening round, the former US Amateur champion stated that he could call time on his career within five years.

In this game of great longevity, which sees countless players flourishing in their 40s, Ramsay’s plans for the future made for interesting listening.

“I read a lot of things and one of the things I read posed the question: if you had a month to live, what would you do?,” said Ramsay. “Well, for me, I wouldn’t be out here. I’d be at home every day spending time with Angela (his wife) and Olivia and that is what is important for me.

“I’ve been a bit quiet recently, keeping my head down as I work on things. It might sound funny, but I am trying to enjoy my golf a little bit more. I got torn a little bit between the travelling and not being home spending time with the family.

“In my own mind, that was a battle that I was fighting towards the end of last year. I am now a little bit more at peace with it but I still struggle with it. I watch videos of Olivia all the time when I’m at tournaments.

“But I have a goal, which, with everybody on board, is to pretty much play until I am 40. If I feel I am in a place where I don’t want to continue and I’m not motivated, because in golf you need to be 100 per cent in on it, I might decide to do something else or take a year out. How good would that be to spend a whole year with my daughter?”

Ramsay has arrived in the north west from the far east having competed in the Volvo China Open last weekend. A closing 66, which left him in a share of 14th, gave him his best finish of the season.

With a new caddie in the shape of the well-travelled Guy Tilson, things seem to be shaping up nicely. “I felt a result like I had in China was coming,” said Ramsay, who has not had a top-10 since January 2018 and only secured his full playing rights for the 2019 campaign with a strong finish in his final event of last season.

“I played well in Morocco without doing too much and I now have Guy on the bag who is doing a good job keeping it simple as I am good when that’s the case.

“I am fortunate to be doing something that I love to do and play nice golf courses and compete against some of the best players in the world.

“If I walked away tomorrow, that’s the thing I would really miss - the competition. You want to test yourself and I just need to go out there and play a little bit better than I have been. If I do that, then some momentum can come with it.”

Hillside is a fine old links – “a wild looking links”, as Jack Nicklaus once observed – and is staging a European Tour event for the first time since 1982, when Tony Jacklin edged out Bernhard Langer in a play-off for the Sun Alliance PGA Championship.

Ramsay has plenty of previous experience of its abundant rigours and exacting nooks and crannies and the former Walker Cup player is looking forward to the test.

“I have some nice memories from this part of the world,” he said. “This is where I got picked for the Walker Cup (of 2005) after playing for Scotland in the European Team Championship here.

“I also remember playing in the British Boys here years ago. I enjoy this golf course and it is very under-rated because I think the back nine has some of the best holes we play out here. My form is also good coming into this event, so I am looking for a good week.”