Gabrielle is delighted to have signed with sports management company, Momentum Athlete Group and looks forward to working with team MAG over the next few years. More details can be found at https://www.momentumathletegroup.com/gabriellemacdonald
A win, 3 missed cuts, and the Coronavirus
I got back from South Africa last Thursday and it was the quietest I have ever seen Edinburgh Airport! Which would be great if it wasn’t due to the coronavirus pandemic. I was slightly apprehensive about travelling home but fingers crossed I haven’t caught anything and my flights went ahead as normal, so it was a relatively smooth experience. South Africa is only just starting to have cases of the virus, so during my time I felt as though I was escaping all the panic and mayhem that was happening back home.
I started my trip in Johannesburg 4 weeks ago, and I was travelling with two girls from the UK and we were all getting put up by a lovely host family at Ebotse Links. It was so exciting to be out competing again on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, where I had started my professional career almost exactly a year ago. After a few days adjusting to the heat and altitude I played my first competition, over the brand new 18 hole par 3 course at Serengeti Estates. Having never played a par 3 tournament before, it was a great new concept and lots of fun. It was also a pro am team event, where we played as team of two pros and two amateurs. After the two rounds we finished tied for the lead, and needed to play-off for first and second place. It was exciting to be involved in a play-off with a fair sized crowd watching, and I admittedly felt pretty nervous! Luckily for me, my partner holed a great putt on the 4th extra hole to crown us the Canon Serengeti Par 3 Challenge winners! It was a fantastic way to start my trip, and I finished in 11th place individually.
After that I had two more events in Johannesburg, the first was at Soweto Country Club. Soweto is one of the largest township areas in the city, and the golf course was recently upgraded and refurbished by the city. The course proved difficult due to the thick rough and bouncy greens and unfortunately I missed the cut by 2 shots. It was disappointing for me but I was optimistic about my golf by the following week at Glendower Country Club. I had a solid first round of 73 but after getting off to a bad start in round 2, I was battling to make the cut again. I dropped a couple shots at the end of the round and missed it for the second week in a row. I felt like my golf wasn’t that far away as I was striking the ball well, but my putter was costing me.
The tour then moved to Cape Town for the final event, the South African Women’s Open which is also a Ladies European Tour event. The field was strong with all the regular tour players over for it. My boyfriend also came over to caddy for me… and to see all that Cape Town offers! I felt a lot more comfortable in this environment than the previous year but there are fine lines in sport and again I missed the cut by 2 shots. I felt a bit deflated to finish my trip on a disappointing note, but I know I’ll come back stronger, I just have to keep working hard.
I had a few days to explore Cape Town before flying home, and it really is a beautiful city and part of the world. We went to Cape Point (the most southerly part of Africa), saw the penguins on boulders beach, went on a wine tour, explored the V&A waterfront and relaxed on the beach at Camps Bay. We had been planning to go up Table Mountain and hike Lion’s Head but there was a fire that broke out on Lion’s Head and the mountain was shut for the next few days whilst they tried to put it out, before eventually being closed due to coronavirus!
Now that I’m home, like everyone else I’m not sure what lies ahead. My next few events have been postponed until later in the year so at the moment the earliest I will be competing is May. However, I think it is highly likely that those events will also be cancelled or rearranged. I plan to use this time to rest my elbow injury which has been lingering since October, so I will be limiting my practice to short game over the next couple of weeks. Fingers crossed we know more soon, and I hope everyone stays as healthy as possible!
Unfortunately due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic I have postponed my golf day for the time being. I am hoping to rearrange for later in the year and will be in touch once I know more. For now I hope everyone stays safe and healthy.
After a successful event last year, I will be hosting another golf day this year on the 12th June at Craigielaw. The format will remain the same, being a 4 person Texas scramble. Team entry is £300. Following the golf there will be food and a raffle. More details to follow, but I’m sure it will be a fun filled day with lots of great prizes on offer. Save the date!
I’m delighted to be a brand ambassador for Pure Spa & Beauty and I’m really grateful for their support. This partnership is a great fit for me as a professional golfer as it’s important for me to take care of my mind and body and Pure Spa is the perfect place for me to do so. They have three spas in Edinburgh as well as others across the UK. It’s great to have access to the Spa, and I have loved being able to relax after training in the David Lloyd Newhaven Spa. I also have benefitted from regular massage treatments, which are great for muscle recovery and for keeping me flexible.
I’m thrilled to be representing Pure Spa & Beauty as I compete across the world. If you want to find out more about Pure Spa, have a look at their website:https://blog.purespauk.com/6669/introducing-pure-ambassador-gabriella-macdonald
On the 21st June, I hosted my golf funding day at Craigielaw. It was a fantastic day, with 21 teams taking part in a Texas Scramble and luckily the sun was shining! I hope everyone had a great day. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone, even those who beat me on the 17th in the nearest the pin challenge! Congrats again to the winning team of Michael Lumsden, Craig Davidson, Allan Reoch and Ross Colquhoun, with a winning score of 55.2
It was also really great to have Plum Films along to capture footage from the Beat the Pro challenge. Thanks to Micky and Ross for their expertise. Have a look at the fab videos below:
The day was a huge success, and I would like to thank everyone for your support. The money raised will help me reach my goals this year and I was delighted to support St Columba’s Hospice with a generous donation. Due to the success of the day, I also donated to the Edinburgh Maggie’s Centre who provide support to those with cancer and their family and friends. Both charities are very close to my heart and I was really happy to be able to give back to them.
I would like to thank my Dad and everyone who helped me organise the day. Massive thanks to Derek and Craigielaw for making the day possible, and to everyone who donated prizes for the auction and raffle. It was also great to have the golf prizes sponsored by: Pure Spa, Golf Fit, American Golf, Braid Hills Golf Centre and Craigielaw.
Five weeks ago I flew out to George, on the Western Cape of South Africa to start my professional career and now I’m sitting waiting to board my flight home. I can’t help but reflect upon my time out here. Having never been to South Africa I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’ve had a great time. The trip has been full of new experiences from hitting my first shot as a pro; playing in my first pro am; playing 5 weeks in a row; playing in my first LET event and being chased by a baboon at Cape Point. The latter being the most nerve-wrecking out of all these experiences!
I’ve played 5 events on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, with some satisfying results. My first event was the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am and I could not have picked a better place to start my career. The courses at George and Fancourt were stunning and the hospitality was first class… with a daily selection of cake and ice cream in the players lounge! However, I wasn’t too distracted by the hospitality and I managed to get myself in contention after shooting 68 in round 2. It was such a buzz to have a chance at winning in only my first event as a pro and although I finished in a tie for 6th I was really pleased with this result. More so, as this was my 1st competitive event since early November and also since my mum passed away. I was a little emotional, knowing how much my mum would have loved to have seen me do well, and I guess I missed having my family around to support and celebrate.
Next up was Durban, to play in the SA Women’s Masters and the SuperSport Ladies Challenge. If I was on a high from the Di Data I was quickly brought back down to earth when we arrived at our digs! Life on tour really isn’t glamorous! After surviving a night with bed bugs we managed to find a new place to stay on site at San Lameer and we lucked out with a fab host family! Despite struggling a little with my game that week, I finished in 14th place and another cut made.
It was a tight turnaround as we then went straight into the practice round and Pro Am at Wild Coast Sun. The course really is wild! It covers some amount of land up on a cliff top and is on the edge of a wildlife reserve. It’s really exposed to the wind and we were all warned of high winds forecast. Fortunately it wasn’t quite like a windy day at Craigielaw and I seemed to cope with the trickier conditions that we had in round 2. I played some great golf that week, and finished outright 3rd. Again it was exciting to be in contention and I felt like maybe it could be my week when I teed off in the final round. However, I didn’t take advantage of my good approach play on the front 9 and my short putting let me down.
My final stop of the tour was Cape Town for two more events. After playing 3 events in a row, I was ready for a few days off! Luckily we had time to relax and do some site seeing which is actually quite rare on most of my golf trips. Cape Town really is incredible with the striking Table Mountain and scenic coastline. I know how lucky I am to visit such amazing places like Cape Town. After a few days off I felt mentally refreshed and raring to go again at Royal Cape GC. It wasn’t my best golf week but I am proud how I grinded it out after a poor opening round. In some very typical Scottish weather, I managed to move up each day and finished tied 13th in the end.
It was then onto Westlake for the Investec South African Women’s Open which was a co-sanctioned LET event. This event had the highest purse and so I was eager to have a good week! As it would happen, I was probably too eager! Although, after hitting two great shots on my opening hole and sinking the putt for birdie, I actually felt right at home in my first LET event. Unfortunately, after a shocker of a bunker lie on my 9th hole my golf started to slip and I let my mistakes get to me more than I normally do, thinking I had played my way out of the tournament. This was my biggest lesson learned of the trip – never think it’s over- as had I saved a few shots in my last few holes I would have been around the cut mark with a lot less to do in round 2. To be honest, I actually felt a little embarrassed with my score and also disappointed with myself and my attitude on the golf course. I needed the afternoon off to clear my head and the views along Chapman’s Drive and Hout Bay definitely helped distract me.
By the next day I was ready to give it my best shot at making it to the weekend, and I got off to a good start with 2 birdies in the first 4 holes. However, a double bogey on the 14th hole proved costly and I ended up missing the cut by 1. I was gutted, it was the first cut I’d missed on the trip and missing it by 1 is a tough one to take. However, I was happy with the way I had played in round 2 and how I had recovered from the double bogey, playing the last 4 holes in 1 under. They say you learn more from your mistakes than your wins and that has probably been the case on this trip!
Overall, It’s been a fun few weeks out here and a great start to my pro career. There’s nothing quite like playing competitive golf and to have that week after week has been such a good experience for me. I’m now looking forward to going home and spending time with my family and sleeping in my own bed! It will also be good to get some practice in before my season starts in Europe on the LET Access Series. Let the adventures continue!
I’m delighted with the support that I’ve had for my golf day, from people coming along to play and also prizes that have been donated. I look forward to seeing you on 21st June for a 1.00pm start and please see below for some of the wonderful prizes on offer.
There will be golf prizes provided by Craigielaw for 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams in the scramble, as well as prizes for nearest the pin and longest drives. I’m delighted that Pure Spa have donated a Spa Day package for two for the winner of the Ladies longest drive competition. Whilst the men’s longest drive competition has been sponsored by Golf Fit Ltd.
- Spa day for 2 at Archerfield.
- 4 Ball at Renaissance. Host to both this year’s Scottish Mens and Ladies Opens.
- Behind the scenes Sky Sports day. Money can’t buy exclusive offer for two to see Steve Clarke’s rejuvenated Scotland Team. ‘Spend the afternoon with the Sky Sports team at a Scotland Euro 2020 qualifier at Hampden Park.
- Overnight stay for 4 people at the 4 star Rusacks Hotel in St Andrews, with dinner, bed and breakfast included.
- 4 Ball at Muirfield. Kindly donated by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers to their favourite caddy. To be used between October 2019 – March 2020.
- 4 Ball at Prestwick Golf Club, the birthplace of the Open Championship and one of the best links courses in the world. Kindly donated by Prestwick, where Gabrielle won the 100th Scottish Ladies Amateur Open in 2014.
- Craigielaw golf package for 4 people. 2 nights stay in 4 star Craigielaw Lodge, dinner bed and breakfast both nights, golf at Craigielaw on day one and golf at Kilspindie next day.
Raffle Prizes – £10 per ticket
- Hearts Hospitality x 2 in the Executive European Lounge. Kindly donated by Ann Budge.
- Hibs Hospitality x 2 in the Gallery at Easter Road. Kindly donated by the Hibs Commercial team.
- Overnight stay for two at the Fairmont St Andrews, including breakfast. Kindly donated by the University of St Andrews.
- Meal for 4 at the wonderful Ducks Restaurant, Aberlady.
- Custom fitting session at Titliest Fitting Centre, Craigielaw.
- Jaeger bomb machine with 6 bottles of Jaegermeister. Kindly donated by John Flucker.
- Exclusive Malt Whisky from Wemyss & March Estate, donated by Craigielaw.
- Voucher for Braids Hills Golf Centre donated by Ian Young.
Beat the Pro – £10.00
I will also be doing a nearest the pin contest, where you can challenge me to see if you can beat the pro. Double your money if you win.
Thank you for your support, which will also go towards St Columba’s Hospice.
I hope friends and the wider golf and business community will come along and enjoy a fun afternoon, while helping to support my move into professional golf. The funds raised will also go towards St Columba’s Hospice, a charity that many of you know is very close to me and my family.
A fabulous day is planned, with the opportunity to win wonderful golf prizes as well as exclusive sporting and leisure experiences. There will also be a chance to beat the pro in a par 3 challenge.
The format will be a Texas scramble with a shotgun start at 1pm, followed by a two course meal in the excellent Craigielaw restaurant. The entry cost of each 4 player team is £275.
To enter, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m very grateful to Craigielaw, my club for the last 12 years, for providing this opportunity. Craigielaw is not only a championship standard golf course with great practice areas, but a very welcoming, inclusive club. My experience from junior to international player and now professional has been helped enormously by the club, Derek and the team.
Gabrielle has today announced that she has turned professional. Gabrielle will be continuing her journey with
Gabrielle spent time with some of the juniors at Craigielaw and reflected back upon her time playing for the junior team; “It was great to be part of a strong junior team and a club which welcomed juniors to play as much as they wanted. Craigielaw had only been opened for a few years when I joined and had a modern approach to club competitions, as both ladies and juniors could play in all medals with no restrictions. I also loved playing in the East Lothian Junior League, and being part of the team’s success at the Home Nations Finals in Spain. These competitions definitely helped me gain matchplay experience and likely played a part in my success in the Scottish Amateur Championship. Hopefully, the junior section can keep growing, and it’s great to see the juniors here today enjoying themselves despite the cold weather!”
Gabrielle is heading out to South Africa next week to play on the Sunshine Ladies Tour. She will play 4 events and hopes to qualify for the co-sanctioned LET event before flying home. She will then get her season started on the LET Access Series.
Gabrielle would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported her over the years.
“Big smiles today as I am excited to announce that I am turning professional! I can’t wait to start this new chapter in my golfing career and I’m delighted to have Craigielaw’s continued support. I want to thank the club and to everyone who has helped me along the way, I’m very grateful for all the support I have received over the years. Ready to start my 2019 season out in South Africa in just over a weeks time.”
After a successful 2018 season, Gabrielle headed out to Morocco in November for LET Tour School. Gabrielle successfully negotiated her way through pre-qualifying after shooting scores of 74, 74, 73, 75. Gabrielle played steady all week despite not quite putting it all together for a low score. Gabrielle finished t21st and was proud to have made it comfortably through after previous attempts in 2016/17. Gabrielle headed home and felt confident ahead of competing at
Unfortunately, Gabrielle was unable to travel to the final stage of LET Q School after her mum sadly passed away after a long fight with cancer.
Prior to heading to Morocco for LET Qualifying School, Gabrielle played in a Santander Golf Tour event in Bilbao, Spain. Gabrielle wanted to get some competitive rounds under her belt and to play a tournament in similar conditions to those she would experience in Morocco. She finished in a tie for 4th place after shooting rounds of 71 and 73. Gabrielle started round 2 only two shots behind the leader, and after getting off to fast start Gabrielle soon held the lead. Unfortunately, she dropped a few too many shots and finished 4 behind the eventual winner Laura Gomez. However, the event was a great confidence booster for Gabrielle, as she knew that she was capable of winning a professional event.
Link the scores: https://www.santandergolftour.eu/livescoring-vizcaya/
The Santander Golf Tour footage is on their youtube page and the link for the Bilbao event is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7TcdqsuZQ8