Raphaël Jacquelin is a man in a rich vein of form, and much of the credit for that can be traced back to the hours the Frenchman puts in at the pioneering practice facilities at Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort, a member of The European Tour Properties Network of world-class golf venues.
Under the watchful eye of his coach Alain Alberti, who started up the resort’s Leadbetter Golf Academy, Jacquelin has honed the technique which has yielded four European Tour titles, most recently after a marathon play-off at the Open de España.
After taking a week off to recover from his exploits in Korea and China, Jacquelin will warm up for his tilt at the BMW PGA Championship title by spending three days at Terre Blanche, located 30 minutes outside Cannes on the French Riviera.
The practice facilities comprise the world-renowned Albatros Golf Performance Center, which was the first in the world to be afforded European Tour Performance Institute status; a Biomecaswing Assessment and the Leadbetter Golf Academy, chosen by the French Golf Federation as the winter training base for the French Elite Amateur Men’s team, the World and European champions in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
As its Touring Professional, Jacquelin views Terre Blanche - voted European Golf Resort of the Year 2013 by IAGTO - almost as his second home, and the 38 year old from Lyon believes he has reaped the benefits of his association with the resort.
Jacquelin said: “Around seven years ago, my coach [Alain Alberti] went to Terre Blanche to start up the Academy. So I started to practise there, really loved the facilities, and then we found a way for me to become the resort’s Touring Professional.
“Whenever I’ve got a break, I love to go there. I’m going to have a week off after China, then I’ll spend three full days at Terre Blanche to do some serious practise and really get myself ready for Wentworth.
“The driving range there is absolutely fantastic, and they have got everything you need to work on all parts of your game. It’s just a great, great place to spend a few days..
“And the two courses there are very nice, especially Le Château. It’s quite hilly so it’s a good test, and you feel that if you can play well there, your game is in pretty good shape. I can’t think of a better place to do that.”
Designed by Dave Thomas, Le Château was ranked 18th in Golf World (UK) magazine’s 2011 list of the Top 100 Courses in Continental Europe and is host venue to the French Riviera Masters on The European Senior Tour; whilst the other course, Le Riou, is the host venue for the Terre Blanche Ladies Open.