He may have missed the cut at the Trophée Hassan II in Morocco last weekend, but Robert Rock took a huge amount of satisfaction from watching the progress of two of his star pupils from the Robert Rock Academy – Amy Boulden and Kelsey Macdonald – in the Lalla Meryem Cup.
The Lalla Meryem Cup is the Ladies European Tour event which runs in conjunction with the Trophée Hassan II on the Golf de L’Ocean course next to The European Tour event at the Golf du Palais Royal in Agadir.
The close proximity of the two tournaments gave Rock the perfect opportunity to gauge the progress of Boulden, from Wales, and Macdonald, from Scotland, who are both promising amateur players and students of his Academy.
After a disappointing opening round in Morocco, Boulden, the current Scottish Ladies Amateur Open champion, posted a second day 74 to just miss the halfway cut, but Macdonald found her feet amongst the professionals instantly.
The Scot, who started working with Rock’s Academy at the beginning of this year, began the week with an excellent round of two under 70 and followed that up with a 73 to make the cut. Two 74s over the weekend saw Macdonald finish in a tie for 57th place.
Founded in 2012 and based in Lichfield, England, the Robert Rock Academy was established with the aim of fostering and developing golfers from the very beginnings of the game through the junior and amateur ranks with the ultimate goal of producing champions at an elite professional level.
Like all good golf education programmes, the Academy provides expert advice and coaching on every aspect of the game, from the practicalities of life on tour to the technical, strategic and mental side of actually playing the game in a professional, competitive environment, to physical strength and conditioning training, physiotherapy, injury prevention and management.
With all of the above boxes covered, Rock’s Academy then specifically focuses on perhaps the most difficult part of the process of becoming a successful touring professional: the transition from the highest level of the amateur game to the pro ranks.
That is where Boulden and Macdonald find themselves at this very moment, and that is where Rock can make the biggest difference.
“The transition between becoming a successful Tour pro from the top amateur level, or the teaching professional level is probably the most significant step in the whole process,” said Rock, who was a PGA teaching professional in the Midlands in England for almost five years before making his breakthrough on The 2003 European Tour.
“I managed to get my Tour card through invitations but it was all very new to me and I had to really find my own way and learn from my own mistakes. I got pretty lucky really and having had a bit of success over the last few years I really felt that I wanted to try and help young amateurs and professionals make the transition to the Tour, and the Academy is the best way to do that.
“We have a lot of great young players of different ages and abilities, and it was so great to see Amy and Kelsey in action at a Ladies European Tour event last week. They are both very talented players and to see Kelsey making the cut in Morocco gave everyone associated with the Academy a huge amount of satisfaction.
“Kelsey’s performance has already given her the belief that she can compete at that level, and to see someone we have been working with closely developing in the way she is, is what it’s all about really. Hopefully she will go on to succeed at the highest level – there would be nothing more satisfying for all of us at the Academy if one of our pupils does that.”
Find more information about the Robert Rock Academy, click here: http://www.robertrock.co.uk/