Unless you’ve been mummified and locked in a sarcophagus for the past few days – and who am I to judge what you get up to when you’re not reading The Herald? – then you’re probably aware of Michael Block.

He was the unheralded club professional from California who finished in a share of 15th at last week’s PGA Championship and whipped the golf media into such a giddy state, it was if the entire industry had just gulped down half a bottle of prosecco on an empty stomach.

For club pros around the world, Block’s Oak Hill tale was an uplifting, inspiring story as one of their own went toe-to-toe with the game’s global superstars while generating the kind of drooling, blanket coverage usually reserved for the birth of a Royal baby.

“We should be shouting about this from the rooftops,” said the Scottish PGA pro Craig Donnelly. But he’s not talking about Block’s blockbusting endeavours here. He’s reflecting on a heartening achievement much closer to home which deserves plenty of acclaim.

Donnelly has just helped one of his assistants, Gregor McDonald, through The PGA’s degree programme to become a fully qualified professional. There’s nothing new there, of course. Donnelly has nurtured over a dozen young trainees down the seasons and watched them graduate but McDonald’s accomplishment is a source of particular pride.

McDonald suffers from cerebral palsy but the 27-year-old’s disability has never diminished his drive and determination to succeed in a game that is his passion.

“I’m very proud of myself,” said McDonald, who is based at Donnelly’s Cluny Clays facility in Kirkcaldy. “I never thought I would do something like this, especially when I was younger with all the difficulties that I faced. But I’ve proved that a disability shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your goals. I’m one of the very few disabled PGA pros and hopefully I can inspire a few more to come down this route. Graduating is a nice reward for all the hard work I’ve put in, as well as for those who have helped me.”

Donnelly, who runs three golf facilities in Scotland and one in the Murcia region of Spain, has been part of McDonald’s golfing career for well over a decade. It’s not been an easy journey at times but it has been one characterised by grit, gusto and great spirit.

“Gregor’s spent his entire life just getting on with it and he’s never shied away from a challenge,” reflected Donnelly. “I first met him over 10 years ago. His mum said, ‘just treat him as a normal kid and he’ll pick it all up’. Sure enough, he has.

“Because of his physical challenges, he plays cack-handed and, back in those early days, we built a swing and a golf game around that. We introduced more hybrids and lofted woods into his bag. We just had to make some wee adjustments to make it a bit easier for him. Initially, it wasn’t about making him a pro, it was just about making him a better golfer but we just kept on developing to the point where I got him enrolled in The PGA system.”

The PGA degree features all manner of modules, from coaching, club repairs and custom fitting to sports science, business principles and finance. There’s practical work here and essays to do there as students are put through their mental and physical paces like a contestant on the Krypton Factor.

McDonald’s physical limitations meant that such tasks as club repairs – he had to perform them with one hand – were a considerable challenge but he embraced it all with defiant diligence and was able to develop the multi-tasking abilities that are a much-valued trait of a PGA pro.

“Determination is one of his great strengths,” added Donnelly. “And he’s the most likeable person ever too. Nobody has a bad word to say about him. He’s also got loads of patience and all those people he has coached say that too. That’s a great attribute for life, not just golf. We all love him to bits. We always say that he should shout from the rooftops about what’s he’s achieved but he’s not that kind of guy.”

It's left to others around him to do the championing. “He’s an icon of The PGA,” declared Donnelly. “I’ll take that,” responded the unassuming McDonald with a chuckle of appreciation.