Just because Gabrielle Macdonald is a professional golfer, it doesn’t mean she is exempt from life’s more sigh-inducing, routine chores. “I need to dig out my receipts and other stuff for the Taxman,” she said of this muttering, cursing rummage that just about resembles the Watergate burglars frantically sifting through a filing cabinet.

Away from these hum-drum yet necessary tasks, Macdonald’s 2021 campaign has been far from ordinary. Two victories on the Ladies European Tour’s Access Series led to the 28-year-old Craigielaw member finishing second on the developmental circuit’s order of merit and earned her promotion to the top table.

In an era when up-and-coming golfers seem to leap into the pro ranks as soon as they’ve learned to recite the nine times table, Longniddry-based Macdonald has been a relative late-comer to the show but her patience has stood her in good stead. Some pearls of wisdom from the celebrated, decorated Catriona Matthew, meanwhile, helped to inform her decision making.

“I wasn’t sure about the timing of turning professional,” said MacDonald, who eventually took the plunge at the start of 2019. “I was going to do it before 2019 but I hadn’t had a good year. Catriona was happy to have a chat about everything involving the transition. She’s done everything in the game so if you get the chance to pick her brain then you do. After that I decided to stay amateur for another year. I played much better, got more confidence and turned pro when I was actually in a much better place.”

While Macdonald was getting her head around her professional prospects, she was also coming to terms with personal anguish after the passing of her mum, Jacqueline, at the end of 2018. The sense of loss remains deep but the cherished memory of one of her most zealous supporters continues to provide great inspiration and motivation.

“She was such a big believer in my game and her loss was a real driving force for me,” added Macdonald of her mum’s unwavering encouragement. “I’ve just kept that in mind when I’ve been playing. I can still hear her saying things to me in certain situations. I know she’d be proud of me. My mum was very passionate about my golf. She didn’t actually play but she was very competitive. I definitely take that from her.”

Macdonald has certainly demonstrated her competitive worth this season. As well as her brace of wins, the former Scottish Women’s Amateur champion had five other top-10s as she confirmed her promotion with grand aplomb.

“My consistency was good all year but I knew I needed a win to really push on,” added Macdonald, whose double whammy of victories arrived in the space of just four events. “The money is not that good on the Access Series so you really have to move off it as soon as you can. I was lucky that I got a few invitations to the Series when I was still an amateur so I knew what the level was and what to expect. I know the standard will be much tougher on the main tour but that’s the kind of test you want.

“The first goal would be to retain my tour card but I want to set the bar higher than that and hopefully get into contention.”

There’s plenty for Macdonald to look forward to in 2022. The AIG Women’s Open, for instance, will be staged in her own East Lothian back yard at Muirfield and qualifying for that is a major goal. It will be first time the women’s showpiece has been held at this hitherto resolute bastion of male-only dominance, which voted to allow female members in 2017.

For many of the global female stars, it will be a step into the unknown but, should Macdonald earn a tee-time, she’ll stride out with plenty of local knowledge. “I used to caddie at Muirfield as a teenager and I think I was one of the first women to do it,” she said. “I once caddied for Gary Player. I didn’t realise it was him until I got to the tee and he had this big tour bag with him. I was in a bit of shock. I have met him again … but I’m not sure he remembered me.

After a successful 2021, Macdonald will be hoping there are a few more golf moments for her to remember in the new year.