Alan Murdoch FPGA, BSc
Director of Merchiston Golf Academy
When Merchiston recruited Alan Murdoch, they not only hired a hugely successful coach, but a man with an excellent playing pedigree, massive ambition, and an appreciation of what it means to work hard. Alan has worked with a host of star coaches since finishing his tour days, including Claude Harmon, son of world No. 1 golf coach, Butch Harmon, and the late Adam Hunter, coach to then Open Champion, Paul Lawrie. Both coaches worked under Murdoch during their time at Kings Acre Golf course, where Murdoch is also now the Director of Golf. However, most influential to Murdoch is still his long term coach, Gavin Christie, a man who has produced world class players from an early age, the guru to whom Murdoch owes all his coaching success. Although Christie, who once “led” the Open Championship, never really reached the heights as a player, Murdoch insists he was the man who changed his perceptions on how golf should be played, and who has made the biggest impression on him. Murdoch comments: “I have been so fortunate to learn from a master, and for me, to be able to pass on the knowledge I have gained, is really what I enjoy the most.” Funnily enough, Murdoch grew up only 250 yards from the Merchiston gates. After attending University in Louisiana on a Golf Scholarship, where he gained his degree in Geosciences, he then taught in Germany for five years, gained his Tour Card on the Asian Tour, and is now back working close to where he grew up! Murdoch has a very simple philosophy: “For me, the key to any Academy and Programme is the quality and ability of the golf coaches and other staff who run the programme, coupled with the quality and potential of the golfers who wish to follow that type of programme. Then, there has to be a good environment in which to do this. It really is that simple.” His coaching methods mirror his visions. He is often heard saying to boys “there is a lot to learn, but very little you need to know”. In recent years, he has become more aware of the overload of information that is now affecting the minds of golfers. Again, Murdoch says, “It is quite simple, has the physics of the golf swing ever changed?” In his humble opinion, he says, it has not. Firstly, pupils need to learn good, solid fundamentals, understanding two concepts: line and shape, and time and space. Murdoch, who was awarded Fellow of the PGA in recent years, has now created one of the finest school Golf Academies in the UK, which recently has won two significant accolades: having Merchiston represent Scotland in the ISGA 2015 Home Internationals, and the Merchiston Juniors’ winning the position of the No. 1 ranked ISGA Junior Golf School in the UK for two consecutive years. This is a real testament to what he and his team have achieved to date.
Kurt Mungall PGA, Level 3 Coach, TPI & Trackman certified
Golf Academy coach
Kurt Mungall has been a PGA qualified professional since 1991. A native of Bathgate Golf Club, which has produced two Ryder Cup captains, tournament winners and most recently, in the winning Ryder Cup side, Stephen Gallacher. Kurt competed successfully in national events and was selected for the National Coaching Squad under the mindful eye of Jim Farmer, then joining Mr Farmer at Duddingston Golf Club to start his professional career (1987). Kurt played on the Scottish Tartan Tour and achieved some financial success, during which time he developed his interest in coaching. In 1993, Kurt was appointed Head Professional at Lothianburn Golf Club, Edinburgh, where he continued to develop his skills as an expert coach, as well as gaining practical experience of coaching at all levels. During this time, he sought to continually enhance his knowledge of the golf swing by training and mentoring some world-renowned coaches. Recently, Kurt has completed his Level 3 coaching qualification through the PGA and has invested in the latest dual doppler launch monitor - Trackman TM4, enhancing the coaching experience. Not only does this map key data parameters, it is at the forefront of education, helping players and coaches to be the best they can be. Kurt was the Lothian boys’ coach for 15 years, responsible for nurturing junior development squads. Many of his students have gone on to achieve success, competing in national events and some going on to have successful professional careers. Most recently, one of Kurt’s Merchiston Golf Development boys, Cameron A, achieved a Scottish boy’s cap aged just 13! Kurt believes in being a complete coach, meaning that he believes technical, physical, mental, tactical factors must come together for someone to develop. In 2010, Kurt successfully gained his Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) golf professional certification, the world’s leading educational organisation and research facility dedicated to the study of how the human body functions in relation to the golf swing. With more than 26 successful years coaching, Kurt joined Kings Acre as Head Professional in 2013, with his history steeped in junior success. Joining the Merchiston Golf Academy and working at such an impressive facility, Kings Acre, held great appeal to him. As a highly regarded member of the PGA and amongst his peers, Kurt's aim has always been to help his students advance their game to the highest level.