Murphy realises golfing ambition as she prepares to open her own Academy at Peebles

Murphy realises golfing ambition as she prepares to open her own Academy at Peebles


Life as a PGA professional is never dull. Just ask Ailsa Murphy. With the kind of flexible, multi-tasking qualities you get with a Swiss Army knife, the 31-year-old mother of two is a dab hand when it comes to adaptability. “Sometimes going into work is a nice wee break,” she gasped with a chuckle.

As she juggles a five-year-old and a one-year-old with her pro duties at Peebles Golf Club, Murphy’s routine can be full-on yet hugely fulfilling.

Her passion for the game is unwavering and her eagerness to nurture the next generation at her home club has led to the formation of the Ailsa Murphy Academy. It will be the realisation of an ambition she has harboured for much of her 10-year professional career.

“This is my home club, it’s where I grew up and the club has been such a huge part of my life,” she said. “Getting the opportunity to do this is a dream and it was a case of now or never. There are so many juniors here and it’s a great opportunity to give them as much coaching as possible.

“Steve Johnston (Peebles head professional) gave me the opportunity to begin teaching here in 2021 and since then, we have worked great as a team sharing teaching ideas and thinking of ways in which we can continue to grow the game of golf at Peebles.

"Steve has done incredibly well with his YouTube Channel and Eureka Golf Swing website which has inspired me to branch out online and offer online golf lessons. Hopefully one day I can follow in his footsteps and create a good teaching profile for myself online.

“The club has needed something like this. For a long time we had volunteers running the Sunday morning ClubGolf sessions. The numbers were good, almost too good so we needed a bit more structure to it.

“We already have 60 signed up for the Academy which is great. Every second Friday afternoon, I’ll deliver four hours of coaching, from primary one to primary six. It will be tough going but I have plenty of volunteers to help. I just need those extra sets of eyes to keep the kids organised.”

As many a PGA pro will testify, trying to keep an excited, energetic posse of schoolchildren in check can be a logistical challenge akin to the hassle Noah faced when he had to usher a host of biblical beasts on to the ark.

“It can be comical, especially with the P1s to P3s,” Murphy added. “There is usually someone who needs to go to the toilet within the first five minutes of the class. And I can’t just send them down to the clubhouse on their own. We all have to go. Before you know it, that’s half the session gone. This is where the volunteers will come in. I can focus on the coaching and they can look after little issues like this.”

A former Scottish Girls’ champion in her amateur days, Murphy was never completely sold on the idea of becoming a touring pro and the PGA qualification gave her career structure and stability. “To be honest, I would often look ahead and worry about the negatives of touring,” she said. “If I wasn’t good enough, I wouldn’t have anything to fall back on. Unless you are finishing in the top-five every week, you can be working at a loss most of the time.

"The PGA training gave me a solid platform. I went to Elmwood for a couple of years, then Cardrona and finished my training under Alasdair Good at Gullane. I was there for eight years and it was so full-on. I was playing, teaching, living and breathing golf. It was a very busy shop. It was a dream job.

“There were so many avenues to go down. I did retail, custom-fitting, the business side. I got such a rounded experience at Gullane and I realised that coaching was the one thing I really enjoyed. Seeing people improve, whether it was getting their handicaps down or simply hitting a better shot, gave me much more satisfaction that my own game.”

Murphy’s own game did give her a few moments to savour, mind you. A hole-in-one during a charity event at The Renaissance Club back in 2015 was rewarded with a Range Rover worth £30,000.

“I could either take the car or the cash equivalent,” Murphy reflected. “We went with the cash. At the time, I was living with my husband-to-be at his mum and dad’s house and we were planning our wedding, It was quite an intense period. But then that stroke of good fortune came along. It was great timing.”

For Murphy, the timing is right too for her own Academy and the start of an exciting new chapter.


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