Wentworth scholar makes grade at PGA graduation


A former Wentworth Golf Club scholar has acknowledged its impact on his career after finishing third in the prestigious Titleist PGA Assistant of the Year awards.

Berkshire-based Chris Murtagh, who was on the scheme alongside Ryder Cup player Ross Fisher and Tour regular Seve Benson, has already established himself as a coach/administrator with Orbis Golf - a company which runs a number of academies across the south of England and overseas.

The 28-year-old's achievement was recognised at the annual PGA Graduation ceremony held at the University of Birmingham, where he received a cheque for £1,500 presented by Titleist's European marketing manager Jonathan Dowdell, and BBC TV newsreader and golf enthusiast Naga Munchetty, who was the guest of honour.

Murtagh, who played on the Challenge Tour and PGA Europro Tour prior to taking the three-year PGA Foundation Degree in Professional Golf, said: "It is great to be in the top three but naturally I would have loved to have finished higher but it does make all the time and effort put in worth it.

"It gives me a great base to start my career in professional golf. I came into the degree having previously got a sports science degree from Loughborough University and so the studying wasn't quite that much of a shock."

Murtagh took up at the sport as a youngster and his talent was spotted putting him on a career path towards becoming a PGA Professional.

"I used to play with my dad at weekends and then when I was 12 was spotted and invited to be on the Wentworth Scholarship, which supports young golfers.

"I was on it from the age of 12 through to 19 and it provided me with free membership and coaching. A number of guys were on it including Ross Fisher and Seve Benson.

"Like them I went and played for three years from 2005. I played a lot of golf on the Tours including the Alps and EDP in Europe. They are good to play in and great experience but it's also very expensive.

"But I wouldn't go back. I had my shot and love what I do now. I am coaching and running academies. I do some individual coaching as well with some elite players but I really enjoy being with the kids and growing the game. We have 300-400 in the academy and a schools' programme with 450 children."

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