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Merchiston Launches New Golf Academy

Published Thursday 9th of June 2011 11:13:31 AM

Today, Merchiston is one of the leading innovators of sports education in the UK. The School established Scotland's first Tennis Academy (in partnership with St George's School for Girls and Tennis Scotland) in 2007. This allows boys to attend the School and benefit from an excellent education whilst gaining world class tennis coaching and competitive experience. Already, the Tennis Academy is producing promising young stars for tomorrow.

So, it is perhaps no surprise, as a Scottish school proud of its Scottish heritage and traditions, that Merchiston has launched 'The Golf Academy at Merchiston'. Scotland is, after all, the Home of Golf; and the School is within one hour's drive of over 40 of some of the world's best golf courses.

The Golf Academy is based both at the School's 100 acre campus in Colinton, Edinburgh, where the boys will participate in many of the School's normal educational and social activities and also at nearby Kings Acre Golf Course where coaching, practice and tutorial work will take place.

Merchiston sees this as an opportunity to use its experience in looking after talented individuals, in order to contribute to the future of golf in the UK.

A Proud Heritage in Sporting Excellence
Merchiston is steeped in sporting excellence. For over 175 years, the School has been producing sportsmen across a wide range of sports. From the three Merchistonians who played for Scotland in the world's first ever rugby international, to the 23 cricket internationalists and the national honours in tennis, athletics, curling and shooting, the School has always espoused a passion of sport, a drive for excellence, and a love of 'the buzz' of competition both at individual and team level.

Over 61 boys have gone on to represent their country at rugby - and most recently Oliver Hairs represented Scotland at cricket whilst still at School. The rugby 1st VII has won the Scottish Schools Cup five times since 1997, and the 1st XV is the only Scottish school to reach the semi-final of the National Schoolboys Sevens at Rosslyn Park.

The Programmes
The Golf Academy has three programmes (Elite, Development and Golf Activities), each with a tailored schedule, and the appropriate level of training and conditioning, to match the talents and skill levels of the individual golfer. Full programme details can be found at www.merchiston.co.uk. For entry in September 2011, prospective parents should contact the Admissions Department on 0131 312 2201 or email: admissions@merchiston.co.uk

Management The Golf Academy is led by Alan Murdoch FPGA BSc. Alan is a highly respected Scottish coach who qualified as a PGA Professional in 1994. After a career playing on the Asian Omega Tour, and the European Challenge Tour, and time coaching in Germany, Alan returned to Scotland to become Director of Golf at the Kings Acre Golf Academy. Alan will be supported by Ian Butcher as Head Coach. Ian also turned Professional in 1994 and has worked in the Scottish Golf Union coaching programme. He was nominated as one of the top 25 golf coaches in the UK by 'Golf Magazine 2007'.

Both Alan and Ian will work with Merchiston's Director of Sport, Richard Charman, to ensure that each boy's training and educational needs are met, and that progress is tracked to ensure that the appropriate standards are being achieved.

'I use Kings Acre...during my time at home; it gives me everything I need. The range is the best I have seen anywhere.'
David Drysdale, European Tour Player and Scotland World Cup Player

'Merchiston's Golf Academy couldn't have two better instructors in Alan and Ian. Their passion for and knowledge of the game is impressive. The facility is as good as anything I have seen in the USA.'
Shawn Callaghan, Assistant to Butch Harmon (1995-2010).

'The Academy is among the finest I have ever seen anywhere in the world. For me there is nowhere better.'
Andrew Oldcorn, 2001 Volvo PGA Champion.

'At Merchiston we have experience of dealing with gifted and talented children in all areas of life, including international sports players. The Golf Academy is a wonderful opportunity to keep Scottish (and indeed UK) talent in the UK, and to provide an environment for these players, in which they will receive an excellent education, can be around friends of their own age, and access a top class golf programme.'
Andrew Hunter, Headmaster, Merchiston

For further details please contact Tracey Gray on 0131 312 2235 or email marketing@merchiston.co.uk
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