RISING star Calum Hill is following in the spikemarks of his mentor by heading to Louisiana on a golf scholarship next year, writes MARTIN DEMPSTER.
The University of Louisiana in Monroe is where Alan Murdoch, a Ratho Park member at the time, headed after leaving school before he became the head pro at Kings Acre. He now combines that role with the post of director of golf at Merchiston Castle Golf Academy, where Hill has been one of his star pupils.
The North Berwick teenager underlined his potential by reaching the semi-finals of the Scottish Boys’ Championship at Dunbar last year.
He has been capped at both under-16 and under-18 level by Scotland and is now set for an exciting move in his career after signing a letter of intent to enrol at the University of Louisiana next autumn.
“I can’t wait to get started,” said Hill, who will be teaming up with Craigielaw’s Greg Smail who recently transferred from the University of Louisville.
“This has been a lifetime ambition of mine and I would like to thank all at Merchiston who made this happen. I am so grateful.”
Murdoch, the long-time coach to former PGA champion Andrew Oldcorn, has certainly played his part in Hill’s emergence as one of Scotland’s brightest young talents.
“My golf has definitely improved since I started working with Alan and my confidence has been boosted as well,” he added. “Put it this way, I wouldn’t have earned the chance to go to Louisiana if it hadn’t been for him.”
In addition to Murdoch, former Royal Burgess star Kenny Walker also had a spell there, as did former Scottish Boys’ champion Kenny Buchan.
“I am delighted for Calum,” said Murdoch. “He is a fantastic young man who has worked extremely hard on his golf and academics. He deserves this opportunity.”