David Murchie has succeeded long-serving chairman of The PGA, Dr Phil Weaver OBE, who has stepped down after 25 years in the role. Crieff head pro Murchie was elected at a board meeting on Friday.
Dr Weaver, the head professional at Coventry Golf Club, has presided over huge changes in the organisation including the establishment of a world-renowned training academy at the Association’s Belfry headquarters.
PGA chief executive Sandy Jones paid tribute to Weaver, a two-time PGA Cup player, and also welcomed the arrival of Murchie.
“During Phil’s time as chairman The PGA has changed from a fairly small organisation to one that is recognised as a leader in the world,” said Jones.
"He has done a good job, especially through some difficult times in the early days. When he started, we had no EuroPro Tour, no education facility as such so he has left a legacy he should be proud of; certainly his name is engraved in the history of the association.
“For a guy who started as a club pro, who wanted to play the game and ended up pro at Coventry for many years, he has done a great job.”
To mark his long service, Dr Weaver was presented with a decanter and miniature Ryder Cup by PGA captain Neil Selwyn-Smith and also Life Membership of the PGA.
Filling his shoes will be 56-year-old Murchie, who was a late starter in golf, having not joined the pro ranks until his late 20s. He joined the board in 2007 and celebrates his 30th season at Crieff this year where he started his PGA career as an assistant.
"Clubs are under pressure and they know the pro can help them in all aspects of the job" - David Murchie
Murchie joins an illustrious list of PGA pros to have fulfilled the role including James Braid and JH Taylor – two of the legendary Great Triumverate.
“When you look down the list and see people like James Braid and JH Taylor, you think, ‘My god, what am I doing here?’” he said. “It’s all a bit scary. Phil has been a chairman a long time so it is new territory but I’m looking forward to the challenges.
“We all know there are a lot of challenges out there for members and I think a big part of the association’s job is to support PGA members in their jobs and careers and do the best we can for the them.
“More and more of our members are moving into club management, clubs are under pressure and they know the pro can help them in all aspects of the job and I see that growing - it’s good for our members to get into that part of the job.”
Jones believes Murchie will prove an asset to the association as it continues to support its members.
“David is a very thoughtful person in terms of his own business, and in terms of his role within The PGA and I’m sure he will be a really good leader," he said. “He will be my sounding board and the voice of the membership. He doesn’t get emotional about things and is a good listener. David is a member’s pro and I know he will represent the organisation well and I look forward to working with him.”
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