Golf Course Development Ltd is a brand new company, launched to assist golf clubs and their Course Managers in achieving the maximum potential from their courses.
While the company is new the man behind it is one of the most familiar and well respected figures in the industry with a track record of reaching the highest possible standards wherever he has been.
Murray Long has been Courses Manager at Sunningdale Golf Club for the last nine years and during that time he has ensured that the club's courses became the two highest ranked inland courses for UK and Ireland by Golf Monthly, and one of only two venues in the world, to have two courses in the top 100 in the world rankings.
"I felt that it was time to provide myself with some new challenges. My time at Sunningdale has been a fantastic experience. It is one of the best places to work in the country and I've learned so much from being there.
It gives me great pride to be leaving the club at a time when everything has moved up a level, having produced wonderful turf condition and implemented successful woodland, bunker and drainage renovation programmes," said Murray.
"I have also helped the club move forward with the Investors in People award, working towards Gold level, while the course development programme which looks at the enhancement of individual holes is also near to fruition.
It will give my successor a superb opportunity to build on that work and move it forward still further. The new Courses Manager will be working with a superb team of greenkeepers and I am extremely proud of them all," he explained.
Golf Course Development Ltd will offer support and direction for golf clubs and Course Managers in all aspects of golf course maintenance, by developing the full potential of their resources, reaching the highest standards with practical and innovative solutions to golf course maintenance.
GCD has already secured a major contract and Murray will be working at Ferndown Golf Club, in Dorset.
"Ferndown is a great course and my aim is to move it further up the rankings - it is currently 64th - and I am sure that we will be able to achieve that ambition.
I am really looking forward to getting to grips with the challenge it will provide," said Murray, who was Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year in 2002, and who took full advantage of the study course at the University of Massachusetts, the following winter, which formed part of the prize.
"I will take some wonderful memories with me from Sunningdale. I recall seeing Tom Watson out on the course at 10am the morning, after he so very nearly won The Open at Turnberry in 2009. He prepared for the British Senior Open later that week and I couldn't help but think what a true professional he was.
"I also really valued the time I spent working with the R&A, with the preparation for the European final qualifier for the Open championship, over the last nine years preparing two courses to tournament standard and keeping them open during rain or shine was a fantastic challenge, it also gave me a real insight into how The Open Championship was run."
Murray is looking forward to building up a strong client base for GCD and being able to pass on the wealth of knowledge and experience he has gathered over 30 years during his stellar greenkeeping career.