A young Scots greenkeeper who has just returned to his home turf with glowing references from two of America's greatest golf courses, has landed a dream job at one of the England's top ten clubs.
Twenty-five year old Danny Murray, from Balerno near Edinburgh, was scarcely off the plane from the States, when he was signed up by Wentworth to work on its three championship-standard courses in Surrey.
Danny trained at Oatridge College in West Lothian and thanks to his tutors there, crossed the Atlantic to take up a year-long internship at Pinehurst, "the cradle of American golf", in North Carolina. He was part of the TOP scheme, run by Ohio State University, to allow young greenkeepers to broaden their experience of what is a global industry. While there Danny grabbed the chance to work at New York's famous Winged Foot Club before, during and after the 2006 US Open championship, extending his stay by six months.
Eric Greytok, the Director of Golf Courses at Winged Foot, was impressed: "He made a significant impact during the preparation, completion and clean-up of the 2006 Open. He also assisted in the completion of a $750,000 renovation project on the East Course.
"One of Danny's strongest attributes is that he possesses is a strong work ethic and a good character that is often hard to find in an employee. He has a bright future in management ahead of him and will be very successful in this industry."
The reference from Jeff Hill, the Course Superintendent at the eight-course Pinehurst complex was just as glowing: "He won everyone's respect for his hard work and dedication to doing a great job. I feel confident that Danny will be very successful in the turfgrass industry."
Michael O'Keeffe, the Irish-born head of the TOP scheme at Ohio State, said: "We're very pleased that Danny Murray will be able to use the experience he has gained in America in his next job. Many head greenkeepers around Europe recognise the advantage of hiring these young people who have made an extra effort to add value to their CVs."
Danny looked in on Oatridge College on his return from the States and took the chance to urge other young Scots to follow in his footsteps, once they have had some experience in greenkeeping in this country. He said: "I'd say wait until you're 21 or 22, then go for it. It's a fantastic experience working on some of the best courses in the World, like Pinehurst and Winged Foot, but you have to be prepared to put in the effort. When I was at Winged Foot we were expected to do 14 hour-days and it wasn't easy when the temperatures got up to 95 at times."
At that point Danny was hoping for a job in the London area and it was only a few days later that he got the call from Wentworth.
Previously Danny worked at Gogarburn in Edinburgh and Archerfield Links in East Lothian. He attended Oatridge while doing his apprenticeship at the Marriot Dalmahoy Golf and Country Club in Midlothian.
He is one of ten former greenkeeping students from Oatridge who have taken part in the TOP scheme and who have gone on to top jobs. A scratch golfer, Danny says one of his fondest memories of the States will be playing - and winning - mini "Ryder Cup" contests between British and American greenkeepers.
Eileen Barry, the Liaison Officer at Oatridge College, said: "We're so proud of Danny and how well he did in the United States. The letters of reference he brought back are so good they really should be framed!"