Benjarong Murray - PGA National Resort & Spa
I am the Golf Shop Supervisor and Assistant Golf Professional at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. I have played golf competitively my entire life from high school to college, and I continue to do so at the professional level. I enjoy sharing my knowledge of the game with others and helping them achieve their goals. I have a great passion for the game of golf and am grateful for the opportunity to do what I enjoy for a living.
PGA National hosts The Honda Classic each year for the PGA Tour on our Champion Course. The “Bear Trap” on the Champion Course regularly plays as one of the toughest three hole stretches on the PGA Tour.
How old were you when you got started in golf and what eventually pulled you into becoming a golf professional?
My father got me into golf at the age of 5. I would hit plastic golf balls in our driveway and naturally had a free-flowing swing. I played golf, baseball, and did karate throughout my youth, but decided to focus on golf once I reached high school. After making it to 3 FL H.S. State Championships, I went on to captain the Men’s Golf Team at Palm Beach Atlantic University, graduating with NCAA Scholar All-American honors. I knew that I wanted to continue a life in golf and accepted a position at PGA National. There is no greater place to be surrounded by knowledgable golf professionals to help me grow as a coach and a player. I continue to learn something new every day and I am always excited to be able to share what I have learned with my students.
Do you specialize in teaching any facets of the game?
I like to focus on the art of actually playing the game with my students. It does not help students to hit 30 7-irons in a row in a static environment if they do not know how to apply it on the golf course. I like to talk about different lies, wind conditions, how to play from rough, how to read greens, and all of the variables a golfer actually faces on the golf course. Every shot is different and requires a golfer to account for numerous variables before making a shot. Course management is critical to shooting better scores, and I believe everyone could benefit from a proper caddie on the course.
What sets you apart from other golf professionals?
I believe that my ability as a player sets me apart from many professionals. I find that some professionals put their own games to the side and lose sight of what drew them to the game in the first place. Students are encouraged when they know that their professional can execute the moves they describe. It adds authenticity and the student knows that I really know what I am talking about because I can show them that it works. My position in South Florida at PGA National has also led to connections with many other influential professionals in the golf industry, who I continue to learn from.
Is there a highlight from your career in golf that stands out above the rest?
My favorite highlight thus far was having the opportunity as a high schooler to play in The First Tee Open at Pebble Beach on the PGA Tour Champions. I played alongside Ben Crenshaw and John Huston at the most beautiful venue in the world. I learned very much that week about golf and myself, as I played alongside my heroes in front of large crowds. The final day, I made four birdies in a row on the front nine at Pebble Beach and we finished T-7th overall. It was certainly an experience I shall never forget.
Any advice for someone considering pursuing a career as a golf teaching professional?
I believe it is important for anyone wanting to pursue this career to keep an open mind. While it is certainly important to have a methodology that you believe in, it is critical to listen to others and to continue to seek out new information. Do not fall into a rut with your teaching, and never be satisfied. There is always more to learn that can help your students. I do not believe there is one proper golf swing that everyone should imitate. I encourage finding ways to make students’ natural preferences work consistently better for them.