England Golf defends eBay criticism

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick May 3, 2012 11:11

England Golf has defended itself after coming under fire for selling items on online auction and shopping website eBay, saying the move has been a one-off due to the closure of an office following a merger earlier this year.

The body that runs amateur golf in England this year created an eBay account – ewgaewga – which has been selling unused ladies’ Daily Sports’ golf clothing ordered for 2011 European teams.

Items such as new polo shirts have been placed on the site for about £10 even though similar products retail in golf clubs’ pro shops for two to five times that amount. An email from England Golf to ladies’ club delegates stated that ‘a substantial amount’ of the clothing was available at ‘drastically reduced prices’ and that if they or their members are interested in purchasing them they should ‘hurry as stocks are limited’.

One club manager complained that, with golf clubs struggling in the recession, they do not need competition from their governing body.

“Clubs have their own pros and shops, and really don’t need added competition from England Golf,” said Vivien Saunders OBE, owner of Cambridge Meridian Golf Club and Abbotsley Golf and Squash Club.

“Why on earth do we send affiliation fees to have them compete with us?

“When women golfers complain that their professionals don’t stock ladies’ clothes, here is the answer!

“In addition, they shouldn’t be marketing golf hotels, golf equipment and their own societies to compete with the clubs which affiliate to them. The affiliation numbers have dropped off from 742,000 in 2006 to 665,000 in 2010. The message should be to leave clubs alone to market their own products and services.

“England Golf has lost the plot of what they should be doing!”

However, a spokeswoman for England Golf said that following the merger of the English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) and the English Golf Union (EGU) to create England Golf at the start of this year, it was decided to close the Edgbaston offices of the EWGA.

“It is, therefore, necessary to dispose of items which are surplus to requirements and this includes a small quantity of unused team uniform from past seasons. It was felt members would prefer to have the opportunity to buy these items rather than have them thrown away,” she said.

John Petrie, the chief executive of England Golf, added: “England Golf fully understands the importance of the golf club professional and their retail outlets which is why, over the years, the EGU and England Golf has declined sponsorship from organisations that sell golf clothing and equipment so as not to damage trade at the golf club.

“Had the EWGA simply thrown out the clothing, there would no doubt have been criticism for wasting affiliation fee income. This is a very small amount of clothing and obviously a one-off following merger.”


Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick May 3, 2012 11:11
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  1. JVP May 3, 12:05

    Its been a problem our club has had to deal with for years.

    But the last thing we need is the EGU / EWGA / England Golf / whatever theyre called contributing to it!

    Reply to this comment
  2. A Marsh May 3, 11:59

    I can’t understand why this article is only targetting England Golf – when all they are doing is selling excess stock and putting the money raised back into the sport.

    I would have thought that a much more valid reason for the decline in pro shops stocking golf clothing is due to the fact that for years now, very reasonably priced golfing items have been available from discounted High Street Sports retailers (clothing – both MENS AND LADIES, clubs, balls, trollies, golf shoes, etc. etc.) This is surely a good thing – as it has made golf more accessible to many thousands of people who simply could not afford the prices that Pro Shops were charging.

    I’ve checked Ebay out – there are hundreds of thousands of items of golf clothing for sale (new and used). Surely women (as well as men) should have a choice of where to buy their golf clothing from – whether it be Ebay, High Street sports retailers, car boot sales !

    Reply to this comment
  3. Kleenclubz (@Kleenclubz) May 3, 11:26

    » England Golf under fire for eBay sale. What are our affiliation fees used for? http://t.co/1GIjmdvz

    Reply to this comment
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