Scottish ladies on brink of historic merger with men

Rosemary Ayim
By Rosemary Ayim February 9, 2015 11:33

Members of the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association (SLGA) have given their overwhelming backing to a merger with the male Scottish Golf Union (SGU) so that Scotland has a unisex governing body for amateur golf.


It means that if members of the SGU vote the same way then an historic merger could be announced before the end of this month.

Members of Scottish golf clubs have paid a small percentage of their subscription to either the SGU or the SLGA since 1920, depending on their gender, and this money is typically used to grow the amateur game in the country.

Critics have said the system is outdated, inefficient and even sexist, and those at the top of both the SGU and the SLGA are keen to merge the two organisations into one entity in the way England Golf did so in 2012.

This weekend, 204 members of the SLGA, including ladies’ sections of clubs, ladies’ clubs, county golf associations, vice presidents and directors voted unanimously in favour of the proposed amalgamation at the SLGA’s AGM at the Edinburgh Marriott Hotel.

Beth Paterson, SLGA chairman, said: “We are delighted. The voting members of the SLGA have backed the proposal to amalgamate with the SGU. I would like to thank our members for their patience during the consultation process.

“Unifying the amateur game for men and women is a positive step for both the game and the participants. The move to a single governing body will make Scottish golf stronger, and I know the sport will continue to be committed to increasing the number of people who play golf regularly and supporting those with talent to fulfil their potential.

“I’d like to acknowledge the work done by the amalgamation working group under the chairmanship of sherriff Alastair Thornton, which has resulted in the women reaching a positive decision today.

“Amalgamation between the SGU and the SLGA is in the best interests of golf and we sincerely hope that the SGU will gain the support for amalgamation from their shareholders, so we can look forward to a new era and to realising our vision for the future.”

Shortly before Christmas, the Proposal to amalgamate the SGU and the SLGA into a single unified governing body for amateur golf in Scotland was finalised, one that can herald an exciting ‘new era’ for Scottish golf and one fundamentally important for the future of the game, according to the two bodies.

In clear terms, the proposal outlines how amalgamation can provide a platform for a new governing body to lead Scottish golf into the future, help clubs be viable and vibrant and attract more people of all ages and gender into the sport, at a time when it needs all the help it can get.

Tom Craig, SGU chairman, added: “I’m delighted the membership of the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association has voted in favour of the proposal to amalgamate. It is now over to the SGU clubs and the 16 SGU area associations to make their decision.

“This is an historic opportunity to step confidently forward together as one – areas, counties, clubs and staff – and share knowledge and ideas to make the game at all levels stronger.”

Presently, all clubs affiliated to the SGU are being urged to vote in an independent poll which is open until February 27 as part of the proposal to amalgamate with the SLGA.


Rosemary Ayim
By Rosemary Ayim February 9, 2015 11:33
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  1. Bob Braban February 13, 11:11

    I’ll bet this results in employment of even more staff rather than fewer as should be the case!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Richard February 12, 18:43

    How many men are members of St Rule and St Regulus golf clubs in St Andrews?

    Reply to this comment
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