Scottish Golf delays affiliation fee vote by 3 months

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 26, 2017 13:01

Scottish Golf has decided to delay its controversial vote on increasing affiliation fees until March in order to extend the consultation period with golfers and clubs.

The governing body wants to more than double the amount every golf club member pays from £11.25 to £24, to raise an additional £4m over the next four years. It was due to hold a referendum on the issue on December 2, but that is being postponed. Instead it wants that meeting to be an open opportunity to talk to relevant stakeholders.

Many clubs have criticised the plan and last week the CEO of Scottish Golf, Blane Dodds, resigned from the organisation to take on a similar role at Tennis Scotland. The organisation says the appointment of his successor is now its priority. It also says it is now using its reserves to bridge a funding gap.

A statement from the board at Scottish Golf says: “The board of Scottish Golf planned to hold a Special General Meeting (SGM) on December 2, as previously outlined.

“The SGM was scheduled to allow members to vote on key recommendations that would enable the governing body to implement a four-year strategy, by delivering much-needed investment into the game and making our golf clubs – and the game as a whole – more sustainable.

“Those remain our core strategic objectives as a board. However, in light of the departure of our chief executive, Blane Dodds, and having consulted with a wide range of stakeholders in recent weeks, we believe the immediate priority should be in securing a new leader for the organisation.

“To that end, we intend to cancel the scheduled SGM in December, but use the date to provide a platform for all members – and others with an interest in golf – to debate the future direction for golf in Scotland, with a view to creating a collaborative set of proposals for our annual general meeting in March 2018.”

The December meeting will now be a public event to bring some of the many private conversations that take place about the future of the game to a wider audience. It will be a conference-style event, with the opportunity for all stakeholders to attend.

“It is imperative that we utilise this two-way conversation to discuss and address the very real challenges facing golf now and in the future. On that note, it should be said that the board has decided to use the organisation’s reserves to bridge the immediate funding gap. However, this is not a long-term approach and we will seek to rebuild those reserves in the coming years,” adds the statement.

“In light of the well-documented cut in public funding and continued decline in club membership, it is essential that we hear as many perspectives as possible as we look to address significant challenges now impacting the game in Scotland.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 26, 2017 13:01
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