Scottish Golf votes to approve fee increase

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 6, 2018 10:50

Scottish Golf has voted to increase the affiliation fee all members of Scottish golf clubs over the age of 18 with playing rights pay it from £11.25 to £14.50.

The increase, proposed by a number of ‘Area and County’ associations, will become effective from January 1 and will be payable by March 31, 2019.

The vote, held during an Extraordinary General Meeting at Stirling Court Hotel and passed with a majority vote of 60.2 per cent, is the culmination of a difficult period for the body that governs the amateur game in Scotland. It has faced cutbacks due to a funding crisis but recent attempts to increase the fee by higher amounts had failed.

Andrew McKinlay

Its new CEO, Andrew McKinlay, in an exclusive column for The Golf Business, has said the new policy will raise £552,500 which will be invested in, among others areas, a new IT system to assist golf clubs that want to appeal to nomadic golfers and a ‘national junior programme’.

In their own words: Scottish Golf CEO Andrew McKinlay

‘The increased revenue of circa £500,000 has been ring-fenced to support the development of key strategic priorities and also to offset proposed cuts announced in light of decreased funding available to Scottish Golf,’ says the organisation.

‘Specifically, it will also enable Scottish Golf to create a fit-for-purpose national junior programme, explore income generation from non-membership golfers – known as nomadic golfers – and offer a free-of-charge digital service for clubs to support and improve membership services at all levels, including tee-booking, competition management and handicapping.’

Andrew McKinlay added: “I would like to thank the membership for voting in favour of a prosperous future for the game. I understand the subject of affiliation fee has been a contentious one in recent years but I have been clear on the financial challenges the game faces without the ability to invest in areas that will help facilitate long-term growth.

“We now have a stronger financial foundation on which to build a more cohesive and joined-up national junior programme to increase participation and access to golf for future generations. We will also press ahead with plans to make non-member golfers integral to our future, by offering attractive and flexible ways to play and support golf in their local areas, while at the same time contributing to the overall development of the game.

“The vote also enables us to offset some of the proposed cuts outlined and, instead, commit to supporting our member clubs with a range of services ultimately designed to ensure a sustainable and attractive game now and in the future.”

Eleanor Cannon

Eleanor Cannon, Scottish Golf chair, said: “I would like to thank those who stepped forward to request a general meeting to revisit the affiliation fee. They did so on the back of an AGM where Scottish Golf outlined the challenges and opportunities faced by golf now and in the future. The Area and Country representatives who came forward eschewed self-interest in favour of the common good: for that, I am eternally grateful and thankful for their efforts and their selflessness.

“We must now work together as one Scottish Golf family to make golf more accessible to younger members, to incorporate non-members into our offering, to support our clubs and to encourage our players to fulfil their potential. Those aims have been made all the more achievable in light of this evening’s outcome.”

The body also announced that the new affiliation fee will be frozen until the collection of subscriptions in January 2022.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 6, 2018 10:50
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  1. Colin October 15, 11:33

    Time will tell But any improvements and benefits must be seen at the grass roots club level and not just the “tourist and elite” clubs!!!

    Reply to this comment
  2. djm October 11, 14:46

    Other than provide free blazers for officials, what does the affiliation fee (tax on golf) provide for the average golfer ?

    Reply to this comment
  3. David October 5, 11:55

    That will be the kiss of death for many smaller courses – wait and see – members will be less as fewer and fewer now wish full year long memberships anyway, and oft, that extra for an often (unwanted) affiliation fee will tip it over the top.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jeff October 5, 12:00

      Absolute tosh David, what are you basing you opinion on. Where are your facts and how can you justify saying that every member of a club would feel the way you do?
      Your opinion like yourself, is outdated.

      Reply to this comment
    • Samantha October 5, 12:44

      Sorry David – I do not agree at all

      Reply to this comment
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