Scottish Golf CEO Andrew McKinlay resigns

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 21, 2020 19:41

The chief executive of Scottish Golf, Andrew McKinlay, has resigned after two years in post, due to ‘the impact of Covid-19’.

According to Eleanor Cannon, chair of Scottish Golf, the decision is due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are living in unprecedented times and, as we are all very well aware, sport has no immunity to the impact of Covid-19,” she has said in a statement.

Andrew McKinlay

“Scottish Golf, like all businesses and indeed golf clubs across the country, is having to assess its business model.

“The governing body has had to make some very difficult decisions regarding income and expenditure, to ensure sustainability in the current circumstances. To this end, our chief executive, Andrew McKinlay, has decided that he should step aside in order to help the organisation come through this situation. He leaves having worked with the team on a revised structure that will be fit for purpose when we emerge from the national lockdown.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Andrew for his contribution to Scottish Golf over the past two years. He brought a wealth of experience to what can be a pressurised role. “He has helped take the organisation forward and has now taken a very difficult decision at this challenging time. I thank him for doing so and wish him the very best for the future.”

Eleanor Cannon

Andrew McKinlay said: “It has been a privilege to lead this fantastic organisation and, I am grateful to Eleanor and the board for the opportunity. Above all I am indebted to the team at Scottish Golf for their commitment in implementing the objectives to take the game forward towards a sustainable and, indeed, prosperous future.”

The announcement comes as some managers had said they would not be filling out a Scottish Golf Covid-19 survey, because it asks clubs to reveal sensitive financial information.

The organisation also announced less than two weeks ago that it had furloughed the majority of its staff.

According to reports, chief operating officer Karin Sharp has taken over the duties of CEO with immediate effect.

McKinlay is the fourth head of a major golf association or union to resign in less than a year. Nick Pink stood down as the head of England Golf last year, there was recently a change at the top of the Golfing Union of Ireland, while Bob Williams announced he was ending his spell as the CEO of the Golf Club Managers’ Association last month.

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 21, 2020 19:41
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3 Comments

  1. Janet April 22, 14:23

    The lack of available funding will impact all levels of the sport. Our governing bodies need to assess if they can continue to charge full affiliation fees when Clubs are struggling to retain members. National and County Tiers cannot continue to expect full resource when their own staff are furloughed and events they would usual sponsor are cancelled. These are lean times for all and the pain needs to be shared.

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  2. RJgolfman2502 April 22, 08:13

    What a great shame to see that some of golf’s senior executives have walked away at a time of crisis – a time when real leadership is required. On the other hand maybe its a good thing! – isn’t it better that a possibly overpaid executive with no balls, no real commitment and no genuinely new strategic initiatives steps aside to enable others who have a more genuine desire to succeed irrespective of the challenges, takes on the opportunity to lead and support the greatest game in the world

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  3. Peter April 21, 20:12

    Not saying it’s the case here, likely not, but this pandemic will bring about many more changes ! Reason ? Too many leaders, or “so-called” leaders are way too invested in not failing ! They lack the courage and character to take the kind of risks that are going to be needed and actually have potential to pay dividends !! Seen it happen so many times !

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