Eleanor Cannon to step down as chair of Scottish Golf 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 7, 2020 18:05

The chair of Scottish Golf, Eleanor Cannon, is to step down next March, after what will be six years in the post.

Cannon had been appointed on a three-year term in early 2019, so will be leaving the post a year before that comes to an end.

In just five and a half years in the post, she’s seen three chief executives and one chief operating officer who currently fulfils the role of chief executive.

Eleanor Cannon

Three other non-executive directors will also leave – Stewart Darling, Bill Woodley and Sean Duffy – according to The Scotsman, adding to what’s been a period of significant change for the organisation.

Earlier this year its CEO, Andrew McKinlay, resigned, with chief operating officer Karin Sharp taking over his duties.

“Scottish Golf Chair Eleanor Cannon, and non-executive directors Stewart Darling, Bill Woodley and Sean Duffy, are stepping down in March next year,” said Sharp in an email to members.

“The organisation is inviting applications from those in the Scottish golfing community who wish to play a key role in leading our sport in the years ahead.”

Cannon, a successful businesswoman who’d had senior roles at two PLCs, was named as the first chair of Scottish Golf in August 2015, her appointment coinciding with the amalgamation of the Scottish Golf Union and the Scottish Ladies’ Golf Association.

Scottish Golf has had to deal with a number of major issues since then, mostly driven by a fall in participation in the game pre Covid-19. This led the governing body to propose increasing the annual affiliation fee paid by golf club members through their clubs, from £11.25 to £24, but this proved to be controversial and in the end it was raised to £14.50.

Sharp has insisted that the new chair will be overseeing an organisation that is in a “strong position”.

“Our commitment to the game is to make golf Scotland’s game for everyone, where we inspire a nation to embrace the sport in all its forms and contribute to a healthier, inclusive and aspirational Scotland,” she said.

“As a member organisation, our key focus is in providing quality support services to our member clubs to help ensure they can prosper and to bring significant additional revenue from new sources for reinvestment and growth of the game nationwide.

Karin Sharp

“Scottish Golf conducted a survey during August 2020 of both affiliated clubs and their members. The results of that survey show Scottish Golf to be in a strong position.

“Members stated that the organisation is well-established with high levels of awareness from golfers, strong golfer engagement through Scottish Golf communications, and an understanding of how affiliation fees are used to benefit the sport.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 7, 2020 18:05
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