THE long-running saga of Scottish golf’s amalgamation bid has moved a step closer to reaching a conclusion.
It follows a proposal being finalised after a lengthy deliberation process and sent out to voting bodies.
Key features of the proposal include clubs becoming full voting members for the first time, with Areas and Counties to have a substantial collective vote, equivalent in aggregate to approximately one third of the overall vote. The roles of the Areas and Counties are to remain unchanged, meaning they don’t have to merge. National and Regional Forums are also to be established to help communication to and from grass-roots golfers and clubs.
The move to create a unified body to run Scottish amateur golf was first mooted more than three years ago. But, while an original proposal received overwhelming support from SLGA members, it was thrown out at an extraordinary general meeting of the SGU after the Areas voted 10-6 against it.
The advancement of a new proposal was announced in a joint statement by SGU chairman Tom Craig and his Scottish Ladies Golfing Association counterpart Beth Paterson.
“This is the most significant issue in Scottish Golf and the Amalgamation Proposal is the best and only option to amalgamate,” it said. “We encourage all Areas, Counties and Clubs to support it. Amalgamation can provide a platform for a new governing body to lead Scottish Golf boldly into a new era. We want our Clubs to be healthy and vibrant, to be welcoming places for men, women, boys and girls to enjoy our wonderful game, and to help attract more people to participate in golf throughout Scotland.”
The proposal to the memberships of each organisation – namely the SGU’s 16 Area Associations, the SLGA’s 15 County Golf Associations, ladies’ clubs and ladies’ sections and all affiliated clubs in Scotland – for them to consider as approval is sought over the coming months.
“The Amalgamation Proposal is fundamentally democratic; it sets out a modern governance structure for Scottish Golf, with appropriate accountability at all times; it is inclusive; and it is fit for purpose,” added the statement.
“Becoming a single governing body is a first and hugely important step towards creating a really cohesive partnership between Board, staff, Areas, Counties, Clubs and players of all ages, abilities and genders, to ensure that golf and golfers in Scotland are recognised worldwide for their success.
“One national governing body will give a powerful message about the direction and approach of the leadership of our sport. It is a message that will be more appealing to younger people who are our future players and club members.”