Golf union to be quizzed on ladies amalgamation plans

THE Scottish Golf Union will be quizzed next week over the additional £1 million it proposes to raise from an amalgamation with the Scottish Ladies Golf Association.

The matter was raised at last night's Lothians Golf Association annual meeting at Newbattle by Stuart Bruce of Broomieknowe.

He pointed out that the amalgamation proposal included the per capita levy paid by every club golfer in Scotland being set at 11.

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"That's a 100 per cent increase (for SGU affiliated members] and would mean income increasing from 1.3 million to 2.3 million," said Bruce. "How the (new body] propose to spend that money is something that needs to be addressed."

Incoming president Denys Flaherty said the Lothians would ask that question at a meeting with the SGU next Tuesday, specifically about the amalgamation plans.

"We will be asking how they came up with 11 and what they are proposing to do with the extra money," he told delegates.

The SGU also came under fire over the levy charged to members of non-course owning clubs, of which the Lothians has the most in Scotland.

Jim McIntosh, a member of Broomieknowe Home, questioned why such clubs had to pay it at all when their members had already forked out through their parent clubs.

"We now have an outlay of about 200 and it has got so bad that we are going to pull out of everything we play as a club," he said.

In reply, Flaherty commented: "We are quite happy to take this up with the SGU as I think it is appalling that some people also have to pay fees for a non-course owning club. It is tragic the high number of clubs that are faced with having to pay this and it is not to the benefit of golf."

Flaherty, a member at Liberton, succeeds Haddington's Ken Wood, with Alistair Bisset, a former captain and secretary of Prestonfield, the new vice-president.

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A lower than expected reduction in income from membership levels, coupled with a decision to put on hold the replacement of team clothing, saw the Lothians post a surplus of just under 1000 in the past year.

That compared to a deficit of just over 1800 the previous year, but, before stepping down from his duties as finance convenor, Alan Crabbe warned of a predicted deficit in the coming year due to an increased cost of coaching and buying new clothing.

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