Scottish Golf has received a timely £150,000 boost in its bid to increase participation in the sport among women and girls, with half of that money coming from the R&A.
The St Andrews-based organisation is supporting the appointment of new development managers in Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales and Australia as part of a commitment by chief executive Martin Slumbers to try to boost female participation.
An initial three-year funding package of £75,000 per nation has been agreed.
In Scotland, that funding is being matched by the Scottish Government and VisitScotland as part of support for the 2019 Solheim Cup, which is being staged at Gleneagles and will feature Catriona Matthew captaining Europe.
As a result, a Women and Young People Development manager post has been created within Scottish Golf, with Carol Harvey, previously a regional development officer with Netball Scotland, having been appointed to that role.
“Women and girls continue to be an under-represented group throughout golf across the world and more work needs to be done to attract more of them into the sport at a time when we need to boost participation levels,” said Duncan Weir, the R&A’s executive director of Golf Development.
“We believe that there is a real opportunity, working with our affiliates, to develop inclusive and inspiring participation initiatives which show that golf is a fun and enjoyable leisure activity that can provide many social and health benefits for women and families.”
The boost for Scottish Golf comes in the wake of Eleanor Cannon, the chair of the governing body, admitting that job cuts were inevitable as a consequence of impending cuts of up to £450,000 over the next 18 months.
That is the result of the rejection of a proposal to raise additional funds to offset sportscotland backing being slashed by raising the affiliation fee paid by club members.