Martin Dempster: Merger is still a taboo subject

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BE WARNED. I’m about to mention the subject that consistently sets off alarm bells in the corridors of power in Scottish golf.

Ever since the bid to amalgamate the Scottish Golf Union and the Scottish Ladies Golfing Association was first mooted, a mere reference to it has turned people into nervous wrecks. It has been our elephant in the room, so to speak, since it failed to win support around 18 months ago following a messy, miserable and mucked-up process.

It was last mentioned, officially at least, in January, when Tom Craig was appointed as the interim chairman of the Scottish Golf Union. Little has been seen or heard of him since, though I believe he has been beavering behind the scenes trying to resuscitate the amalgamation bid.

Fulfilling his obligations to member clubs, a retiring president of one of the men’s Area associations revealed close to three weeks ago that an independent chairman to spearhead a working group was about to be appointed, yet still no official confirmation of that has been forthcoming.

I appreciate this has become a sensitive matter and people would prefer to try and push it forward away from the public glare. Turning it into a top secret mission, however, and being prickly about any reference to it only makes people think you have something to hide.