Scottish Golf urged to let clubs delay reporting new membership numbers

A plea has been made to Scottish Golf to allow clubs to see if they are going to hold on to new members from a boom this year for next season before stumping up affiliation fees to the governing body.

Scottish Golf is currently collecting membership numbers for this season from affiliated clubs. Picture: Scottish Golf
Scottish Golf is currently collecting membership numbers for this season from affiliated clubs. Picture: Scottish Golf

With the deadline for reporting membership numbers looming, Scottish Golf has urged clubs to be "accurate" with their information as that determines how much the governing body is due from each club through the £14.50 affiliation fee paid by golfers as part of their annual subscription.

Lots of clubs in Scotland have enjoyed a rise in membership this year on the back of golf being one of the first sports to get the green light following the Covid-19 lockdown, coupled with football and rugby fans not being allowed to attend games.

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That has resulted in a welcome boost for clubs, but, with half-year memberships having been made available and promptly snapped up, it is being claimed that Scottish Golf should wait until early next year before making the latest calculation.

The Scotsman understands that one club has taken on 70 new members on a half-year membership, but the financial lift from that would be offset by having to pay around £1,000 in affiliation fees to Scottish Golf.

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"After all the good work done by Scottish Golf in offering a discount on 2020 affiliation fees caused by the earlier lockdown, I expected they would consider delaying the invoicing for the 2020/21 fees until at least after the New Year," said Mike Robson, the club manager/secretary at Swanston Golf Club on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

"By doing that, it would give a realistic figure of the numbers of club members considering many have made it clear to golf clubs they have taken out 'temporary” memberships to the end of this year'.

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"At a time when Scottish Golf need to show to members of golf clubs they have an understanding of the problems most clubs have had this year, expecting clubs to pay an affiliation fee for individuals who will have left the club is not good PR.”

Robson also claims that Scottish Golf is dragging its heels over a system it vowed to deliver to identify multiple memberships to ensure golfers who are members of more than one club don’t pay more than once.

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