Steve Paulding is leaving his role as Scottish Golf’s performance director to take up a new post with British Athletics.
The 54-year-old, who spearheaded the Scottish Golf performance team for seven years, will depart on 11 November to become British Athletics’ National Performance Institute Director.
During his time in the job, Scotland won the European Men’s Team Championship back-to-back in 2015 and 2016 for the first time in 39 years.
In addition, a record eight male Scottish golfers also reached the top 100 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings last year.
However, the Welshman’s cycling background - he represented Great Britain at the 1991 World Championships and was then GB team manager at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 - has regularly led to questions being asked about his suitability to a role in golf.
“I’ve enjoyed my time with Scottish Golf and we’ve achieved some great results that I’m very proud of,” said Paulding. “Most people are only interested in those results, but the systems and processes needed to consistently identify and produce players who can compete on the world amateur stage has been my focus.
“There are now more PGA professional coaches working in and supporting the performance system at all levels and there is now a far more robust tracking and monitoring system in place for players.
“There have also been significant changes to improve our winter training, using the UAE and South Africa as training and competition bases, while we have developed an excellent team of support service personnel within sportscotland’s institute of sport to further develop the players.
“While there remain challenges ahead, I’m encouraged by the progress we have made in the female amateur ranks since we became an amalgamated body a year ago.
“I’m also confident that our new partnership with Bounce Sports will increase the potential for the current crop of male amateurs and newly-turned turned professionals to break through.”
Scottish Golf has placed national coach Ian Rae in charge of the performance programme along with Stuart Clayton and Clare Queen. Clayton is the performance development manager while former LET player Queen holds the position of programme co-ordinator.
“I would like to thank Steve for all his hard work leading the performance team over the past seven years,” said Blane Dodds, who recently took up the post of Scottish Golf chief executive following the departure of Hamish Grey earlier in the year.
“Scottish Golf is in a stronger place thanks to his endeavours and we wish him well in his new challenge with British Athletics.
“In the interim, Steve leaves a strong and experienced Performance team behind him and I’m confident Ian, Stuart and Clare will continue their good work before we make any future decisions.”