Grosset's backing for unified body to take charge of amateur game

THE Drumoig debacle would not have happened if the voting system being proposed for the amalgamation of the two bodies running amateur golf in Scotland was in place at the time, according to one respected former club official.

Alan Grosset, a past Duddingston captain and ex-lawyer who has experience of amalgamations in other sports, revealed his strong backing for clubs to become the shareholders instead of the men's area associations to The Scotsman ahead of a crunch meeting of Lothians clubs tonight.

At an earlier special meeting called by the Lothians Golf Association, he insisted the amalgamation between the Scottish Golf Union and the Scottish Ladies' Golfing Association needed to happen to bring golf into line with other sports.

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The clubs attending that meeting opposed the LGA's view that a two-tier structure should be retained to govern the unified body, and Grosset is hoping for the same outcome tonight.

"That is the best way of ensuring that the SGU serves the interests of the clubs and their members who, after all, do pay their fees to the SGU," he said. "In particular the Lothians clubs have always been under-represented at the SGU as have Ayrshire and the North East, the other two large areas.

"It has always been ridiculous and undemocratic that the Lothians' vote, with nearly 70 member clubs, carries the same weight as Clackmannan with six clubs and a large number of west of Scotland areas with roughly 12-20 member clubs."

Grosset questioned why some of the area associations, who are set to vote down the proposal at an extraordinary general meeting later this week, wanted to retain a second-tier of governance to "second guess or rubber stamp" whatever is proposed by the amalgamated body.

"Surely it is better to have the correct decision made in the first place by appropriately qualified people," he added.

According to Grosset, the costly business of setting up a Scottish National Golf Centre at Drumoig that eventually went into administration would have been avoided if the clubs, not the area associations, had the votes at the time.