Decision made on Scottish Golf affiliation fee

Scottish Golf

Proposals to increase the affiliation fee paid to Scottish Golf have been BACKED at a General Meeting of Scottish Golf in Stirling.

The resolution was passed with a majority vote of 60.2%. As a result, the levy paid by each playing member of an affiliated Scottish golf club will increase from £11.25 to £14.50 from January 2019 and will be frozen until the collection of subscriptions in January 2022.

Andrew McKinlay, the chief executive of Scottish Golf, remarked: “I would like to thank the membership for voting in favour of a prosperous future for the game. I understand the subject of affiliation fee has been a contentious one in recent years but I have been clear on the financial challenges the game faces without the ability to invest in areas that will help facilitate long-term growth.

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“We now have a stronger financial foundation on which to build a more cohesive and joined-up national junior programme to increase participation and access to golf for future generations. 

Scottish Golf Flag

"We will also press ahead with plans to make non-member golfers integral to our future, by offering attractive and flexible ways to play and support golf in their local areas, while at the same time contributing to the overall development of the game."

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In a statement, Scottish Golf said that the increased revenue of approximately £500,000 will be ring-fenced to "support the development of key strategic priorities" and to "offset proposed cuts announced in light of decreased funding available to Scottish Golf".

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It will also be used to help Scottish Golf create a fit-for-purpose national junior programme, explore ways to generate income from nomadic golfers, and offer a free-of-charge digital service for clubs to support and improve membership services at all levels, including tee-booking, competition management, and handicapping.

Raising the affiliation fee has been a major source of contention and debate in Scottish golf over the last 12 months. Here's a timeline of the key events

October 5, 2017

Scottish Golf outlines its plan to address the downturns in participation, commercial income and public funding. At the forefront of the proposal, which will be put to stakeholders at a Special General Meeting (SGM) on December 2 in Stirling, is an increase of the current adult affiliation fee from £11.25 to £24.

October 17, 2017

Scottish Golf CEO Blane Dodds resigns from the organisation to take up a new post at Tennis Scotland. It comes after clubs and members were appalled by plans to more than double the affiliation fee. "They’ve put everything into this new strategy and it just didn’t click with members or clubs at all," a source told bunkered.co.uk. We learn that Scottish Golf plan to back down on the affiliation fee hike.

October 26, 2017 

Scottish Golf cancels its Special General Meeting on December 2 and, instead, it becomes a Future of Golf Conference, hosted at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh, where stakeholders were encouraged to air their views on the game's future in Scotland.

February 8, 2018

Andrew McKinlay, formerly of the Scottish FA, is appointed the new Scottish Golf CEO and will start in his role in May.

February 13, 2018

Scottish Golf announce plans to significantly reduce the affiliation fee hike from £24 down to £15 - a rise of £3.75. The proposal will be voted on at the Scottish Golf AGM.

March 10, 2018

The proposal to raise the affiliation fee to £15 is rejected. Chair Eleanor Cannon said jobs at the organisation were 'at risk' as a result, while she also called out leading Area figures after saying she had been the subject of 'disgraceful' abuse.

March 12, 2018

Scottish Golf is accused of 'not listening' and 'having its own agenda' by leading Area figures, who spoke of their disillusionment with the governing body and suggested that the long-standing discord between the parties is greater than ever before.

September 12, 2018

Scottish Golf launches a new proposal, which is to be voted on on October 4. The affiliation fee hike is back on the agenda, with the proposal suggesting it is raised from £11.25 to £14.50.

October 4, 2018

Proposed changes are backed with a majority vote of 60.2% at a General Meeting in Stirling, and will come into effect in January 2019.

Affiliation fee increase - your thoughts

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