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Little more than 12 hours after Andrew McKinlay stepped down as chief executive, Scottish Golf has announced that it has invited Karin Sharp to lead the organisation “with immediate effect” from her current role as Chief Operating Officer.

The news was confirmed this morning in a statement from the crisis-torn governing body. 

Eleanor Cannon, the chair of Scottish Golf, said: “The Board and Executive Team have had to make very tough decisions in order to focus on ensuring we are in a sustainable position going forward when courses re-open. 

“With many clubs feeling the financial strain, which in turn has had a knock-on effect on our income, we have prioritised expenditure accordingly.

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“Now, more than ever, we need strong leadership backed up by robust actionable plans. I am very pleased to announce that the Board has invited Karin Sharp to lead the organisation with immediate effect, from her current role as Chief Operating Officer.

“Karin has outstanding operational pedigree gained through various leadership roles within RBS where her career spanned 23 years, predominately in their Corporate & Commercial Banking Division. She joined Scottish Ladies Golfing Association in November 2013 as Chief Operating Officer and, following the amalgamation in 2015, has ultimately continued in the same role for Scottish Golf.”

Sharp will be supported by Iain Forsyth, the current Chief Commercial Officer. Forsyth has more than 30 years’ commercial leadership experience working in the golf industry. Both Sharp and Forsyth have voluntarily decided to take a 20% pay cut for the “foreseeable future”.

Sharp added: “In response to these unprecedented circumstances we have issued a short financial health check survey to our member clubs which seeks to gather key information, specifically around the impact of COVID-19 to golf club operations. 

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“This detail will directly contribute to, and significantly inform, our ongoing dialogue with Scottish Government in relation to the struggles faced by golf in Scotland. This information is crucial. 

“To enable us to represent the situation accurately and effectively, I urge all clubs to complete the survey at the earliest opportunity. 

“In addition, this Thursday we will host the first of our weekly support webinars, open to all member golf clubs. We have brought together experts from golf club management, finance, marketing and commercial disciplines that are on hand to offer advice on the significant challenges our clubs are currently facing.”

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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