• SGU voting members carry proposal at EGM
• Historic day brings Scotland in line with other unions
SCOTTISH GOLF AMALGAMATION
It’s official: the Scottish Golf Union and Scottish Ladies Golfing Association are to amalgamate.
The proposal to merge the two bodies was given the green light today by the Area Associations of the SGU at an extraordinary general meeting, which took place in Stirling and last just seven minutes.
The 16 Area Associations voted unanimously (16-0) in favour of the move. A minimum of 12 ‘yes’ votes were required to push through the proposal, which was unanimously carried by the members of the SLGA in February.
The decision today means that, for the first time, Scottish amateur golf will one be governed by one single organisation called 'Scottish Golf Limited', bringing to an end almost a century of division along gender lines. The new body will be formally instituted on October 1 this year, following the completion of all necessary legal requirements.
“This is an historic day for Scottish amateur golf." - Tom Craig, SGU chairman
The move brings Scottish amateur golf in line with the vast majority of other nations, which are governed by a single body. Ireland and South Africa are now the only major golf nations remaining where there are separate men’s and women’s administrative organisations.
Speaking at the Stirling Court Hotel at the University of Stirling campus, SGU chairman Tom Craig expressed his delight at the outcome of the EGM.
“This is an historic day for Scottish amateur golf," he said. "I thank the SGU’s Area Golf Associations for their support in unanimously backing the proposal and our affiliated clubs for showing confidence in the proposal. I’d also like to thank Sheriff Alastair Thornton and all the other members of the Amalgamation Joint Working Group for their hard work.
“We have enjoyed a close working relationship with the SLGA for many years and now look forward to working together as one organisation. The reality is that the SGU and SLGA are already working more closely than ever before, so the transition to a single unified governing body should be fairly seamless.
“We can look to the future with excitement and optimism at the potential benefits amalgamation will bring, including providing greater leadership to our clubs and players, projecting golf as a modern, inclusive sport with a positive image to attract more players and attracting more resources into the sport from commercial sponsorship and government."
Craig, pictured above, added that it had been 'a long journey to reach this stage' but acknowledged that it had been important to give everyone the chance to contribute to the debate to 'move forward with a good structure for the future of golf in Scotland'.
"We have been able to engage people to do what is right for the game rather than what is right for individuals." - Hamish Grey, SGU chief executive
“Our game faces many challenges," he added. "There’s a lot to do, but we now have the opportunity to build a positive future for golf and golf clubs in Scotland.”
Craig also revealed that a nine-person board would also need to appointed for the new Scottish Golf Limited, featuring a minimum of three male and three female members. "There is a lot now to be done and decisions to be made," he said.
Both Craig and Hamish Grey, the chief executive of the Scottish Golf Union, praised those involved in the decision-making process.
"We have now got a platform to take the game forward," said Grey. "However, what I am most encouraged about is that we have been able to engage people to do what is right for the game rather than what is right for individuals."
Craig added this process had demonstrated that there are 'a lot of really good people around Scottish golf'.
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