Scottish Golf responds to affiliation fee "rebate" critics

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Scottish Golf has responded to critics of the support it has offered to the country's clubs amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The organisation has come under particular fire for not refunding this year's affiliation fees in full to golf clubs.

Last month, John Struthers, the secretary of the Dumbartonshire Golf Union, told that his requests for Scottish Golf to return the money had fallen upon deaf ears.

Since then, the governing body for the amateur game in the home of golf has offered clubs a rebate of up to 25% on their fees. However, many are still unhappy and have called for Scottish Golf to do more to support its member clubs, many of whom are facing up to the prospect of closure as a knock-on effect of the coronavirus health crisis.

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Amid intensifying criticism, Scottish Golf laid out its position this afternoon.

In a statement, it said: “Scottish Golf recognises that some clubs will be facing exceptional extenuating circumstances during this period and we would encourage any club in this position to contact us in confidence. We are here to offer support and guidance to all of our affiliated golf clubs during these unprecedented times. 

“All clubs can apply for a 25% refund on their total 2019/20 affiliation fee invoice and clubs that have already paid this can apply for a refund or carry over a credit for the 2020/21 invoice year."

The statement added that, since the rebate process was opened on May 7, Scottish Golf has received 290 applications.

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"Despite operating with a reduced staff due to furlough, 284 applications have been processed, offering over £330,000 through our 25% affiliation fee rebate and £130,000 in cash refunds," it added.

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“Alongside the 25% rebate available to all affiliated clubs, we also set up a Club Support Fund and we are pleased to confirm that clubs from across Scotland have generously donated to this fund.

"Once the window for donations closes we will be able to understand the value of this fund and at that point will communicate how this can be accessed."

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