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A General Meeting of Scottish Golf has been called for October 4 in Stirling where, for the third time in less than a year, attempts will be made to raise the affiliation fee paid to the organisation.

A proposal has been tabled to hike the current levy from £11.25 to £14.50 per each playing member, based on membership numbers at September 30, 2018, and invoiced for payment by March 31, 2019.

This is 50p less than the proposed increase that was rejected in March.

Should the resolution be passed, Scottish Golf has pledged to freeze the affiliation fee rate until 2022 to “tie in with strategic priorities”.

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The governing body believes that the proposal could swell its coffers by more than £550,000, which would allow it to “increase its investment in certain key strategic priority areas”, whilst also reconsidering some of the proposed cutbacks threatened following the most recent affiliation fee proposal being rejected.

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Scottish Golf has earmarked spending some of this additional revenue on growing the game at junior level (potential annual investment of £100,000); additional marketing and communications resources (£50,000); a new, non-compulsory, free-of-charge IT system for clubs (£150,000); financial support for clubs (£75,000); and improving the “education offering for clubs” (£75,000).

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Raising the affiliation fee paid by club members through their clubs to Scottish Golf has been a major source of contention over the last year or so. Here’s a timeline of the main 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.

The latest proposed increase – your thoughts

What do you make of the latest proposal to increase the affiliation fee paid by club members to Scottish Golf? Are you in favour of it? Do you have different feelings towards it? Leave all your thoughts in our Comments section below.


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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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