The amalgamation of the SGU and SLGA remains firmly on the agenda.
So says Hamish Grey, the chief executive of the SGU. However, despite his confidence that the merger will happen, Grey is unable to put a time frame on when that is likely to be.
The initial amalgamation proposal failed in May 2011 after the SGU’s shareholders, comprising the 16 area associations, rejected it by a 10 to 6 majority, the SLGA having successfully passed the proposal at their end.
Officially, talks to revisit amalgamation have been ‘ongoing’ ever since then. However, such was the depth of feeling in the immediate aftermath, there were genuine fears that it might be next-to-impossible to re-start.
Those concerns were allayed earlier this year by SGU chairman Tom Craig who, speaking to bunkered earlier this year, revealed that the process had been kick-started by the formation of a joint working group.
Speaking to the media last week, Grey revealed that the work to unify the two bodies was progressing.
“It’s easy to sit back and say that it should have been done by now but we are where we are" - SGU chief Hamish Grey
“There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes,” he said. “The working group is continuing its work and I think it would be fair to say that they are now starting to write a proposal, so there will be more to say on that front when that has been done.”
Grey added: “I think it’s frustrating for everyone that amalgamation hasn’t happened yet. Everyone I talk to is saying it is the right thing to happen.
“But we’re not doing this for the next year. We’re doing it for the next 50 to 100 years so we have a duty to get it right – and that means right by everyone’s definition.
“It’s easy to sit back and say that it should have been done by now but we are where we are. We need to make sure everyone gets a chance to input into this. There is a lot of passion out there about this and that’s great.
“The reality is that the SGU and SLGA are now working more closely than ever before. We have joint staff meetings and many of our staff work across both organisations. So, if and when amalgamation does happen, it should be a simple transition.”
SGU 2014 schedule confirmed
The SGU has confirmed its fixture list for 2014, with Downfield having been given the honour of staging the Fairstone Scottish Amateur Championship from July 28 to August 2. This will be the fourth time that the tournament will have been staged over the Dundee course. Barry Hume was the winner the last time it was played there, in 2001, beating Craig Watson 5&4. Panmure will host the Carrick Neill Scottish Strokeplay Championship from May 20 to June 1, with the Scottish Boys Championship returning to West Kilbride from April 7-12.