Scottish golf clubs are being given the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the proposed amalgamation of the Scottish Golf Union (SGU) and Scottish Ladies Golfing Association (SLGA).
All clubs affiliated to the SGU are being urged to vote in an independent poll over the coming weeks as a decision on the latest merger proposal looms large on the horizon.
Whilst not contributing directly to the amalgamation vote, the poll of clubs is regarded as an ‘essential part’ of the process by both the SGU Board and Area Golf Associations, as it will help to guide the respective 16 areas on how to vote on the proposal at an extraordinary general meeting of Scottish Golf Union Limited. That EGM is expected to be called ‘in the near future’.
If the motion is passed by both the SGU and SLGA voting members, Scottish golf will come into line with the vast majority of other amateur golf bodies around the world, which have successfully removed gender division from their governance.
It would also make up for the disappointment of the first merger proposal, which failed in May 2011 after the SGU’s 16 area associations rejected it by a 10 to 6 majority. The SLGA having successfully passed the proposal at their end.
It is hoped that by inviting affiliated clubs to have their say on the matter through this independent poll, the SGU areas will have a clearer indication on how to vote on the proposal when the time comes.
SGU chairman Tom Craig said: “We encourage and advise all affiliated SGU clubs to vote in the independent poll. It is simply vital that they do so.
“Currently, this is the most significant issue facing Scottish golf." - Tom Craig, SGU chairman
“At our forthcoming Extraordinary General Meeting, the 16 Area Golf Associations, who are the shareholders of the SGU, will vote according to their clubs’ wishes.”
To ensure complete integrity and transparency of the poll process, it will be conducted by 4 global Consulting, an independent market research company, and they have been in touch will all affiliated clubs on how to participate, either online or via the telephone.
“Currently, this is the most significant issue facing Scottish golf,” added Craig. “Amalgamation is fundamentally important to building a modern, democratic, inclusive governing body for Scottish amateur golf. It is vital we pass on a fit for purpose organisation for the next generation to take the game forward.
“It creates the opportunity to build an effective partnership among golfers, clubs, Areas, Counties, Board and staff for the greater good of Scottish golf. A single body will help attract more women into golf and remove some of the stigma of a male-dominated game.
“It is a hugely important we amalgamate to help grow the sport and assist clubs in becoming viable and vibrant again, and to be great places for all golfers to spend their leisure time.”
Meanwhile, the SLGA membership (ladies’ sections of clubs, ladies’ clubs, county golf associations, vice presidents and directors) will vote on whether to back the amalgamation proposal at their Annual General Meeting on February 7 in Edinburgh.
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