Merger: With the Areas anticipated to reject the amalgamation, sportscotland has backed the proposal
Rejecting merger may jeopardise funding of Scottish amateur game
Just days before the SGU's proposed amalgamation vote, the body that provides golf's government funding, sportscotland, has issued a statement saying that should the proposal be rejected, future public investment in the sport would be endangered.
The statement read: "Should the proposal not be accepted then sportscotland would have to consider how and where public investment into Scottish Golf was placed and focused.
"We firmly believe that one amateur body administering and driving the development of Scottish Golf, will strengthen the sport to achieve success, create an even more positive image and increase the potential for greater participation.
"As an amalgamated body Scottish golf would benefit from a more efficient use of resource and the coming together of the expertise, membership and ambition of both the SGU and the SLGA, while providing a stronger platform for sportscotland and commercial sponsors to invest in the future of the game".
The SGU's 16 Area Associations meet this evening at Tulliallan to vote on the Final Amalgamation Proposal for a single governing body. In order for the proposal to pass, 12 of the 16 areas must vote in favour.
One obstacle to the ratification of the proposed streamlined organisation is that it would mean that the very people who will be voting on the amalgamation, the Area Associations in particular, would relinquish much of their current influence.
Scotland is one of only five nations in the world to have separate governing bodies divided along lines of gender. After extensive consultation with clubs, areas, and sponsors initiated and conducted by the SGU and SLGA, the Final Amalgamation Proposal has been presented as the blueprint to take Scottish golf forward into the 21st century.
Amalgamation is deemed particularly vital to securing corporate sponsorship and government investment in Scotland's amateur game, a point illustrated emphatically by sportscotland's statement above.
Yesterday, the SLGA voted overwhelmingly in favour of amalgamation, with over 93% in favour of the merger.
SLGA chairman Shona Malcolm was delighted that the proposal had been so absolutely approved. Malcolm praised her colleagues for their altruism in thinking of the future of the Scottish game, rather than their own concerns.
"The SLGA Board is delighted with the outcome of the members' vote and would like to take the opportunity to thank all of those who participated during the lengthy and extensive consultation process.
"Throughout the process the SLGA members have demonstrated a commitment to the future development and governance of Scottish amateur golf, with no thought of self interest.
"The SLGA is committed to progressing the amalgamation to its conclusion, while protecting the democratic principle of the clubs, the main funders of Scottish amateur golf, being the voting members".