The decision to amalgamate the SGU and SLGA has finally been made - so what happens now?
MONDAY, March 30, 2015. A date that is sure to be remembered for generations to come. It was on this day, in the inconspicuous surroundings of the Stirling Court Hotel, on the University of Stirling campus, that the decision to remove gender division from the governance of Scottish amateur golf was, finally, successfully passed.
The amalgamation of the Scottish Golf Union and Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association is now no longer something that should happen; it’s something that will happen, and before the year is out, too.
In the end, the outcome was emphatically decisive. The voting members of the SLGA having unanimously backed the proposal at an Extraordinary General Meeting of their own seven weeks earlier, the onus was on the 16 Area Associations that constitute the voting element of the SGU to follow suit.
They did just that, all 16 voting in favour of the move.
What that result betrays, however, is the amount of time, energy, effort and resources devoted to the process over the past few years. Significant restructuring like this doesn’t just happen – it requires a great deal of work behind the scenes.
How much? Put it this way: Hamish Grey, the chief executive of the soon-to-be-defunct SGU, said in the immediate aftermath of the result being announced that amalgamating the two organisations is something that has been on the agenda “for at least as long as I have been in office”. He joined the SGU in 1998.
Of course, it would be remiss to ignore the fact that a previous bid to amalgamate the two bodies was rejected in May 2011 by the same Area Associations that voted it through this time. They threw it out by a 10-6 majority, despite the SLGA having passed it at their end. Getting the matter back on the table, therefore, was an achievement in itself.
However, the hard work starts now and there is much to be done before Scottish Golf Limited comes into effect on October 1 this year.
Over the next few pages, we look at some of the issues that have to be resolved before the new body gets up and running and gather thoughts and opinions from a selection of golf administrators who have followed the process closely.