Scottish Golf Courses

Merger 'ongoing', says Grey

SGU chief insists that plans to amalgamate the SGU and SLGA are still under discussion

THE AMALGAMATION of the Scottish Golf Union and Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association remains firmly on the agenda, according to SGU chief executive Hamish Grey.

However, despite his confidence that the merger will happen, Grey is unable to put a specific 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 ten to six majority, the SLGA having successfully passed the proposal at their end.

Officially, talks to revisit the 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 start up again.

Those concerns were allayed by SGU chairman Tom Craig midway through 2013 when he spoke to bunkered, Scotland’s No.1 golf magazine, and revealed that the process had been kick-started by the formation of a joint working group. Speaking to the media in December, Grey revealed that the work to unify the two bodies was progressing.

“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 they are starting to write a proposal, so there will be more to say on that when that has been done.

“I think it’s frustrating for everyone that amalgamation hasn’t happened yet.

“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.

“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.”

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