SGU and SLGA reshuffle sees five new Regional Club
Development Officers appointed to improve clubs’ health
To provide enhanced support for Scotland’s golf clubs across key areas, such as membership and participation, the Scottish Golf Union and the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association have announced a new Development Department restructure.
As a result of the revised Scottish Golf Strategy and increased levels of Scottish Government funding, the Development Department - incorporating ClubGolf - has been restructured to accelerate the progress made to date in supporting affiliated clubs.
The new staff structure involves existing staff and is effective from September 1. Notably, the restructure features an increase from three to eight Regional Club Development Officers to seek to have a positive impact on clubs’ business.
The Regional Club Development Officers will be the dedicated point of contact for affiliated golf clubs, driving support in five key areas, namely: Governance and Business Planning, Education (Manager and Committee), Adult Participation (Get into Golf), Junior Participation (ClubGolf) and the Utilisation of Tools and Services.
Other key changes include the appointment of three Regional School & Community Officers, a Coaching Manager and an Education & Resources Officer.
At last September’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, the Scottish Government announced a funding boost of £1m over four years to attract new members and a new generation of players into clubs, notably via the new Get into Golf programme for beginner adults
and family participation. Almost 90 clubs in Scotland are now running Get into Golf coaching programmes and offering introductory memberships.
The SGU and the SLGA enjoy the biggest club membership base of any sport in Scotland, with Get into Golf seeking to find new golfers and encourage lapsed golfers back into the sport through the structured club-based programme.
The new Regional workforce will provide a more integrated approach to clubs, including an increased focus on Get into Golf; the continuation of an introductory schools programme with a more targeted approach; and an increased focus on coaching and how it can support the achievement of both increased participation and improved retention of existing golfers.
Clubs will now have one point of contact with the governing body - the Regional Club Development Officer - whatever the type of support needed.
Furthermore, club to school links and opportunities to engage more widely with the community will be promoted and facilitated by the Regional School & Community Officers, whose job it will be to create a pipeline of young people interested in golf - but only where the right environment exists, for those young people to further their interest in our sport.
Hamish Grey, the chief executive of the Scottish Golf Union, said: “We are extremely grateful to the Scottish Government for its additional commitment to our strategy and its support of our aim to have a wholly integrated approach to supporting clubs and increasing participation.
“The new structure enhances our ability to support our clubs to establish a modern governance structure and develop their own business plans. Often, these business plans will aim to increase participation and membership, so our joined up approach to ClubGolf and Get into Golf will, we believe, appeal to clubs and families.
“We will continue to introduce young people to the sport through more targeted school programmes and enhance our commitment to education for managers and committees alike.
“We are at a critical stage in the evolution of golf and we are very optimistic that these changes will build on recent success and accelerate our progress towards the achievement of our vision to lead our clubs, develop champions and provide the opportunity for everyone in Scotland to play golf for life.”
Photo: © Kenny Smith