The Scottish Golf Board has concluded its analysis designed to deliver long-term investment and growth in the sport via a new, ambitious strategic plan.
The governing body is committed to addressing the downturns in participation, commercial income and public funding to reinvigorate and re-establish the game at all levels.
To achieve this, Scottish Golf has made a number of recommendations which will be proposed to stakeholders at a Special General Meeting (SGM) on Saturday 2 December in Stirling.
These include a proposed review of Scottish Golf’s Articles of Association to further align the game after the recent amalgamation of the Scottish Golf Union and Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association.
In addition, Scottish Golf proposes an increase in the National Affiliation Fee to enable the governing body to increase investment across the game and also to keep pace with the ever-changing technology landscape to unlock further opportunity for commercial income to the sport.
Scottish Golf proposes an increase of £12.75 to the current adult affiliation fee of £11.25. The benefits of this increase to a proposed £24 affiliation fee will be significant to all members now and in the future, but in summary will enable Scottish Golf to:
- Provide FREE personal liability insurance of up to £1m for all members
- Provide an integrated national tee-booking system to all clubs by 2020
- Invest in a new online Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that will enhance the golfing experience and attract new commercial income via new sponsorship and partnership opportunities by 2019
- Create a Development Fund for investment in clubs and facilities from 2018
- Create a National Greenkeeping Fund and Club Buying Group for all clubs to access cost-efficient resources and equipment from 2018
Scottish Golf will be able to clearly track multiple memberships via the new National Club CRM, allowing the governing body to identify those members to ensure they pay the new affiliation fee only once per annum.
The CRM and national tee-booking system would enable Scottish Golf to generate additional revenue from nomadic golfers and international visitors, ensuring all participants contribute to growing the game in Scotland.
Junior memberships will remain free of an affiliation fee, while the benefits outlined above and described in more detail at https://www.scottishgolf.org/who-we-are/scottish-golf-strategy/ will enable Scottish Golf to grow the value of golf at all levels.
Furthermore, the proposed new fee will remain among the lowest of all golf bodies across Europe and, indeed, across all other sports governing bodies in the United Kingdom.
Blane Dodds, Scottish Golf Chief Executive, said: “For the equivalent of an additional £1 per month, every golfer in the country can help play a significant role in the rejuvenation of our game. This is an impassioned request for a small additional contribution per head to make a huge difference to the future of golf in Scotland that all can benefit from.
“I reiterate that the status quo is not an option. It would lead to a budget cut in the region of £400,000 for next year, the consequences of which would lead to significant cuts to development programmes and our overall investment in the game. At a time when we strive to increase participation in our sport and financial support to all our members, this would represent a major blow to our abilities to implement our future strategy.
“These proposals are about providing a springboard to sustainability. They would enable us to grow participation through greater accessibility, to support our clubs administratively and in terms of infrastructure, to increase coach development and to empower our Areas and Counties to be the beating heart of our game.
“The reality is we need to work in a more integrated manner with all of our members, to keep pace with technology to improve the experience for all golfers but especially future generations, and to make golf in Scotland more attractive to fresh investment.
“All of this is for the benefit of the game as a whole and we urge everyone with golf’s prosperity at heart to vote yes to a brighter future at our SGM in December.”