NOTES ON MEETING re AMALGAMATION 11 MAY 2016
Amalgamation Proposals: The Chairman introduced a discussion paper that had been circulated to all and pointed out that all references to the male gender should also include the female. What we were to discuss was about golfers; not men, not Ladies.
Discussion: The men’s South of Scotland had 3 Counties (Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire) who ran their own administration and competitions. The Ladies’ South of Scotland also had 3 Counties (Galloway Ladies, Dumfriesshire Ladies and Border Ladies) but there was no central administration except for organising an annual competition. It was agreed that for this amalgamation exercise the Border Ladies should be excluded but that the competition should be continued.
It is important that if we wish to progress that we work closely together using our common interests as the foundation. We are better together than as 3 separate entities. It was imperative that we set our own agenda for amalgamation of the 3 Associations because if we don’t we will be dictated to by Scottish Golf and will have to abide by their rules.
The South had an extended arm called D &G Golf Partnership which is reaching worldwide to promote the area for visiting golfers. The Partnership includes Golf Clubs, Accommodation Providers and other interested partners It was initially established by Dumfries & Galloway Council, who attracted funding of £45,000 and set up a website, had still photographs and aerial videos taken of all the courses and encouraged all the Clubs to assist in the marketing. The website has been extended and improved and is to be called www.southofscotlandgolf.com for marketing purposes. The Ladies were against this name as South of Scotland was the name of their competition with the Border Ladies and could cause confusion. It was agreed that the new website be called www.southwestofscotlandgolf.com.
The South Association had agreed to invite a representative from each of 3 Clubs to each of their Executive Meetings to improve communications and promote dialog so that relations could be augmented.
There already was cooperation between the Men’s and Ladies’ teams carrying out the Course Rating and this would continue despite problems with the time taken to measure each course due to the number of measurements required. Scottish Golf was presently arranging a Meeting, probably 3 June at D&C. The Meeting was later than expected but Calum Grant had been working on his own, although he was now to get 3 assistants, and Bill Mitchell had not been available. The new version of the manual would be available at the Meeting.
There had been some cooperation on Coaching to include girls next year. Chris Robinson proposed that that the area be split in two, Galloway and Dumfriesshire, to reduce travelling and costs, but join together for fitness, nutrition etc to bring both sides together so that feel like one unit. Trial matches could also be played.
There were complaints that Craig Chalmers (SGL Development Officer) was never seen in the Area. He was not available for a general chat but would come to discuss detailed issues.
Hockey had Focus Clubs at which Development Officers helped smaller and less well-off Clubs with advice and assistance.
There was to be a gathering at the end of June at the Crichton with Steve Brown (food & beverages). Any information was to be sent to the Ladies
The main issue affecting the new Region would be how it was to be funded. At present the Area and Ladies’ Counties are funded differently. The Ladies are financed by voluntary subscriptions and the Men by a per capita fee levied on all male playing members in each Club. Nothing has yet been formally decided. As part of the discussion at the Gleneagles Conference on 31 January a committee was set up to look at this issue and report by end of August. Some methods being investigated include increasing the per capita fee and putting into a pot which would then be divided between the Regions. There can be different methods of dividing the pot; both genders pay the same per capita fee; the present system remains. It is widely accepted that the finances of the Ladies game is struggling and a system that is fair to all is required. Dumfriesshire Ladies reported that to run their Jamboree cost approx.. £1,500 and County Finals £3,000 plus.
The Ladies felt it important to know what was happening in the rest of the Country. They were happy to amalgamate in principle but wanted further discussion on the detail. They wanted to be in the position of being asked but not told. They were concerned the model produced by the committee would be a fait accompli and there would be no opportunity to object.
The Chairman suggested that all go back to the Clubs and spread the word, particularly “West of Scotland Golf” and get members to discuss the issues.
It was agreed that no further meeting would take place until some directive on the way forward had been received from Scottish Golf. In the meantime any information received by the Area would be passed on to the Ladies Associations.
There being no further business the Meeting closed at 8.55 pm.