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A shake-up for Scottish golf

12.05am 1st September 2006 - Management Topics

An independent report has recommended that the Scottish Golf Union (SGU) should be run by a single management body rather than the existing board and executive council.
That suggestion came from the working group chaired by Sir Craig Reedie which was commissioned by the SGU in September 2005 to consider the governance of Scottish amateur golf’s governing body.
In its conclusions and recommendations the group said that for the SGU to work smoothly, swiftly and effectively ‘its structure must be as uncomplicated as possible in order that the management can make best possible use of its resources and keep the organisation on the move to achieve its goals’.
To that end the report suggests unifying the existing board and executive council into an enlarged board of twelve. The existing board consists of seven members appointed because of their past experience to fulfill specific advisory roles (e.g. finance, performance etc), plus the President and Chief Executive.
The process for selection of these seven members involves every club and area being invited to nominate candidates they feel are suitable for the specific role. Under the recommendations the existing nine members would be augmented by the vice president and two other directors who would be appointed by and be direct representatives of the areas. All board appointments will continue to require ratification by the areas so the whole board will continue to work on behalf of the areas and amateur golf in Scotland.
The report also recommends improvements in SGU communication processes, more flexibility in the appointment of sub committee members and limits on the length of time that sub committee members can serve without a break.
It is now down to the 16 areas as shareholders to decide, after consultation with their member clubs, whether to adopt any or all of the report’s recommendations.
SGU chairman Alistair Low and SGU president Gordon McInnes both welcomed the report’s findings, saying they believed it will ‘significantly improve the governance of golf in Scotland’.
Gordon McInnes added, “I believe these proposed changes would enable the Union to continue to attract able and committed volunteers to assist in the governance of our affairs in the future.”
It is expected that each Area will be seeking the views of the clubs in their region on this report. Where possible this is likely to be achieved at the relevant Area AGM or a specific meeting held for this purpose over the next two to three months. It is anticipated that final decisions on the recommendations will be taken early in the new year.
Scottish Golf Union www.scottishgolfunion.org

NOTES:
For further information, please see the summary of the Reedie Group Report on the Governance of the Scottish Golf Union below:
The Group was set up in September 2005 by the Chairman and President of SGU. It was chaired by Sir Craig Reedie, the other members being Charles Philip and Donald Turner.
The terms of reference were: “To consider the constitution of SGU and the governance of men’s amateur golf in Scotland and to make recommendations as appropriate.”
The Group consulted widely with Areas, clubs and members of the Board and Executive Council of SGU.

The principle recommendations of the report are as follows:

  • That the SGU adopts a common purpose or vision as its over arching aspiration;
  • That the existing system of clubs being represented through the existing sixteen Areas should continue;
  • That future expansion of SGU activities be supported by appropriate professional staff;
  • That the existing Board and Executive Council should be amalgamated in a unified board of twelve members consisting of seven members selected for their expertise in specific fields and the President and Chief Executive of SGU, (i.e. the board as at present constituted) augmented by the Vice President and two Area representatives appointed by the Areas from Area committees;
  • That members of subcommittees should, like Board members, serve for a maximum of two three year periods;
  • That Areas should develop succession plans for Area committees;
  • That Area constitutions should be reviewed to bring about a measure of consistency;
  • That a review of SGU communication policy should be carried out;
  • That a review of the clubgolf programme should be undertaken with particular reference to communication with Areas; and
  • That the enlarged Board should host a six monthly meeting of Area representatives to canvass opinion and report on activities and planned developments.

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