Wednesday 22 April 2020

Karin Sharp takes over Scottish Golf reins with support from Iain Forsyth

By Martin Dempster - The Scotsman Newspaper 

Karin Sharp
Karin Sharp, the chief operating officer, has been handed the Scottish Golf reins following Andrew McKinlay's swift and shock departure as chief executive.

Sharp held the same position with the Scottish Ladies Golf Association from November 2013 before its amalgamation with the Scottish Golf Union in 2015.

In now taking over at the helm of the governing body, she will be supported by Iain Forsyth, the current chief commercial officer.

Both Sharp and Forsyth have "voluntarily decided" to take a 20 per cent pay cut for the foreseeable future.

Announcing the leadership change, Scottish Golf chair Eleanor Cannon said: “The Board and Executive Team have had to make very tough decisions in order to focus on ensuring we are in a sustainable position going forward when courses reopen.

"With many clubs feeling the financial strain, which in turn has had a knock-on effect on our income, we have prioritised expenditure accordingly.

"Now more than ever we need strong leadership backed up by robust actionable plans. I am very pleased to announce that The Board has invited Karin Sharp to lead the organisation with immediate effect, from her current role as Chief Operating Officer.

"Karin has outstanding operational pedigree gained through various leadership roles within RBS where her career spanned 23 years, predominately in their Corporate & Commercial Banking Division.

"She joined Scottish Ladies Golfing Association in November 2013 as Chief Operating Officer and, following the amalgamation in 2015, has ultimately continued in the same role for Scottish Golf.”

As revealed by The Scotsman earlier this week, Scottish Golf has asked its 550-odd member clubs to reveal sensitive financial information in a survey aimed at gauging the impact of courses being closed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

That decision was criticised by some club managers, but Sharp said the governing body is pushing ahead with its attempt to gather the information.

Sharp said: “In response to these unprecedented circumstances, we have issued a short financial health check survey to our member clubs which seeks to gather key information, specifically around the impact of COVID-19 to golf club operations.

"This detail will directly contribute to, and significantly inform, our ongoing dialogue with Scottish Government in relation to the struggles faced by golf in Scotland.

"This information is crucial. To enable us to represent the situation accurately and effectively, I urge all clubs to complete the survey at the earliest opportunity."