Wednesday 22 April 2020

Scottish Golf Announces Leadership Change and Continuing Club Focus and Support

Following the statement yesterday that Scottish Golf CEO Andrew McKinlay has decided to leave the organisation, today they are announcing a number of key steps to ensure a sustainable future for Scottish Golf, along with targeted initiatives to support their 575 affiliated clubs through these extremely challenging times.

This month the governing body significantly reduced staffing numbers through utilisation of the Government furlough scheme. In addition, and in response to the global health crisis, they felt it sensible to take early decisive action and cancel all events and performance programmes for the remainder of the 2020 season enabling available resources to be reprioritised towards golf club support.

Eleanor Cannon, Chair of Scottish Golf 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.”

Karin 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. 

In addition, this Thursday we will host the first of our weekly support webinars, open to all member golf clubs. We have brought together experts from golf club management, finance, marketing and commercial disciplines that are on hand to offer advice on the significant challenges our clubs are currently facing.”

Karin will continue to be supported by Iain Forsyth the Scottish Golf Chief Commercial Officer. Iain has more than 30 years’ commercial leadership experience working in the golf industry. Both Karin and Iain have voluntarily decided to take a 20% pay cut for the 
foreseeable future.

Scottish Golf continues to be in active dialogue with Scottish Government, sportscotland and the R&A on the up to date guidance and advice relative to the current health and economic crisis