In the Loop

Three things you need to know from the last month in the golf industry…

1. Scottish Golf appoint new chief executive

What’s happened: Scottish Golf have appointed Andrew McKinlay as their new chief executive. He’s joined from the Scottish FA, where he was most recently chief operating officer and interim chief executive. What does it mean? This might finally start to bring to an end a disruptive time for Scotland’s governing body following the resignation last year of Blane Dodds. Scottish Golf say the application process, which started last October, saw a host of high calibre applicants and, while he joins against the backdrop of a row over affiliation fees and a growing issue with club membership, he now gives the body a focal point for the coming years.

McKinlay will take charge in May, after the March AGM at which a number of issues arising from December’s Future of Golf conference are set to be discussed.. “I look forward to the hugely exciting challenge of leading Scottish Golf towards a prosperous future as the governing body for the largest registered participation sport in Scotland,” said McKinlay. “I realise a lot of hard work has been undertaken already to increase participation and accessibility to golf and, having attended December’s Future of Golf conference in Edinburgh, I believe the passion and collective will throughout the membership gives us a terrific foundation on which to build a bright future for our game.”

2. England Golf and Golf Business International join forces

What happened: England Golf and the consultancy organisation Golf Business International have entered into a partnership that will gives clubs access to specialist knowledge and expertise. What does it mean? Golf Business International have become one of England Golf’s ‘preferred partners’. There are 35 of these that the governing body has networked together to provide clubs with advice and practical help. This latest partnership will see Golf Business International’s services highlighted to more than 1,900 clubs by England Golf’s Club Support Officers. The agreement was signed at the consultants’ recent annual meeting at Frilford Heath.

Howard Swan, Golf Business International chairman, said: “It gives us a wonderful opportunity to work for the members in increasing their business opportunities in the national golf market. And it is my hope this agreement may prove to be the forerunner of similar agreements with the other three domestic national bodies, leading our members to help their clubs through their respective support programmes. An important part of the initiative will be to link closely with the regions of England Golf to provide education and training through seminars and workshops.”

3. Rain Bird team up with Rigby Taylor What happened: Rain Bird, one of the leading manufacturers of irrigation products and services, appointed Rigby Taylor as their golf products distributor for the UK. What does it mean? Club and course managers will still be able to access products through Rain Bird contractors but they will now get added support, “new product information and after-sales service from Rigby Taylor’s technical fi eld sales force”. Jimmy Sandison, Regional Sales Manager for Rain Bird in the UK, Ireland, Iceland and Scandinavia, said: “We want to provide the very best levels of service and support to all of our customers. By having Rigby Taylor in place as a strong UK distribution partner for our golf course irrigation products, contractors and course managers will all benefit from a quicker, more efficient service.”

By Marie J. Taylor

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