Monday, September 17, 2018

SCOTTISH GOLF - Cuts to national championships announced

In the latest Scottish Golf newsletter circulated this week, a number of changes to national competitions have been announced, with some events being dropped from the calendar altogether, and others being substantially altered. 

The statement in the newsletter reads :-

Championship Changes 2018-19

Our budget position has been approved for 2018/19 and, as has been well documented, we have had to look at making some significant cuts across all parts of the business which although regrettable is necessary to balance the books. As referenced in previous communication with you, we have taken the opportunity to review the fixture list and I would like to draw your attention to a number of changes to the 2019 Championship Fixture List which we will need to make:

Area & County Championships
  • Men’s Area Team Championship: 6-8 September 2019 Venue TBC (Central)
  • Boys Area Team Championship: 6-8 September 2019 Venue TBC (Central)
  • Women's County Finals: 30 August – 1 September Venue TBC (South) - Please note this event has been moved to an earlier date to avoid clashing with The Solheim Cup and would anticipate it remaining in this slot going forward.

Scottish Golf will continue to work with Areas & Counties to source venues and assist in the delivery of the events, however the costs for the delivery of all aspects of the event (other than costs associated with the 2 x Scottish Golf staff in attendance) will be fully borne by the respective Area & County Associations from 2019.

While we are fully committed to Area & County team events being on the fixture calendar the financial contribution which attaches itself to these events is unsustainable. We recognise that for some associations this financial burden will be more challenging than others and would welcome thoughts or suggestions as to how this could potentially operate, whereby all areas and counties are still able to participate in the events. This is also an ideal opportunity to collectively consider the format and duration of these events for 2019 and beyond to ensure they continue to meet the needs of all Areas & Counties, as well as consider whether the boy’s event could be run simultaneously with the men’s or incorporate a number of junior players into each of the men's teams.

Scottish Men’s Club Championship (Team)
The Scottish Men’s Club Championship will be removed from the Scottish Golf fixture list in 2019. We accept that this will be disappointing to Clubs and Areas alike. Should the Areas wish to consider hosting a national final on a rotational basis we would certainly be supportive of that position, however, there will be no financial or administrative contribution available from Scottish Golf for either a national final nor towards participation in the European event.

Captains & Secretaries Championship
As we come to the end of the sponsorship agreement with Belhaven, the Captains & Secretaries Championship will be removed from the calendar. It will be replaced with a male medal finals event, where similar to an existing format within the women’s game we will invite clubs to put forward two players (best scratch and best net) from designated monthly medals to enter a series of regional qualifying events, with top qualifiers progressing to the Grand Final. This will be a pay to enter event, as is the case with the Women’s Regional Medal Finals which has long proved a popular event for club golfers of all ages and abilities.

Additional Changes... with more information to come
  • Scottish Senior Women's Open Championship: 4-7 June, at Edzell GC (Date change)
  • Scottish Women’s Amateur Championship: 28-30 June, venue TBC (Date & format change)
  • Scottish Boy’s Amateur Championship: 17-21 July, at Blairgowrie, Lansdowne (Separate to Girls event)
  • Scottish Girl’s Amateur Championship: 19-21 July, Blairgowrie, Rosemount (Separate to Boys event & format change)
  • Scottish Men’s Amateur Championship: 30 July-3 August, at Crail GS (Final will be played over 18 holes thus shortening the event by one day)

It is anticipated that there will be some debate engendered by the announcements made, which have been decided on with little or no consultation with stakeholders, and any comments on the changes announced are welcome by The Association to ascertain what member clubs and golfers in general feel about the proposed changes.

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