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Scottish golf clubs to receive extra government support

Scotland’s golf clubs are to receive increased support to help grow membership and encourage more people to play golf a year on from the country’s staging of The Ryder Cup.

The Scottish Golf Union (SGU) and the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association (SLGA) – which will become one united governing body on 1 October – have announced a restructure of their Development team, which will see an increase from three to eight Regional Club Development Officers providing dedicated face-to-face business support to clubs.

The Scottish Government previously provided a funding boost of £1m to clubs with the aim of attracting more adults into the game and an emphasis on family golf. Since then, 90 clubs across Scotland are now running ‘Get into Golf’, a coaching programme aimed at beginner adults and a platform for clubs to offer introductory memberships, with the SGU and SLGA providing a wide range of tools to assist clubs with marketing to their local communities.

The latest membership figures in Scotland are encouraging, with total club membership up by 2.14% at 223,000 for 2014, with playing membership showing a slight drop of 0.56%, the smallest decline this decade. Men’s playing membership has fallen by 0.29% with women’s numbers down by 0.75%.

Andy Salmon, the deputy chief executive of the Scottish Golf Union, said: “We are extremely grateful to the Scottish Government for its additional funding which has been channelled into supporting clubs and inspiring more people to play golf.

“The SGU and the SLGA enjoy the biggest club membership base of any sport in Scotland, but we are always seeking to drive more people into the game and into our clubs, especially through the opportunities that the new governing body will present.”