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EWGA / EGU Merger Talks

The following article was posted on the EWGA and EGU websites:-

Golf merger talks move forward

19 February 2010

The English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) and the English Golf Union (EGU) have agreed to take the next steps towards a potential merger which would let the country’s amateur golfers speak with one voice.

The joint steering group from the two organisations has agreed five initial proposals and working groups have been set up to look in detail at key areas.

The decision on a merger will be made by the voting members of both organisations after they have received and considered the final proposal and following a period of consultation involving all members. It is hoped the vote will take place before the end of 2010.

The benefits of merger could include: the opportunity to promote golf as one game for all and to make strategic plans for the future of the sport; greater commercial power to attract sponsorship; more effective use of resources and reduced running costs.

The five proposals agreed so far are:

•    A single National Governing Body for amateur golf in England. EWGA would join the EGU under a modified structure. EGU Ltd would be expanded to incorporate the activities and assets of both existing companies with a new management structure reflected in a revised Memorandum and Articles of Association. A trading name, yet to be finalised, would be adopted with the single company being styled "X" is the trading name of EGU Ltd incorporated with the EWGA

•    The headquarters would initially be at the National Golf Centre at Woodhall Spa, with EWGA’s offices in Birmingham remaining in operation for use by staff from both organisations until at least the break clause in the current lease contract in October 2012. After this the new board would review the accommodation needs of the organisation.

•    The board of the single organisation would develop the strategy for the new body.

•    The EGU/EWGA steering group would consider options regarding the staff organisational structure needed to deliver that strategy. It would appoint where possible from existing members of staff from both organisations.

•    The new body would have one main board with executive and non-executive directors. While the final composition and role of this board will be decided by the steering group looking at the structure, voting and governance issues, it would initially have a non-executive gender balance of 6:4 men to women. The main committees would have at least two men and two women members.

The working groups have been set up to consider such key areas as legal and financial issues, golf, marketing, sponsorship and communications.

They will report back to the steering group by mid-April and the results of their work will help to shape the final proposal for a potential merger. This is expected to be published at the end of July and will be followed by roadshows in every county.

The roadshows will be open to all members of both organisations and will provide an opportunity to discuss the final proposal in detail and to ask questions.

The decision on a merger will be made by the voting members of both organisations at general meetings held on the same day, towards the end of 2010.

Merger would bring benefits to English golf

Joint statement by

Jim Robinson                                       John Petrie
Chief Executive                                   Chief Executive
English Women’s Golf Association         English Golf Union   

A merger of the English Women’s Golf Association and the English Golf Union would bring many benefits to the amateur game in this country.

-  Golf would speak with one voice – and the message that golf is one sport for all would be clearly heard.

-  One strategic vision for golf would take the game forward for all players of all ages.

-  One single body, uniting men and women, would be positive for the sport and could encourage more people to take up the game. 

-  Golf would have greater commercial power. One organisation representing men and women would attract a wide range of sponsors, particularly those who wish to appeal to the family market.

-  One merged organisation could increase efficiency in development, club services, coaching, championships, media and marketing.

-  Costs could be reduced and more effective use made of resources.

The potential advantages have persuaded the EWGA/EGU merger steering group to move forward and examine the detailed implications of merger. The group has agreed five initial proposals and set up working groups to explore key areas.

These working groups, involving over 40 volunteers and members of staff, will study all aspects of a merger and their careful examination will help the steering group to draw up its final proposal.

The decision on whether  a merger takes place will rest solely with the voting members of both organisations. Both the EWGA and EGU must approve the final proposal by a majority of 75 per cent before a merger can go ahead.

N.B. Two of the 40 people making up the working groups are Bucks members Phillipa Cook and Christine Watson.