Set for Tennis Scotland role

Scottish Golf rocked by Dodds resignation

Blane Dodds

Scottish Golf chief Blane Dodds has resigned just six weeks before a key vote on his proposals to more than double the National Affiliation fee (pic: Craig Watson)

Scottish Golf has been plunged into crisis after the resignation of CEO Blane Dodds, who has quit to take over a similar post at Tennis Scotland.

Dodds, who had been in the post for 16 months, recently unveiled a new four-year strategy aimed at doubling the organisation’s revenue to £8million in the face of ongoing funding cuts and a drop in sponsorship revenue.

Central to that plan was a proposal to more than double the Scottish Golf affiliation fee from £11.25 to £24. It is set to be voted on by member clubs in early December, though the idea has been met by a lukewarm reception from many.

The sport’s amateur governing body in Scotland is now beginning its search for a third chief executive in quick succession, Mr Dodds having taken over from Hamish Grey.

Speaking to Daily Business last month as he revealed his long-term strategy, Dodds said he hoped as many of the 587 golf clubs in Scotland would be represented at the special general meeting on 2 December.

“It’s such an important decision for the future of golf,” he said.

“The vote is one of the most important in the recent history of Scottish Golf as it will dictate two different ways forward: investment and growth, or reductions.”

Eleanor Cannon, Scottish Golf chairman, said: “We are disappointed that Blane is leaving Scottish Golf and thank him for his efforts in leading our modernisation programme. We wish him well for the future.

“The timing of this decision is unfortunate, but we acknowledge Blane’s long association with tennis in Scotland and the emotional pull it has on a former internationalist.

“However, the Board of Scottish Golf remains unanimously committed to its core strategic objective, which is to deliver significant investment to the game and provide a sustainable future for it – at a time when the Government is significantly reducing its contribution to the game.

“We will continue to engage with and listen carefully to golfers and clubs over the coming weeks, to underline our belief that by making a relatively small personal investment in the game, golfers can help strengthen the foundations of this great sport and better serve future generations of golfers and visitors to Scotland.

“We acknowledge the concerns of some people and clubs around the detail of our proposals and will obviously reflect carefully on all of the views we are hearing prior to finalising what goes to the SGM by the start of November. Our desire is to continue to consult and build as much consensus as we can around the future of golf in Scotland.”

Dodds, a former tennis professional and non-executive chairman of Tennis Scotland at the time he joined Scottish Golf from North Lanarkshire Leisure, said: “I would like to thank the board and staff for their dedication and unwavering support during my time with Scottish Golf.

“I leave with a heavy heart after the progress made to date on our modernisation programme and especially given the significant work under way to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for the game via the four-year strategic plan.

“However, the opportunity to lead Tennis Scotland as a former player was the one job that I could not turn down.”

Scottish Golf confirmed that the vote on 2 December will go ahead as planned.

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