EGU and EWGA to merge
The English Golf Union (EGU) and the English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) are to merge into one organisation following an historic vote today, and the first president of the new body will be a woman.
An announcement was made at the Golf Club Managers’ Association (GCMA) conference in Leicestershire, leading to applause from members.
Currently male amateur golfers are run by the EGU and the ladies by EWGA, however that will change from January 1, 2012 with the creation of England Golf – one national governing body to represent all amateur golfers in England. This will see affiliation fees for men and women harmonised by January 1, 2014.
Eighty six per cent of the 36 EGU county unions supported the notion that amateur golf in England should be run under the same umbrella, which unlocks £13 million of Sport England funding from 2013, partly to be invested in junior participation at golf clubs. One hundred per cent of the EWGA unions voted in favour. The barrier needed was 75 per cent for both.
Nigel Evans, EGU chairman, said: “This merger is in the best interests of golf and we are delighted that it has been given overwhelming support by our members. We look forward to a new era and to realising our vision for the future.
“England Golf will speak with one voice and send out the powerful, modern message that golf is a game for all, for men and women, boys and girls.
“A unified organisation, which promotes both the men’s and women’s game, will be more attractive to new golfers, will help us to grow the game, will be more appealing to commercial partners and sponsors and will mean we can be more cost effective.”
The headquarters of England Golf will initially be at the National Golf Centre at Woodhall Spa. The EWGA offices in Edgbaston will continue in use until at least October 2012.
For every woman playing golf there are six men but the merger will see the new authority’s 10-person board divided into six men and four women.