Members complain over deal to attract retired police officers
Members of a top Scottish golf club have, according to a newspaper report, ‘mutinied’ over a membership deal that the club has for retired police officers.
Several golf clubs provide deals for public servants – last year, for instance, we reported on Deer Park, also in Scotland, which offered two rounds for the price of one for any members of the Scottish Police Recreation Association (SPRA), Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Scottish Prison Service on standard green fee rates.
According to the Daily Record, Cawder Golf Club, near Glasgow city centre, introduced the £220 deal – full membership is £550 per year – in a bid to attract new members to the club at a time when clubs especially in Scotland have been struggling.
However, the newspaper states that some members have said they were not told of the subscription discount and at the last AGM the club committee was “slammed for setting up the ‘discriminatory’ deal for the SPRA.”
The paper adds that “the club’s vice-captain, ex-policeman Alan Gall, resigned just before Christmas after claiming he was subjected to unacceptable personal harassment over the deal.
“And captain David Reid wrote to members to berate them for ‘bringing shame’ on the club for the vitriol the committee faced.”
After the fall-out from the AGM, the club’s captain wrote: “This has been a shameful passage of events in my opinion.
“There was a lot of criticism from ill-informed members who don’t seem to understand we need a new revenue model for the club or we will cease to exist.
“The deal we offered police officers was the same as deals offered by other clubs.
“It may be that we pitched it too low but we have been slaughtered for making an effort to get the club on a better financial footing.
“We had emails from around 30 members complaining about the SPRA and I’m sure many members were approving of it.”
A member is quoted as saying: “Golf clubs have been struggling recently and Cawder lost more than 100 members at the latest renewal date in October.
“The SPRA deal gave retired police annual fees of £220 at a time when ordinary members were facing fees of £550.
“The members weren’t consulted and a few hit the roof when they heard police officers should be getting a red carpet deal.
“The AGM was raucous. Alan Gall has been a popular member and he’s had a lot of appreciation for the work he has done at the club but he felt the criticism went way over the top and he quit his role as vice-captain.”
The deal was taken up by 16 former officers.
Another member said: “The committee badly misjudged this and the best thing they could have done would have been to propose the idea at the AGM.”