In his last week in the job at Woodhall Spa, Nick Pink reckons the sport can be both "bolder and braver"

Will Europe’s Solheim Cup heroics make a real impact on the game, or increase diversity at clubs? Outgoing England Golf chief executive Nick Pink thinks they won’t make a “blind bit of difference” as he leaves the organisation this week.

Pink, about to take up a new role as CEO of England Hockey, called on the sport to be “bolder and braver” – stressing the collective ability to create change.

He questioned the relationship between golf’s hugely successful events, such as the Solheim Cup, and the difference they make at the grassroots.

Pink argued a “real disconnect” exists there.

“The great strength we have got is our collective ability to change things,” he said when asked if he’d do anything differently across his time in the role. “We’re working quite hard across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, and with the R&A, and I think we can a bit bolder. I think we can be a bit braver.

“What that means is not just being left field and chucking stuff out. But I think we can sometimes be a bit stronger about what we believe and why we think this is really important.

“England Golf doesn’t have a platform, necessarily, to do that because we’re different to the ECB and the FA and others, who have major rights and holdings and events and everything else.”

He added: “You look at those event holders and rights holders and say what they are espousing about the game and how important is it to start to communicate effective messages of change.

“It is [down to] those bodies. We’ll support them, absolutely, but I think we can just be a bit bolder and braver about stuff rather than hiding behind certain events or competitions.

“Because they will always be successful. They will always exist. The four majors will always exist. The Ryder Cup will always exist.

“The Solheim Cup was immensely successful, this last time, but is it really impacting on the game? Is it really making a difference to the diversity in clubs?

“Is it really making a difference to all the stuff we have just been discussing? I don’t think it makes a blind bit of difference.

“So there’s a real disconnect that exists there.”

But Pink believes the upcoming World Handicap System, and the controversial Independent Golfer proposals, offer real opportunities in the years ahead.

“The WHS is a great opportunity for the game,” he added. “It’s a great opportunity to reset a few things that are really important to do and I think, in the next five years, it will almost as be as if nothing has really changed but, fundamentally, it has.

“I think there will a bit of disharmony, or a few people that don’t like it over the next year or two years, but in five years it will just be the complete norm and be completely accepted.”

“Potentially [the same exists] therefore for the Independent scheme. It is no coincidence that every other federation or organisation is looking at something similar. You then ask the question: what is the offer to them?

“Not many things that you start to look at. And if that’s important, and it’s a means in which we can support clubs and that whole structure, then, yes, absolutely we will do it. Those two things immediately jump out.”

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