Just 12 hours after announcing Andrew McKinlay had left Scottish Golf, the governing body revealed his replacement

Only hours after announcing Andrew McKinlay had stepped down as chief executive, Scottish Golf have confirmed that Karin Sharp had been invited to “lead the organisation with immediate effect”.

The governing body stunned the world of golf on Tuesday evening when McKinlay decided to “step aside” to help guide the organisation through the coronavirus pandemic.

In a new statement this morning, Scottish Golf announced a “number of key steps to ensure a sustainable future for Scottish Golf, along with targeted initiatives to support their 575 affiliated clubs through these extremely challenging times.”

They had already significantly reduced staffing numbers by using the Government furlough scheme and had cancelled the entirety of their 2020 events and performance programmes “enabling available resources to be reprioritised towards club golf support”.

Eleanor Cannon, Scottish Golf chair, said: “The Board and Executive Team have had to make very tough decisions in order to focus on ensuring we are in a sustainable position going forward when courses reopen.

“With many clubs feeling the financial strain, which in turn has had a knock-on effect on our income, we have prioritised expenditure accordingly. Now more than ever we need strong leadership backed up by robust actionable plans.

“I am very pleased to announce that The Board has invited Karin Sharp to lead the organisation with immediate effect, from her current role as Chief Operating Officer.

“Karin has outstanding operational pedigree gained through various leadership roles within RBS where her career spanned 23 years, predominately in their Corporate & Commercial Banking Division.

“She joined Scottish Ladies Golfing Association in November 2013 as Chief Operating Officer and, following the amalgamation in 2015, has ultimately continued in the same role for Scottish Golf.”

Sharp added: “In response to these unprecedented circumstances we have issued a short financial health check survey to our member clubs which seeks to gather key information, specifically around the impact of COVID-19 to golf club operations.

“This detail will directly contribute to, and significantly inform, our ongoing dialogue with Scottish Government in relation to the struggles faced by golf in Scotland.

“This information is crucial. To enable us to represent the situation accurately and effectively, I urge all clubs to complete the survey at the earliest opportunity.

“In addition, this Thursday we will host the first of our weekly support webinars, open to all member golf clubs. We have brought together experts from golf club management, finance, marketing and commercial disciplines that are on hand to offer advice on the significant challenges our clubs are currently facing.”

Scottish Golf said Sharp would be supported by Iain Forsyth, the organisation’s chief commercial officer.

Both have voluntarily decided to take a 20 per cent pay cut for the foreseeable future.

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