Given the thread this article may be of interest to a few of you
Club golf was a bit half baked without enough money to do anything more than introduce kids to golf. In reality any kid who showed interest would be reliant on a keen parent or grand parent to spend a bit of time & money taking them to play more.
It's not like football or Rugby where a parent can drop their kid off with a fiver, a pair of boots and a bottle of water and collect them 2 hours later.
Personally I'm not massively bothered about the struggling clubs. Places will find their level and if they don't have enough members, adapt or close. Harsh reality, but we can't be too sentimental... and even with 100 or so closures Scotland would still have plenty of golf courses and facilities. Most of these courses who close will be the ones who have done very little to attract youngsters. Have offered them few playing rights and given members the time of day who moaned about kids on the course or in the club house.
Def don't see the point in Scottish Golf being in charge of elite development. Stick to club administration, have a modest budget and concentrate on that. Completely agree about the performance centres being the main place for developing talent. The problem is funding them. Sure a levy could work, but it would need to see results and for clubs to see activity their members could benefit from.
Sponsorship is really a leap of faith at that level. Give us Â£10,000 a month and you can be primary sponsor of the next 5 guys we produce who turn pro?
Ideally Paul Lawrie and Stevie G produce a few tour pros who go on to make millions and give a bit back etc. Obviously Lawrie and Gallacher have a few years left in them, and you'd guess if one of them won â‚¬1M in Turkey this year a fair chunk of that would go into their foundations. But I assume the main funding for this is from the pro's themselves as well as parents who are paying a chunk of the coaching and all of the equipment.
Meanwhile England has produced Danny Willett and Tyrell Hatton in recent years, from humble beginnings without well off families, who have become top players. Scotland is still some way off a home grown top 100 player.
Perhaps Grant Forrest or Connor Syme, but at 25 and 23 respectively, their trajectories are slow.
At least there is a young chap on his way back to Banchory, staring at a silver medal in the passenger seat of his dads car. So all hope is not lost.