The golfers of Northamptonshire have become the first in the country to vote to merge their ladies’ and men’s county organisations.
At two separate, simultaneous meetings, the men of the Northamptonshire Golf Union and the women of the Northamptonshire Ladies’ County Golf Association both unanimously agreed to take the historic step, which has been welcomed by England Golf.
The two governing bodies are merging into a new company – Northamptonshire Golf Ltd – to be run by a board of directors of either gender elected on the basis of 'the best person for the job'.
David Foley, President of the Northamptonshire Golf Union, commented: “This is a fantastic outcome following months of work by the men and women of the respective county committees. We have demonstrated we can work together in a harmonious and effective manner. We are all looking forward to the challenges ahead and are excited by the new opportunities this merger offers us. The future of golf in Northamptonshire is very bright.”
Mary MacLaren, County Captain of the Northamptonshire Ladies’ County Golf Association, remarked: “This is a very exciting time for Northamptonshire Golf – the task that lies ahead is both challenging and inspiring and I am confident that we will be able to enhance the business, sporting and playing opportunities within our county.”
The county organisations were supported throughout the merger process by England Golf and David Foley added: “We’d like to thank England Golf for the support we have received, it’s been brilliant.”
David Joy, the Chief Executive of England Golf, welcomed the merger and said: “We are delighted that this merger process has now been completed. All of those involved in Northamptonshire are to be congratulated on the drive and vision they have shown in trailblazing to become the first merged county.
“I am sure this will prove to be a very positive step in further strengthening golf in the county and it is another important milestone in the modernisation of England Golf.
“There are several other counties actively engaged in merger discussions and this success in Northamptonshire will, I am sure, encourage other counties to explore the many benefits of a merged county golf organisation.”
In Northamptonshire, the benefits which are envisaged include streamlining administration and the production and implementation of a co-ordinated plan for golf development in the county. Importantly, there will be one organisation representing Northamptonshire golf at local and national level.
Photograph: Mary MacLaren and David Foley (image © The Sports Journalist)