Time to Change Golf Otago Admin Structure ?

In the ODT on Saturday 08/04/2017, long serving Golf Reporter, Golf Otago Life Member, Convener of Teams and Junior Administrator (for nearly 50 years), Bill Trewern published an opinion piece.

The article, which poses some interesting questions on the future shape of golf administration in Otago, is copied here

The time is right for a radical change to the way golf is administered in Otago, writes Bill Trewern.
The current model has the Golf Otago board along with four sub-associations: Metropolitan, Central Otago, North Otago and South Otago.

No other province in New Zealand has this segmented structure which was originally introduced because of Otago’s widespread boundaries. But with modern transport, travel is much easier.

Tasman is the province most affected by distance, as it includes the West Coast, Golden Bay, Nelson and Marlborough but it has one governing body.

In the modern world, it seems hard to understand the roles of the sub-associations.

There are two recent glaring examples which illustrate the administration model is flawed.The first was when the Central Otago championships were played at Arrowtown.

One Central administrator initially denied an entry from a girl. The sub-association administrator decided there would be no girls in the field.

Intervention by Golf Otago executive officer Doug Harradine ensured Otago representative Annabel Evans (15) got to play in the 36-hole tournament and was eligible for order of merit points.

Had the original decision not been overturned, the Central Otago championship would have had to be stripped of its Order of Merit status.

That change of heart mirrors that of the Muirfield Club in Scotland, which has now voted to allow women members in order to remain on the British Open hosting roster.

Last Sunday, the Otago age-group championships were played on the Balclutha course as, under a rotation system, it was South Otago’s turn.

The course was in immaculate condition, the tournament was well run and the hospitality was great. However, the difficulty young golfers encounter with travel led to one of the smallest fields in the event’s history.

The field of 23 had 18 players from the Dunedin area, four from Central Otago and only one from the hosting region.

Had the Metropolitan sub-association not put on a van to assist travel, the size of the field would have been reduced still further.

The annual inter sub-association match has recently been canned as it did little to enhance the promotion and image of Otago golf.

The event was played outside any trial time and had become a glorified social event which soaked up levies which can now be spent more productively.

A new structure should still require small local committees with the task of running local pennants and identifying and promoting young golfers.

These are the only tasks required locally.All other administration and decisions should be made by the board of Golf Otago.