HEAR that beeping noise in the background? No, it’s not the removal van reversing out of Ibrox with Pedro Caixinha’s belongings but the board of Scottish Golf backing away from proposals that have caused quite a stooshie for the amateur game’s governing body.

Instead of using December 2 as a date for a special general meeting where stakeholders would vote on new and contentious proposals for a four-year strategy aimed at bringing additional funds into the domestic game and bolstering self-sufficiency, that day will now be used for an open forum to discuss and debate a way forward.

The period of consultation has now been extended until March while Scottish Golf is dipping into its reserves to bridge the initial funding gap.

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The board of Scottish Golf has been flung into turmoil with the recent resignation of chief executive, Blane Dodds, who had been the public face of the new proposals which, in certain quarters, had gone down like a sack of spanners. The strategy, which included a notion of increasing the annual affiliation fee that club members pay from £11.25 to £24, caused considerable consternation.

This was, essentially, Dodds’ brainchild and in the wake of his departure, Eleanor Cannon, the chairperson of Scottish Golf, declared the governing body would press on with the wide-ranging but not widely popular proposals.

Not now, though. It seems it’s back to the drawing board and those who did not like the plans that were proposed will now be encouraged to come up with a better alternative.

“In the interests of transparency, the December meeting will be a public event to bring some of the many private conversations that take place about the future of the game to a wider audience,” read a statement from Scottish Golf.

“On December 2, we want to engage golfers in debate and discussion on a number of subjects. These include the key trends and challenges facing golf in Scotland and the potential impact of these on club revenue and membership fees; what feedback and surveys suggest members increasingly value and demand for their membership fee; addressing our ageing demographic profile and low uptake of membership amongst young people and women; embracing digital and technology capability to enhance the experience for all golfers; reviewing governance and structure; and engaging our communities to grow club revenue.”

In a summary of the general health of clubs throughout Scotland prior to his departure, Dodds suggested that “there are perhaps 100 clubs that are very successful, maybe 100 in risk of serious issues while 300 or so are surviving.”

If those involved at all levels can’t find agreement on a joined-up strategy, then the future for clubs will merely be an exercise in survival of the fitness. It could be a savage, natural cull.

Scottish Golf officials stated their immediate priority is finding a new chief executive. They are reportedly ‘pleased’ by the ‘calibre of potential candidates’ .

Rumours that one early note of interest has arrived from a Mr P Caixinha have proved unfounded ... for now, anyway.