Depending on your line of work, the first week in a new job can either be as fraught as getting parachuted in behind enemy lines during a major military offensive or as genteel as meeting Marjorie and Doreen in Human Resources.

“It was a baptism of fire for me,” said Andrew McKinlay as he reflected on a tumultuous few days with the Scottish Football Association back in 2012. “The first day was dealing with a complaint against Neil Lennon for shouting at a referee. The third day was to deal with a Rangers complaint, who had not long gone into administration.”

Yesterday, in the sumptuous boardroom of Aberdeen Standard Investments in Edinburgh, McKinlay had a slightly less torrid time of it as he began his tenure as the new chief executive of Scottish Golf. His biggest issue was trying to get the golf writers away from the complimentary breakfast buffet.

McKinlay’s time at the SFA was hardly plain-sailing but there are plenty of choppy waters to navigate in the domestic golf scene. The governing body has suffered financial cuts and job losses while something akin to a civil war has been raging between those running the game and the people it serves following a contentious AGM in which a proposal to increase the annual levy from £11.25 to £15 was voted down.

The phrase ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’ springs to mind but, as he unveiled the good news that Aberdeen Standard Investments will be continuing its long running relationship with Scottish Golf for another two years, McKinlay is relishing the challenges ahead.

“My first interview was the same week as Scottish Golf’s first national conference so I went to that,” he said. “That could have gone two ways for me personally. I could have left thinking ‘God, why do I want to be involved in that’ or thinking ‘this is really exciting and a huge opportunity’. I left feeling quite motivated and invigorated.

“Since then things have happened that are not ideal, but that doesn’t faze me. I genuinely feel that if this job is done well, then it is the best job in Scottish sport.”

The result of March’s AGM, and the unsavoury comments and accusations that came out of it, could have had McKinlay heading for the hills. The issues that he faces are not new. Declining memberships, struggling clubs, cumbersome layers of governance and a grim resistance to any sort of change continue to be a plook on the complexion of the game in its cradle.

“Working at the SFA has probably served me a good apprenticeship,” he said. “I am quite resilient. I think I understand members’ organisations and the politics of members’ organisations.

“Scottish Golf needs to seek a real clarity as to what its purpose is. We need to make sure we are connecting properly with our members as there’s obviously something they are not 100 per cent happy about.

“I want to get out there and listen to them. The intention is to have another golf convention at the end of the year. My gut feeling is that 90 per cent of club members don’t actually know (that they pay the affiliation fee). I was speaking to guys at golf on Saturday and one said, ‘do I pay this £11.25?’.

“If they do know about it, they will probably say it is just to have a national handicap but we need to explain that it is for the development of the game in the country. I have had a look at the committee structure and it doesn’t look as bad as I thought it might, but there are things that we would certainly look at doing differently.”

A member at Pollok on Glasgow’s southside, McKinlay is a passionate golfer and, despite Scottish Golf’s troubles, he is committed to the cause.

“When the chief executive’s job at the SFA came up I did not put my hat in the ring, I can assure you” added McKinlay who briefly held the Hampden post on an interim basis in the wake of Stewart Regan’s departure.

“There were rumours flying around all over the place that I was going to change my mind but I wanted a new challenge. I always say that if you are leaving a job, always make sure the pull factors are bigger than the push factors otherwise it’s not the right job. The pull factors for this job were massive. As soon as it became an opportunity I wanted it.

“I’ll be brutally honest, I had a real passion for football before I went to the SFA but that diminished quite quickly.

“You start to look at the game in a different way. This will be a different job and I don’t have any worries about suddenly not wanting to play golf at the weekend.”