How and why did the union come about? For more than 190 combined years, the SCGA and PLGA have supported the interests of Southern California golfers. Both associations came to a mutual agreement that it would benefit golf as a whole to combine the strengths of both the SCGA and PLGA, and unify golf in Southern California.
What will the combined golf association be called in 2011? The SCGA (Southern California Golf Association) will remain the name of the combined associations.
What is the impact on SCGA members? SCGA members will see an increase in advocacy issues at the local and state levels as well as expanded tournament opportunities.
What happens to public golf championships and the PLGA’s major events? Public golf championships will continue to thrive and be a vital part of the SCGA’s comprehensive tournament program. The SCGA’s tournament staff will continue to administer the PLGA Amateur Championship and PLGA Senior Amateur Championship along with qualifying events for each championship. City events currently supported by the PLGA, like the L.A. Match Play Championship, will continue under the management of the SCGA. The PLGA’s Team Play event will join the SCGA’s 110-year-old Team Play program, while the Champion of Champions event will be incorporated into the SCGA Tournament of Club Champions event. Those portions of the PLGA’s “recreational” tournament program that continue to command an audience will be considered for folding into the SCGA’s Member Outings program.
Who will lead and support golf’s public sector? Under the leadership of Craig Kessler, the current PLGA Executive Director, the SCGA’s community outreach will dramatically improve. Golfers from across the Southland will be represented on local and state issues, including legislative land use and environmental affairs.
Whose idea was this? Who approached whom? The SCGA approached the PLGA in 2009, recognizing the similar vision of both organizations and a desire to unify golf in Southern California. In the distant past, the SCGA only accepted private clubs. Today, the commitment of the SCGA has evolved to serve the needs of the entire Southern California golfing community. The PLGA and SCGA Boards evaluated the option and, after several meetings, unanimously agreed to unite. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by both Boards on July 26, 2010.
When does this union become effective? The marriage of associations will become effective January 1, 2011. At that time, PLGA members will transition to full membership in the unified SCGA. PLGA members will begin to see communications from the SCGA immediately.
What’s the impact on golfers? The impact on golfers is a positive one. Golfers who are not already members of the SCGA will have complete access to the SCGA’s full roster of programs and benefits, including SCGA Member Outings at high-end, daily-fee courses and private clubs for reduced prices; the SCGA’s FORE Magazine and Directory of Golf; an official USGA Handicap Index, access to Rules seminars and other training from SCGA staff; a comprehensive new SCGA Web site and online golf directory; and several other significant programs set to launch in early 2011. Additionally, golfers will have expanded member services and increased support for issues affecting golf, like green fees, legislative and environmental concerns.
What is the impact on Southern California golf as a whole? The SCGA will now represent a unified voice for golfers in Southern California, regardless of public or private affiliation. These golfers will have access to the SCGA’s expanding list of resources, services and support previously only available to the SCGA contingent. Additionally, this union provides the SCGA with a strong relationship with city officials, which will help the SCGA better defend golfers’ needs and rights. The SCGA and PLGA are stronger as a whole than the sum of its parts, and the resulting impact on golf as a whole is a very positive one.
Why is this union better for golf? The consolidation of these organizations brings a stronger voice and impact within the golf industry for Southern California golfers, and increased support for golfers’ and golf facility rights.
What happens to each association’s Board of Directors? The SCGA will inherit three of the PLGA’s Board members, nearly doubling the public golfer representation on the SCGA Board. Those three members will be nominated by the PLGA and interviewed by the SCGA Nominating Committee.
How many members will the SCGA acquire? How many clubs? With the PLGA’s endorsement, the SCGA will acquire 42 golf facilities. Additionally, 131 member clubs – which the SCGA refers to as Affiliate Clubs – will move to the SCGA. These Affiliate Clubs include several men’s clubs attached to current SCGA-member golf facilities. In total, the SCGA will acquire 17,000 individual members, or 13,000 unique members, as several thousand Southland golfers chose to maintain dual memberships.
What are the financial implications of the consolidation? The consolidation is neutral to the overall finances of the SCGA. The opportunity is to provide a greater range of services to Southland golfers. The SCGA-PLGA union was not financially driven.
Will the PLGA Foundation come together with the SCGA Foundation as well? Yes, the PLGA’s Foundation will transition into the SCGA Foundation. The SCGA Foundation will evaluate current programs that the PLGA Foundation administers and adopt the programs that fall into the mission of the SCGA Foundation. It will also make every effort to maintain all PLGA donor relationships. While the PLGA Foundation does not have any staff members, the SCGA Foundation Board of Directors will take on one board member from the PLGA or PLGA Foundation Board, as determined by a nomination and interview. Those who have donated to the PLGA Foundation can rest assured that their monies will be expended on the projects, programs and initiatives that encouraged their contribution.
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