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How golf is 'wasting millions' each year...


Consultants have told Golf Australia that the game is wasting between $3 million and $4 million a year because of duplication of roles in golf's unwieldy structure.

GA chief executive, Stephen Pitt, told SEN's Chasing Birdies his organisation hoped to not only merge with the seven states and territories in the near-future but also with the PGA as a secondary phase.

The consultants – KPMG, Bastian and Gemba – have confirmed the widely-held view that golf's current structure needs to be changed.

Pitt said the changes, under discussion for several years now, would initially focus on the amateur side of the game. He said five of the seven states and territories have already agreed in principle to come under the national body's banner.

The GA boss said they are "working with the other two" states, to reach an agreement, while Golf Victoria's president Stephen Spargo recently said that the Victorian body was completely in tune with the merger.

"Their (consultants') view is we're wasting about three to four million dollars a year," he said.

"We saw the corporate world go through this 30 years ago. They know you don't decentralise all your organisational tasks, your finances, those sorts of things. You centralise those things, you save money and you put the money back where it's needed."

The Golf Australia head also said that the separation of golfing bodies in Australia caused confusion for fans, sponsors, media and government organisations.

Golf Australia and the PGA of Australia have been in talks for some time in sessions known as 'Project Align', and Pitt said it was possible that in the future, the Golf Australia brand could be dropped.

"I think the task is to bring the bodies together," he said.

"The PGA brand can never be lost. There's a couple of things about it, one it's a great accreditation system that's been around for 106 years, and it's really important in terms of the training and development of professional golfers.

"Secondly it's a global brand, so it just can't be lost. The Golf Australia brand, it can go by the wayside, it's a relatively new brand, it's 10 years old, so it's far more expendable.

"I think what'll happen is there'll be a new name created for the organisation, the PGA brand will endure because it needs to endure, which is really important. It's more about what we can gain rather than what we can lose."

Pitt said the restructuring needed to happen quickly.

"There's a short-term plan around, it's not off in the never-never. The danger with trying to make fundamental changes is you say 'it's five to eight years away'. Once you talk about timelines it's someone else's problem, it's too far away. It's got to be more immediate than that. The discussions between all the bodies -- states, GA, PGA -- has always been a more immediate time frame than that."

Chasing Birdies

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