New Zealand Golf and the PGA of New Zealand are closer to a ground-breaking merger, having signed a heads of agreement document to explore the establishment of one governance entity for golf in New Zealand.
The heads of agreement specifically arises from a memorandum of understanding signed by the parties on June 23, 2011, in which the parties agreed to work together with the goal of creating a long term vision and plan for golf in New Zealand. Declining memberships and financial issues made a change necessary.
New Zealand Golf chief executive Dean Murphy said this was a landmark moment for golf in New Zealand.
"This is a very significant achievement in the administrations of New Zealand Golf and the PGA of New Zealand,'' Murphy said. "The proposed merger with the PGA of New Zealand has been some time in the making, with some hard work from both parties. We believe this alignment of our organisations and their capabilities would have a very positive impact on both creating a secure future for the game here in New Zealand, in our clubs and communities, and would also increase our ability to compete on the international stage.
"We both know that we are operating in a challenging time for golf and we are looking to meet those challenges head on. It makes great sense to combine our capabilities and develop a unified approach where a 'Whole of Golf' vision for the game is being achieved.''
Duncan Simpson, the chief executive of the PGA of New Zealand, echoed that sentiment.
"When we reviewed the PGA's strategic plan over two years ago it became clear that the key issues and challenges were all about the game of golf,'' Simpson said.
"It was obvious that these needed to be tackled under a combined strategy and vision and this was the initial thrust of our discussions with New Zealand Golf and the resulting memorandum of understanding.''
New Zealand Golf and the PGA of New Zealand have agreed that a combined and single entity would be in the best interests of all participants in golf.
They will now work through a formal process covering due diligence, structural and constitutional issues, membership input and approval, and the composition of a transition board leading to a final governance structure for the combined entity. A committee looking into this will soon be created.
The parties also plan an early release of their joint vision and plan for golf in New Zealand, which will set in motion specific strategies and activities to grow the game and address the challenges noted earlier.