Golf Ireland Update
As you are aware, a Proposal to establish a single governing body for golf in Ireland, to be called Golf Ireland, was approved by GUI and ILGU delegates at meetings held in January 2019. Under the Proposal, it is intended that Golf Ireland will “go live” on 1 January 2021.
In the interim, a Transition Period has been instituted during which the structures and organisation of Golf Ireland are being established. This process is being led by a Transition Board*, comprising four nominees of the GUI and four nominees of the ILGU, with Tim O’Connor as the independent Chairperson. The Transition Board was appointed in February and has been meeting monthly since then.
Vision, Mission and Culture
The Transition Board has established the Vision, Mission and Culture for its work which will guide it through the remainder of the Transition Period and into the new body.
Sub-Committees and Transition Board Priorities
Work by the Transition Board to implement the Golf Ireland Proposal has commenced in a number of areas and the following Sub Committees have been established: Chief Executive Appointment; Finance and Governance; Branding, Logo and Website; Property and Office Accommodation; Handicapping; Competitions and Tournaments; Models of Club Governance; and Organisational Structures.
A key priority for the Transition Board is the appointment of a Chief Executive of Golf Ireland and an open competition has been instituted in that regard. Once appointed, the task of the Chief Executive in the first instance will be to drive forward the Transition process under the direction of the Transition Board. Further Sub Committees will be appointed by the Transition Board as needed over the coming period.
The Transition Board has liaised with Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland, who welcomed the decision of the GUI and ILGU as well as offering support and encouragement for the new body. Additionally, the Golf Ireland trademark and domain name have been secured.
The Transition Board intend for the Transition Period to culminate with the first AGM and the first Regional meetings of Golf Ireland in the final quarter of 2020, which will pave the way for the new organisation to ‘go live’ on 1 January 2021.
What this means for GUI, ILGU and CGI
Until Golf Ireland is established in 2021, and the transfer of functions from the GUI and ILGU commence, it is business-as-usual for both the GUI and ILGU. This means that clubs, players and officials continue to communicate with both Unions as they always have. The same holds true for the CGI, whose work continues as before pending the transfer across in due course to Golf Ireland.
Under the Terms of Reference of the Transition Board, the Chairperson is required to be available to provide quarterly updates to the Boards of the ILGU and GUI. He has met both Boards once in that regard. The Transition Board will regularly update GolfIreland.ie on progress as the work of the Board continues.
The Continuing Role of Volunteers
Golf is dependent on the many volunteers at club, regional and national level who undertake a range of activities. This will not change with the establishment of Golf Ireland. Current and new volunteers will be needed in the new body. If you are interested in a voluntary role in golf, you are invited to express interest with the relevant ILGU District or GUI Branch Executives to find out what roles are and will be available.
Chairperson O’Connor said: “Just as volunteers have been the lifeblood of the GUI and ILGU over the decades, so too will they be central to the success of Golf Ireland. There will be changes in how Golf is structured, with one overall governing body where previously there were two, but volunteers will continue to be a central pillar of the game in Ireland. We will be providing more detail in that regard as the Transition Period progresses.”
O’Connor added: “The establishment of Golf Ireland is an exciting new development for golf on the island of Ireland. I am encouraged by the positive start to the work of the Transition Board. Everybody is committed and dedicated to the success of the project. Working closely with the ILGU and the GUI, we look forward to ensuring that the Proposal, approved overwhelmingly by members in January, is faithfully implemented and that by January 2021 the new structures and arrangements will be in place to enable Golf Ireland to take forward its mission of securing and developing the future of golf across the island.”
*Members of Transition Board: Tim O’Connor (Chairperson); Pauline Bailie; Mary Culliton; Ian Kerr; Brege McCarrick; Joe McNamara; John Power; Brian Punch; Fiona Scott.
Alan Kelly, Communications & Academy Manager, Golfing Union of Ireland
Sean Desmond (Monkstown) captured the South of Ireland Championship on Sunday at Lahinch, seeing off the challenge of Keith Egan (Carton House) in the final by 1 hole. (See full press cover below)
Seán Ó Deasmhúnaigh agus Fionnuala Ní Chonchúir. (Raidi Na Gaeltachta interview)
We are rolling out a simple Adopt-A-Green initiative where we are asking all members for help in relation to pitch marks. Repairing pitch marks on the greens is very important to maintain the health of the greens and to ensure a smooth putting surface. Monkstown’s greens are in great shape at the moment and, with your help, we’d like to keep them that way!
The idea is very simple: As always, everyone should repair their own pitch marks, but in addition, every member is assigned a green based on the initial of their surname per the table below. As you play “your” green, we are asking you to repair as many pitch marks on it as possible. And perhaps to gently remind your playing partners to do the same. A notice of repairing pitch marks is also in the locker room for your attention.
If you have a spare minute I would ask you to view the attached clip. This clip shows how to repair pitch marks correctly. It’s no harm reminding ourselves on how to do these simple tasks correctly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Brian & Cian conquer Monkstown challenge
Monkstown Golf Club was the place to be last Saturday, with warm sunshine, a members barbeque, chipping competitions for adults and kids, it was a really enjoyable atmosphere. That wasn’t the case for everyone as there were two players out on the course completing their final round in a 180 hole challenge. Monkstown PGA Professional Cian McNamara and General Manager Brian Hurley set themselves a pretty unique challenge of playing ten rounds of golf in one day. Just after 9.30pm, Cian and Brian had their chance to sit back and enjoy the atmosphere and the hospitality. Close on 17 hours after they started out, they putted out on the 18th green for the final tine after completing all 180 holes.
The day started at 4.30am – 28 minutes before dawn broke, when both golfers hit the first ball. A crowd of members gathered at the first tee, including the Captains and President to cheer McNamara and Hurley as the set off on the challenging task. By 6.30am they had completed 27 holes of the challenge and spirits were high. Two caddies in buggies carried the clubs while the players walked the course, and a forecaddy in another buggy located the balls to ensure there was no delay in hitting the next shot. With a good rhythm, both golfers made quick work of the first four rounds, they even managed to navigate their way though the members competition that took place. With everyone playing in the club competition cheering on the two endurance golfers it was a great boost and the mood remained positive through until lunchtime. At that stage the enormity of the challenge probably started to dawn on the two lads, with six rounds completed around lunchtime.
Both Cian and Brian admitted that the afternoon was a struggle but with the support of the members they persevered and after a long 17 hours on the course, the pair completed the challenge. Well over 100 members and friends gathered around the 18th green as the clapped the players onto the green in scenes like the final of a major championship. It’s said that both golfers finished with pars, and given the resilience they both displayed nobody was prepared to argue. The original idea for the novel fundraising event came from Brian Hurley who took over as GM in Monkstown earlier this year, and he was delighted with the response from the club officers. “I came up with the idea after teasing through a number of different ideas, and when the Captains were approached first, both were very positive” explained Hurley who moved from Portmarnock in February. “The idea was approved by the management committee and their support was also very positive. When the membership were informed there was a total buy in from all of the members and the sponsor board filled up pretty quickly.”
All in all the challenge probably meant that the golfer covered over 45 miles, a few dozen golf balls, several shoe changes and a new legacy in endurance golf in Ireland. While other similar challenges have been completed in the US, the ten round challenge was definitely a unique event in Ireland. The only other similar feat in Cork was completed by Lee Valley’s Denis O’Brien who completed seven rounds at the Clashnure course in Ovens well over a decade ago. The event was a fundraiser for the Monkstown Cups and Shields teams, and give that the Club Pro and the GM are doing all of the hard work, it’s not surprising that many of the club members have jumped in to sponsor the holes. All 180 holes in the challenge were sponsored by club members and with Ronan Murphy’s Smarttech 24/7 joining in as the main sponsor for the event, the club was set to surpass their fundraising target. In the weeks before the event it became a real talking point in Monkstown, with many golfers question the reality (and sanity) of trying to complete the 180 hole challenge. While Brian and Cian succeeded, there weren’t too many people volunteering to try and match or beat their achievement.
The R&A and the USGA have announced the final changes to the Rules of Golf for 2019. These changes result from our Rules Modernisation Initiative that began in 2012 to bring the Rules up to date to fit the needs of the game today globally.
The background to the initiative and the major changes are provided on the website below, along with extensive resource materials.
Members can also log on to www.randa.org and download this app https://www.randa.org/en/rog/2019/pages/visual-search
Monkstown Golf Club
Given the extent of changes to Rule numbers, terminology and wording of Local Rules for 2019, we have updated our own Local Rules.
Our new Local Rules will be on the back of new scorecards which will be available prior to Qualifying competitions in 2019. In the meantime, copies of these new Local Rules effective January 2019 are available in the Locker Rooms, Pro Shop and will also be on the back of the Men’s Winter 15 Hole scorecards.
A good summary of the top 20 most important rule changes from 1st January 2019 is also available here
In addition to Tim O’Connor as independent Chair, there are eight other Board Directors, four nominees each from the GUI and ILGU
As you will be aware, a single governing body for golf in Ireland was approved by both GUI and ILGU delegates at meetings held in January. A transition period has begun and the first meeting of the Transition Board of Golf Ireland, chaired by Tim O’Connor (Edmondstown), was held on March 12th. In addition to Tim as independent Chair, there are eight other Board Directors, four nominees from each organisation: Pauline Bailie (Belvoir Park), Mary Culliton (The Heath), Ian Kerr (Royal Portrush), Brege McCarrick (Mullingar), Joe McNamara (The Heath), John Power (Portmarnock), Brian Punch (Castletroy) and Fiona Scott (Dun Laoghaire). The board is charged with getting Golf Ireland up and running ahead of the official launch of the body in early 2021.
What this means
Until Golf Ireland is established in 2021 and transfer of functions from the GUI and ILGU commence, it is business-as-usual for both the GUI and ILGU. This means that you continue to communicate with us as you always have done. General queries, including those relating to handicapping and rules, should be directed to your relevant GUI officer or ILGU District Official. Get into Golf programmes are still managed by the Confederation of Golf in Ireland while coaching programmes at underage level are managed by your provincial branch offices in the case of the GUI and Women and Girls’ Interprovincial Development queries should be directed to your ILGU District Executive.
Please note the contact details at https://www.golfnet.ie/contact-us for details on who to communicate with.
A Transition Period, under the direction of the Transition Board is underway as we move towards Golf Ireland. The intention is for this to culminate with the first AGM and Regional meetings of Golf Ireland in the final quarter of 2020 which will pave the way for the organisation to ‘go live’ on 1 January 2021.
The transition period will involve the organisation taking shape through the creation of a regional and national structure and the drawing up of rules and processes to underpin the activities of the organisation, all overseen by a CEO who will be appointed during the Transition Period. The Transition Board will issue quarterly reports on topics being discussed and progress being made as the work of the Board continues.
Pictures from the Officers Drive-in – Saturday, 8th December 2018.
All Photos taken by Niall O’Shea, Cork Golf News
We have recently added direct access from our website to 4 key golf news sources – Golfnet and 3 newspaper golfing information – Examiner, Irish Times and Irish Independent. We hope you find this addition useful to keep in touch with golf in Ireland and overseas.
If any member has an idea for additional news links please send your ideas and thoughts through.
This new service can be found on the NEWS section of our main menu.