IMPORTANT —-One Governing Body for Golf in Ireland, to be named Golf Ireland

BACKGROUND

The Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golf Union have, since November 2015, been discussing the potential establishment of One Governing Body for Golf in Ireland, to be named Golf Ireland. 

The Discussions Group (DG) was established and has four representatives from each organisation. Meetings have been facilitated by Jane Williams, Sia Partners who has knowledge of the workings of each organisation.

Discussions Group Members

Frank Bowen – Golfing Union of Ireland
Teresa Byrne – Irish Ladies Golf Union
Pat Finn – Golfing Union of Ireland
Sinead Heraty – Irish Ladies Golf Union
Brege McCarrick – Irish Ladies Golf Union                                                            
John Power – Golfing Union of Ireland
Ethel Ruddock – Irish Ladies Golf Union
Kevin Stevens – Golfing Union of Ireland
Facilitator
Jane Williams – Sia Partners
Project Manager
Sarah Crowe 
 
Why are GUI and proposing to establish Golf Ireland?
 The creation of one governing body for golf will make it easier to promote the game. It will project a clear and consistent message that golf in Ireland is inclusive, contemporary in its approach and in keeping with modern societal views, while continuing to be healthy, challenging and fun. Ireland is the only country
in the world that still has two separate governing bodies for golf, divided along gender lines. Membership numbers in clubs are challenging and the appeal of golf in Ireland, indeed as in the rest  of the world, continues to decline. We need to do everything in our power to encourage participation by both men and women, boys and girls. Golf in Ireland was thriving in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, with approximately 220,000 people holding membership of affiliated clubs and playing the game. Over the last decade that number has fallen by nearly 40,000, as current membership numbers show 183,000 golfers as members of GUI and ILGU clubs.

What are the benefits that Golf Ireland will bring?
Golf Ireland will have one vision and one strategy, for both men and women, to lead golf into the future. There will be increased emphasis on support and services for the member clubs of Golf Ireland. Family-friendly initiatives and promoting an inclusive environment will be at the forefront of Golf Ireland’s objectives. The aim of these initiatives will be to help attract more people to the game, to support ongoing harmonious relations in our clubs the length and breadth of the country, and to have families say as a group that “this is a sport for us.” This will inevitably heighten interest among commercial sponsors and Government bodies, as golf will be a more attractive proposition. Golf Ireland will work tirelessly to ensure the future is bright for the game of golf in Ireland.

What is Golf Ireland’s stance on equality?
Golf Ireland will seek to ensure that clubs treat all members fairly and that rights and entitlements are determined by membership categories and not by gender.

Can I just continue to play my golf?
Of course, the change will not adversely impact on golfers’ enjoyment of the game. Clubs can continue to run their own competitions for members and visitors, as they currently do,  with both men’s competitions and ladies’ competitions. Golf Ireland will provide guidance and support to clubs and best
practice guidelines, as our sport moves to embrace a more modern culture.

Will the affiliation fee be the same for men and women in Golf Ireland and if so, what will that fee be?
Yes, a single affiliation fee will be in place for both men and women, and  a lower rate will be in place for junior
golfers. The affiliation fee will be paid by each club to Golf Ireland for every club member. The adult fee will be €24 in Ireland and £20 in Northern Ireland. The junior fee will be €5 and £3.50. These amounts will be fixed for the first two years of Golf Ireland.

 
Beech Park Golf club will be sending delegates to both the GUI and ILGU meetings to be held on 19th January next and intend to vote in favour of this exciting new step.  If any member wishes to raise an issue with the proposal please make your concern known to the Captain, Lady Captain or Hon. Secretary before 5pm on Monday 14th January.
 
A copy of the presentation issued to Beech Park from the GUI/ILGU is available at the link below: