Category: Club News

Clubs Approve Golf Ireland Proposal

After landmark votes at separate meetings held today, the Irish Ladies Golf Union and the Golfing Union of Ireland have formally approved the establishment of Golf Ireland.

The Irish Ladies Golf Union approved a special resolution at their AGM, while simultaneously the Golfing Union of Ireland passed a motion at a Special General Meeting. In the case of the GUI, for the first time in its history postal voting was permitted, and 292 of the Union’s 395 clubs availed of this facility.  A further 34 clubs attended and voted at the meeting. 269 clubs attended the ILGU AGM to cast their vote.


GUI RESULT 94% in favour of the proposal

ILGU RESULT  100% in favour of the proposal

The result of both votes is the outcome of a three-year process of discussion and consultation between the two Unions, internally with their respective clubs and regional bodies, and externally with key national and international stakeholders.

It will mean the game of golf in Ireland will now, for the first time, have an all-inclusive governing body.

Throughout the consultation period, the benefits of this have been acknowledged in terms of attracting funding and commercial partners, as well as providing a boost for the image of the game. Once established, Clubs will only have to deal with one body when it comes to handicapping, inter-club events, club supports and game development.

A Transition Period will immediately commence, with the intention for this to culminate with the first AGM and regional meetings of Golf Ireland happening in the final quarter of 2020, paving the way for the organisation to ‘go live’ on 1 January 2021.

The transitions period will involve the organisation taking shape through 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 early in the Transition Period and who will work with a Transitions Team.

The GUI and ILGU will continue to operate through the Transition Period with the transfer of functions and staff to Golf Ireland prior to the ‘go live’ date for the new organisation. 



“We are delighted with the outcome of the votes at our respective meetings, and thank everyone who has given this proposal their support.

“Bringing two strong organisations, the ILGU and GUI together to create a stronger, more influential organisation, Golf Ireland, will not only enhance golf in Ireland but will enhance Irish golf worldwide. The result today indicates that members of both Unions are in support of creating a new organisation which will be built around promoting core principles of equality, diversity, inclusion and excellence.

“The result today is a validation of the work put in by everyone involved. The input which has been received from our member clubs, our staff and volunteers, and everyone else who has in some way contributed to the final proposal should be recognised. The result of their efforts will be a new dynamic organisation, charged with the promotion of the game of golf, with a commitment to excellence and inclusivity.”


Clodagh Hopkins, Chairman of the Board of the Irish Ladies Golf Union

Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Chairman of the Board of the Golfing Union of Ireland

Handicap System & Rules of Golf 2019

Following the introduction of the New Rules of Golf on 1st January CONGU have produced a guide for clubs and committees in Ireland.

Topics covered in the guide include Penalty Areas; Maximum Score Competitions; and Pace of Play. This document is attached, along with the most up to date version of the CONGU handicapping scheme book.

In addition, the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU) have published a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the CONGU website (follow link to CONGU FAQs above).

Get Rules Ready for 2019

From GUI
Following on from the Rules of Golf Roadshows which took place recently and were well attended, we have prepared a short video to highlight the changes to the Rules of Golf from January 1st 2019.
The video can be watched at:
Resources from The R&A are available at
Please circulate these to your members to make them aware of the changes.
I draw your attention specifically to the requirements of CONGU for qualifying competition conditions – this is referenced in the video.
Queries from GUI clubs should go to your relevant GUI Provincial Branch Office.
Kind regards
Alan Kelly
Communications & Academy Manager
Golfing Union of Ireland

Restaurant Update

Please see the following message from Richard Stewart (Centre Manager)

Please can you convey to the Golf club members that the restaurant will no longer be available to use.  I will be looking at options for the restaurant early January 19.  I no longer have the capability to staff the restaurant area or allow access to the area. Unfortunately I have no further update or timeline for any decision on the restaurant.
I would ask that the Golf club members are made aware of this ASAP.

Many thanks.

Richard Stewart​
Allen Park & Ballyearl Manager

Clark Clinic Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children

Antrim Golf Club’s Lady Captain Vicki Peacock, (3rd from left) presenting a cheque for £1500 to the Clark Clinic Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children.

Receiving the cheque was Sister in Charge of the Clark Clinic, Janet Darragh(extreme right).

Sister Darragh said the donation was gratefully received and would be put to very good use in the Clinic which helps children with major heart conditions. The Clark Clinic looks after children from a few weeks old.

Vicki thanks everyone who donated so generously to her chosen Lady Captain’s Charity throughout the year especially on Lady Captain’s Day and Lady Captain’s Bunker.

Also pictured are Eithne Totten Treasurer and Marian McAllister Lady Vice Captain.

Golf Ireland Update

Golf Ireland geared for the good of the game
There is a substantial risk to the popularity of the sport and it has become clear that golf as a game is not meeting the needs of modern Ireland.

For clubs, a vote for Golf Ireland will mean an increase in support from the governing body

What is good for the game of golf in Ireland?

In their quest for answers to that question, the Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golf Union developed a dream for what a new national governing body for golf could be. Following extensive consultation with clubs and other key stakeholders, Golf Ireland is now being proposed as one body for all golfers on the island of Ireland and clubs will vote on this proposal on January 19th.

As clubs have been all too painfully aware, membership has been in decline for some time while the average age of participants continues to rise. There is a substantial risk to the popularity of the sport and it has become clear that golf as a game is not meeting the needs of modern Ireland.

Bringing Ireland’s two golf Unions together was identified as an essential first step to meet the challenges facing the sport. In practical terms, future funding from both Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland will be contingent upon golf having a mixed gender governance structure. Golf Ireland will fulfil the requirements of the Governance Code for Community and Voluntary Organisations, as recommended by Sport Ireland. The principles of this code are not currently being met by the GUI or the ILGU by virtue of their single gender governance structures.

For clubs, a vote for Golf Ireland will mean an increase in support from the governing body. The range of services currently provided by the Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI) will be delivered under the Participation and Club Support Department of Golf Ireland. These services will be enhanced and expanded, giving clubs greater resources available to help with the things that really matter: membership, governance and competition.

Clubs across the island of Ireland are now being asked for their approval so that Golf Ireland can become a reality. On 19 January 2019, each Union will ask their member clubs to vote on the Golf Ireland proposal. Naturally, clubs are wondering what a future with Golf Ireland will look like.


1. What are the benefits that Golf Ireland will bring? The game of golf in Ireland will have an all-inclusive governing body for the first time, which is good for promotion; which is good for attracting capital funding; which is good for attracting commercial partners; which is good for the image of the game. Golf Ireland is good for the game.

2. Will Golf Ireland interfere with the running of our club? Clubs are the bedrock of golf in Ireland. Golf Ireland will support clubs and advise on best practice models to help clubs progress towards improved governance and management practices. Golf Ireland will not interfere with the day-to-day running of its affiliate clubs.

3. What changes will we see in our club? Clubs will only have to deal with one body in future when it comes to handicapping, inter-club events, club supports and game development. There will be no requirement for separate men’s and women’s clubs and each club will be free to decide whether to move to a single structure. Clubs will also be free to retain their existing structure.

As Ryder Cup winning captain Paul McGinley noted in his letter to golf clubs supporting the creation of Golf Ireland: “This is golf’s way of responding to the needs of golfers in modern society.”

As per the end of 2017, there are 395 GUI fee-paying clubs and 374 ILGU fee-paying clubs. All clubs currently affiliated to the two Unions will automatically be affiliated to Golf Ireland on its establishment date.

Golf has suffered a substantial drop in playing numbers from its peak in the mid-2000s. Although golf remains one of the most popular sport and exercise activities in Ireland, it is clear that the game must adapt. Dr Pete Lunn – author of a 2017 ESRI report entitled ‘Golf in Ireland: A Statistical Analysis’ – stated that:

“Golf is unusual among sporting activities in its appeal to older people and link to lifelong health benefits. But participation is declining and the challenge for those who promote the game is to find ways to engage the modern generation of younger adults and their families.”

The founders of the GUI and ILGU were sporting pioneers, putting in place structures that would be imitated the world over. Both Unions remain as ambitious as they were at the beginning and Golf Ireland, which has been many years in the making, is the result of a careful and courageous mission to meet the needs of golf and golfers in this modern age.


Alan Kelly MPRII? Dip ESA?
Communications Manager

Golfing Union of Ireland
A: Carton Demesne | Maynooth | Co Kildare | W23 R8C6 | Ireland
T: +353 (0)1 5054000 | M: +353 (0)870 679 879 | W:

Ladies Prize Winners 2018

Well done to all the ladies who won prizes this year!! Attached are a few photos from the night

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