Category: Club News

Update from Golf Ireland

To: Club Communication Officers and Honorary Secretaries,

FAO: All Members

As you will be aware, the inaugural Golf Ireland National AGM is scheduled for this Saturday 27 February at 11am via online conference. Preparations for this meeting have been ongoing in recent weeks and we have been contact with your club delegates to ensure clubs are facilitated in relation to this. A key function of this meeting will be to elect the first board of Golf Ireland. This vote will be conducted electronically and delegates in each club have now received instructions in relation to this.

You will also be aware of the recent government decisions to maintain current COVID-19 restrictions. We understand the frustration and the difficult situation that many clubs are currently in with the courses remaining closed. I want to assure you all that we are engaging intensively with the relevant government departments and agencies in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to highlight the safety and health benefits of golf. All of you did a great job last year in keeping golf safe at club level. That strong track record is really standing to us now as we make the case for golf to be one of the first sports to restart as soon as the public health situation allows. Last month, Golf Ireland made a detailed written submission to the Irish Government on how golf can be safely resumed under the various levels of its Living with Covid Plan and a similar submission was made to the Northern Ireland Executive. We will continue to work closely with the public authorities to ensure that our sport is up and running again as soon as possible.

In relation to this, Golf Ireland’s Championships team and Regional Managers have been working on a revised schedule for the 2021 season to take into account the continuing challenges posed by the pandemic. With regard to the Regional and National Championships schedule, it is planned to commence the season at the end of May, subject to public health restrictions. Online entries for Championships will open on the week ending Friday 19 March. Despite the later-than-usual start, it remains Golf Ireland’s firm intention to run a comprehensive schedule. The full schedule will be published at the end of February. Golf Ireland’s Tournament Regulations are also being updated to take account of the evolving public health circumstances and will be published along with the fixture list shortly. Golf Ireland is extremely grateful to the host clubs involved for their patience, co-operation and continued enthusiasm, without which it would not be possible to provide such a comprehensive competition programme in the circumstances that currently prevail.

Meanwhile, there has been a greatly encouraging response from golf clubs to the opening of entries for the 2021 Inter-Club competitions. Over 370 clubs have entered these competitions, and at the end of this month the Regions will conduct the draws for the competitions, which will then be published on the week ending Friday 19 March. As things stand, we anticipate the deadline for completion of first round matches in most events to be set no earlier than mid-May, again depending on when matches will be allowed to commence due to public health restrictions. With regard to the four All-Ireland inter-club competitions that were suspended in 2020 at the semi-final stage due to public health restrictions, it remains Golf Ireland’s intention to conclude these before the clubs involved commence their participation in this year’s matches.

Kind regards,


Mark Kennelly

Chief Executive

Golf Ireland | Carton Demesne, Maynooth, Co. Kildare W23 R8C6

T: +353 (1) 505 4000


Message from the Club Captain

Hello Fellow Golfers.

Well what a year!  A year that started off with me getting presented with my Captain’s jacket and looking forward to representing Antrim Golf Club.  But then, as everyone knows Covid 19 put a stop to everything in March.  No golf, no GUI competitions where I could support our teams, no socialising at the bar after 18 holes on a Saturday or Sunday and none of the banter which goes with this.  All these had to be sacrificed so that everyone could stay safe.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow Committee members who continued to have monthly meetings using Zoom, especially Kenny Lee, Victor Watson and Bob Tweedale for their efforts when we eventually got back to playing again.  Also all the Centre staff, who helped to get us back, playing safely on the course again.

So now, with Christmas approaching, we maybe have some light at the end of a dark tunnel with the roll out of a vaccination for this terrible disease.  So with the hope that sometime next year we will get back to some sort of normal, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy (covid free) New Year.

Regards, David Glass.

Course Closure – Information from Leisure Services (ANBC)

IMPORTANT: Service Update

Dear More Leisure Member,

Following the announcement by the NI Executive on the 17th December, all of the Council’s Leisure facilities including golf will close from the 24th December for a period of 6 weeks.

Membership fees will continue to remain suspended until at least March 2021 and this will remain under continuous review.

Members can continue to avail of the More Live programme. Classes will continue to be available on-demand throughout closure with access available through the website. In addition, a Fitness Class workout plan is available to help you to stay on track with your fitness goals. Simply Click here to download the programme to get started.

Should you have any questions regarding this email please contact


Matt McDowell

Matt McDowell
Head of Leisure

IMPORTANT re Use of Club Time Slots and Returning Scores

Dear Member,

You are reminded of the following Club Rules.


Not Honouring Time-Slot

Following the decision made at the AGM on 5th December 2006 to change the Time Sheet from a weekly to a monthly basis, the Committee has amended the penalty for a member not honouring his time-slot to the following:

Failure of a Club Member to honour his Club time-slot twice in a rolling calendar month will result in that Member’s right to book a Club time-slot in Home competitions on the next posted Time-Sheet (MONTHLY) being suspended.

Cancellation of time-slots will be acceptable up to 7.00pm on the THURSDAY immediately preceding the weekend of the competition.


Monthly Timesheets (March 2014)

Please note that if you are unable to use your competition tee-off time you must remove your name from the timesheet before 7pm on the Thursday prior to the competition (this will allow other members to book the slot). You can remove your name in person or contact reception and ask a member of staff to remove your name on your behalf. You cannot remove another members name without permission and Centre staff have been asked not to remove another members name at your request.


Time Sheet Conditions of Use

ALL Members booking a slot on the Club Time Sheet must enter the Club Competition. Failure to adhere to this condition will result in the withdrawal of the Member’s right to enter the Club Competition or use a slot on the Club Time Sheet the following Saturday.


Returning Scores

From the beginning of December, members are requested to return their scores no later than 7pm on the day of the competition.


Removing your name in a timely manner is especially important at this time as our Club Slots are oversubscribed and it is important to give others the chance to rebook the slot being vacated.

Keep Safe,

Kenny Lee

World Handicap System Update for Members

FAO: Members of Affiliated Golf Clubs
Re: World Handicap System

On November 2nd, the World Handicap System (WHS) will come into effect in Ireland alongside the other Home Unions of England, Scotland and Wales.

While the previous CONGU Handicapping System was an incremental one, the WHS is an averaging system based using the best 8 of the last 20 scores on your record.

This new system will provide maximum enjoyment for all by enabling all golfers, from anywhere in the world, to play and compete with others on a fair basis.

At this point, all handicap records are in the process of being transferred to the new WHS system, which will replace Golfnet. Here are some things you will need to consider in preparation for the new system.

Do I need to do anything to transfer my handicap to the new WHS?

No, your handicap records will be automatically transferred and your club has been given access to the WHS platform in advance.

As the site comes online, which is likely to be during the afternoon or early evening on 2nd November, you will be able to create a new WHS system account. You will do this using your eight-digit CDH number and 4-digit PIN, both of which are printed on the rear of your GUI/ILGU Member Card. This will allow you to view your handicap index and further details of where to create this account will be shared on November 2nd.

If your PIN is missing from the back of your card, you can look it up on Golfnet or ask your Handicap Secretary to get it for you from Golfnet.

If you have lost your card then your club must order a new card for you.

What if my handicap has changed significantly?

Don’t panic!

It is likely that your handicap index will change from your current CONGU handicap. This change is not an exact science as the data from an old system (CONGU) has been used to calculate new WHS Indices. While this has been done as accurately as possible, there will be some anomalies.

The Handicap Index you view on November 2nd will fluctuate as you begin to submit eligible scores under the new system.

However, if you feel that your handicap index is significantly inaccurate there is a recommended process to follow:

  1. Members should first address their query to their Handicap Secretary/Committee.

Your club knows you and your playing ability. In the vast majority of cases your club will be able to make an adjustment to your Handicap Index and resolve the situation for you quickly. It must also be noted that this transition has been a huge effort for your club Handicap Secretary/Committee, all of whom are volunteers. We ask that you consider this workload when asking for your query to be addressed.

  1. If the Handicap Secretary/Committee cannot answer the query, the Handicap Secretary should forward it to the ILGU Handicap Advisor or GUI Handicapping Convenor/Branch Office.
  1. If the Handicap Advisor/Convenor/Branch cannot answer the query it should be forwarded to for the attention of the National Handicap Committee.
  1. If necessary, Golf Ireland will refer the query to the WHS Committee.

The process of accurately assigning scores to courses/tees has been challenging. Scores from the old system were never linked with a course/set of tees. So, we’ve had to apply a set of rules to try to map scores to courses in the new system. Whilst this process has worked for the vast majority of scores, there are some scores that have been assigned to courses/tees other than those played on the day. In cases where this has a material effect on the calculation of the WHS Index, we’re working with your Handicapping Committee to apply a fix. Please bear with us over the coming weeks, while we complete this process.

How do I use my new WHS Handicap Index?

Golf Ireland have provided Course & Slope Rating tables to all golf clubs. These tables should be positioned in clear locations around the club making it simple for golfers to find prior to beginning their round.

You simply have to choose the tees you are playing off that day and cross reference your Handicap Index on the Course & Slope Rating table to ascertain your Course Handicap. Different tees on the same course could have varying slope ratings. Your Course Handicap determines the number of strokes you give or receive off the tee set you intend to play from.

Then, depending on the format you are playing (singles, fourball etc.) you will apply a handicap allowance to your course handicap which will present you with your playing handicap.

For example: The recommended handicap allowance for individual stroke play events is 95% which means a player could have a course handicap of 15 but a playing handicap of 14.

More information on the World Handicap System can be found at

Alan Kelly

Communications & Academy Manager

Golfing Union of Ireland

Golf Clubs in Republic of Ireland required to close under Level 5 Restrictions

Note: This is for clubs in the Republic of Ireland. Other clubs copied for information.

FAO: All members

Statement from GUI and ILGU

4.45pm Wednesday 21st October 2020

Following intensive engagement over the past 48 hours, we have been informed this afternoon by Sport Ireland that, very regrettably golf clubs must close under the new level 5 restrictions.

Essential course maintenance is permitted to continue under level 5. We have sought clarity on the issue as to whether ranges/practice facilities can remain open for exempted activities. We will update clubs on this as soon as possible.

Update on World Handicapping System

FAO: All members, handicap committee, staff

To assist in spreading the messaging about the World Handicap System, I have prepared a podcast which will take listeners through the most relevant parts of the system and it should help understanding ahead of the launch on 2nd November.

I would appreciate it if you could copy and paste the message below and send it to all your members and post it on your social media channels.

Many thanks

The World Handicap System starts on 2nd November. We encourage you to listen to the podcast below which has been prepared by the GUI and ILGU.

Listen here:

Check out for more info. #WHS
Alan Kelly

Communications & Academy Manager

Golfing Union of Ireland

More Info for Members on the World Handicapping System

FAO: All Members and Handicap Committee

Thank you for your help so far in getting the message out there about the World Handicap System which arrives in Ireland on 2nd November 2020.

Don’t forget that everything your members need to know about WHS is available at and we encourage you to let your members know about this resource. We have a Frequently Asked Questions document, presentations and the Rules of Handicapping book available for download.

Attached are six more graphics which you can use on your social media channels, club website and internal club newsletters to all members.

Statement re Golf in Co. Donegal under Level 3 Covid Protocol


25th SEPTEMBER 2020

Following the Irish Government’s announcement in relation to increased restrictions due to COVID-19, golf clubs and golfers located in County Donegal must adhere to the following:

  • Golfers residing within County Donegal must not travel outside their county of residence to play golf
  • Golfers residing outside County Donegal must not travel to the county to play golf
  • All-Ireland GUI Inter-Club matches and Championships are covered by separate guidance which will be issued by GUI to clubs and participants involved.
  • Clubs may continue activities which are qualifying for handicapping purposes but all participants must abide by the domestic travel restrictions at Level 3 (see first two points above).
  • Members, their guests and staff with colds or any symptoms of COVID-19 must stay away from the golf course/clubhouse
  • Physical distancing rules are observed by all members and their guests at all times in the car park, clubhouse and on the course.
  • Personnel are on hand to monitor adherence with physical distancing rules and the rules for golfers set out in this document.
  • Tee times are booked in advance online or over the telephone. Clubs must ensure that players names (including members’ guests) are recorded on timesheets and timesheets must be kept for a period of at least 6 weeks to assist with contact tracing should the need arise.
  • Daily timesheets are restricted to a minimum of 8, 9 or 10 minute intervals. Clubs may only choose one interval for each day. If clubs choose 8+ minute intervals, play is restricted to 2 golfers per start time. If clubs choose 9+ minutes, up to 3 golfers may play per start time. If clubs choose 10+ minutes, up to 4 golfers may play per start time.
  • Those aged 70 years and over and the medically vulnerable should exercise judgement regarding the extent to which they engage with others and in activities outside home. Specific Government guidance will be provided.
  • Training: Outdoors – non-contact training only in pods of up to 15. Indoors – individual training only.
  • All cafes and restaurants, including bars, should only offer takeaway or delivery, or outdoor dining/service (maximum 15 people with strict physical distancing – please consult for details).
  • Clubhouse access should be confined to use of toilet facilities (provided they can be kept clean) and initial retrieval of golf equipment from lockers. If toilet facilities are open, clubs should adopt a one-in, one-out approach.
  • There are no social gatherings, of any size, at the facility.
  • Players are instructed not to touch the flag or flagstick.
  • Rakes are removed from the course. Players are requested to smooth bunkers using their feet or a club. (See Appendix 2 as previously published for measures which can be taken in qualifying situations)
  • Hire trolleys (electric and pull trolleys) must be sanitised prior to each use.
  • Caddies are not permitted (exception: where the group of golfers and the caddies are from the same household).

Golf Ireland will issue guidance early next week in relation to Levels 1-3 and how each one impacts on clubs and golfers alike.

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