Cork Golfers selected for Golf Ireland Regional Panels

Barry O’Connell (Douglas)who was selected on the Boys Under 14 Area Development Panel.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

While courses are still closed, the planning for 2021 continues in Golf Ireland.  Last week the new governing body announced the area pathway panels with 30 Cork golfers selected for the development programmes.  Douglas and Bandon topped the pile, Douglas saw seven of their young golfers selected between the three boys groups and the two girl groups, while Bandon had seven girls selected for the programme.

Douglas youngster Justin Dennehy was selected for the U12 programme, Barry O’Connell made the U14 panel while Shane Collins is on the U16 panel.  In the girls panels Hailery Martinez and Julie Kingston are on the U14 panel, and Rhea Itty and Aoife Keating made the U17 panel.  Bandon’s Alannah McCarthy, Ellen O’Mullane made the Girls U14 panel while Katie Hannon, Rachel Gaffney, Muireann Continue reading

Funding Boost for Cork Clubs

Fermoy Golf Cub

Cork Golf clubs got a big boost over the weekend when Golf Ireland announced the recipients of a new grant scheme.  Sixteen clubs received almost €300,000 in funding from Sport Ireland.  The Club Resilience fund aims to provide short term financial help to golf clubs to support business resilience and sustainability after Covid 19.  Fermoy were one of the clubs to be successful in this round of funding and Manager Denis Twomey was delighted with the news.  “This resilience grant will help greatly towards a few key projects and the club is very grateful for the assistance.  We are planning to develop our terrace area to cover the full length of the clubhouse overlooking the first tees.  This will give Continue reading

Inter-Club Handicaps Announced

Entries are now open for the 2021 Inter-Club competitions.  Entry details for the national competitions were sent to golf clubs last week, with Golf Ireland also confirming the key handicapping information that will apply this year.  2021 will bring a few changes, with the old name of the GUI and ILGU Cups and Shields replaced with the new name of Inter-Club competitions becoming the central club events for Golf Ireland.  In January the new single governing body for amateur golf in Ireland officially took over from the Irish Ladies Golf Union and the Golfing Union of Ireland which had been responsible for the sport for over 100 years.  2021 promises Continue reading

Golfers return to the fairways

Golfers returned to the fairways on Tuesday for the first time in five weeks, and for those hardy souls who put up with the cold and damp of winter it was a welcome return.  While many golfers put away the clubs, the hardy winter golfers will have been looking forward to the re-opening of courses.

There was widescale disappointment in late October as courses were closed as part of the level five measures.  Pleas that golf, as a naturally socially distanced sport could continue went unheard.  Although golf like some other sports was deemed low risk, it seemed that the ban on non-essential travel took priority.  Although disappointed, most golfers looked forward to a Continue reading

New Munster Regional Executive Elected

Jim Long who was elected Chairman of the Golf Ireland Munster Regional Executive

The evolving face of club golf in Ireland took another step forward last week with the completion of the Munster Regional Executive Committee elections.  Monkstown’s Jim Long is the inaugural Chairman of the provincial arm of Golf Ireland, the new single governing body for golf in Ireland.  The former Chairman of Munster Golf will lead a 16 strong committee of regional representatives after a three-stage election process that saw the first regional executive selected.

This marked the completion of another stage of the transition to Golf Ireland, ending the century long administration of the game by the Golfing Union of Ireland for men, and the Irish Ladies Golf Union for ladies.  Over the last three years, golf’s Continue reading

Golf is getting back to normal

Golf is getting back to normal, there are plenty of golfers back on the courses in Cork although it’s a bit slower than many golfers would like.  Since Monday 8th June the sport entered the second phase of the return to play protocol which has been developed by the ILGU and GUI.  Both bodies have been proactive in getting golfers back on the course, golf was one of the first sports to be allowed to reopen.  Last week should have seen two major developments, the extension of the travel limit to 20km and the return of competitions.  While the travel limit was extended to the full county, competitions unfortunat Continue reading

Golf’s Reopening

In 11 days most golf courses in Cork will reopen following the Government announcement on Friday last.  Most golfers will have welcomed the inclusion of golf in the first phase of the lifting of restrictions although questions remain on the 5km limit for non-essential travel.  This sparked plenty of debate online over the weekend with many citing that the majority of members would be excluded if the 5km rule was not relaxed.

Despite that restriction the good news is that clubs will reopen on the 18th, and golf will return to a similar format to what golfers experienced prior to the lockdown.  Social distancing, no course accessories like flags and rakes, and small groups of two or four are likely to feature in the initial phase.  With the restrictions still applying to hospitality settings it’s unlikely that clubhouses and restaurants will open on the 18th May.  The work of the governing bodies has been instrumental in ensuring that golf was included in the earlier stages of relaxing the lockdown rules.  The GUI and ILGU have been busy in the past few weeks, liaising with the authorities on a range of issues.  Those topics included the essential maintenance of courses which was not initially included in the original restrictions, as well the financial impact of the crisis on clubs and building a pathway for the safe resumption of golf.

A statement said that the governing bodies “have prepared a comprehensive draft protocol on the safe resumption of play on which we have been engaging with the Government over recent weeks.  We now intend to finalise this protocol in the coming week, in consultation with the Government, and issue clear advice to our member clubs well in advance of the reopening of courses on 18 May.  That advice will emphasise the absolute necessity of golf clubs adhering to the terms of the protocol for safe play.”  The statement asked club and golfers for patience until the final advice is released.  “In the initial stage, play will be for members only and competitions will not be permitted.  We would ask clubs to refrain from opening timesheets for booking until the protocol is published, as it will contain vital information on group sizes and timesheet intervals.”

The statement also confirmed that the governing bodies will also continue to work closely with the Government in the coming weeks and months to seek support for golf clubs that have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 restrictions.  There has been lots of commentary on the impact of the closure of courses for over a month, the reduction of future green fee and society bookings, and the knock-on effect that it will have on the financial position of many clubs.

Golfing Bodies support Clubs

​​It should have been a breakthrough year for golfing bodies in Ireland but like so many other sports the goalposts have moved.  Both the GUI (Men) and ILGU (Ladies) recently held their final Annual General Meetings, and it looked like the biggest item on the agenda for 2020 was the transition to Golf Ireland, the new single governing body for the amateur game in Ireland.  Instead, both bodies along with the Confederation of Golf in Ireland.  The national bodies have directly engaged at the highest level with government agencies to establish recovery support measures.  As part of their efforts to support golfers and clubs, a club survey will follow next week to help Unions identify the economic impact on the sport and the GUI, ILGU & CGI hope to outline immediate supports available.  In a statement issued to all clubs over the weekend the Unions acknowledge the cha Continue reading