Both the ILGU and the GUI will hold respective meetings where affiliated clubs will be invited to attend to vote on the Golf Ireland Proposal. The ILGU AGM and the GUI EGM will both take place on 19th January 2019. ILGU AGM - Red Cow Moran Hotel, Dublin - 12:30pm. GUI EGM - Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim, Co. Meath - 12:30pm.
The Irish Ladies Golf Union and the Golfing Union of Ireland 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 ILGU and GUI 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.