Golf Ireland geared for the good of the game - 22 November 2018 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.
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 structure.
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.
KEY QUESTIONS FOR CLUBS 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.
Golf Ireland Essential to Save a Game in Decline - 12 November 2018 Golf has been in decline for more than a decade in Ireland. Time’s up. Golf as a game is not meeting the needs of modern society and across the globe, the game’s governing bodies have been fighting this challenge.
Today, Ireland stands alone as the only country in the world to have two separate governing bodies for men’s and women’s golf. Globally, golf has embraced equality and inclusivity. Through the proposal to create Golf Ireland, now the island of Ireland is poised to follow suit by establishing modern governance structures and embarking on a progressive strategy.
Three years ago the Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golf Union began work on the development of a new single governing body for golf in Ireland. Together both unions have proudly served Irish golf for more than 125 years but both bodies recognised the need for change in order to revitalise the game. After careful deliberation and extensive consultation with all of golf’s stakeholders, the GUI and ILGU delivered their proposal for Golf Ireland in August 2018. 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, the GUI and ILGU will decide their future. Each union will ask their member clubs to vote on the Golf Ireland proposal. Naturally, clubs and their members have been scrutinising the proposal. So what will Golf Ireland mean for you and your club?
KEY QUESTIONS FOR GOLFERS
What will Golf Ireland mean for me? A secure future for the game you love. Clubs will benefit from increased support and funding; and you become part of a family-friendly, inclusive sporting organisation that meets the demands of modern golf.
Why do I need Golf Ireland? Clubs and club members have been hit hard in recent years. If we don’t act now, golf will remain in decline. We need to change the way we run golf for the good of the game. With the game restored to good health, golf can thrive again.
How much will it cost for me to be part of Golf Ireland? For the first two years of Golf Ireland, the costs are set in stone. Affiliation fees for adults will be fixed at €24 in Ireland and £20 in Northern Ireland. Fees for juniors will be €5 and £3.50.
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.”
At present there are 183,000 members of GUI and ILGU clubs across Ireland, which represents a fall of 25% since the mid-2000s. 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.
Golf Ireland – Progress Update - 30 May 2018 GUI and ILGU Boards Agree Proposal to Form One Governing Body for Golf in Ireland ➢ Proposal arrived at following extensive consultation and discussions ➢ Clubs expected to vote on Proposal later this year, following briefings
Following extensive discussions and consultation, the Boards of the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) and the Irish Ladies Golf Union (ILGU) have approved a Proposal which provides for the formation of a single governing body for Golf in Ireland.
The ILGU and GUI will now prepare for EGMs of the organisations at which affiliated clubs will vote on the Proposal.
In the coming months, Information Packs containing important details regarding the new organisation will be prepared and issued to affiliated clubs. The packs will include the Proposal and all information pertinent to clubs, in the form of an Executive Summary and Frequently Asked Questions.
The EGMs are expected to be held before the end of 2018, with the club briefings being held in advance of the vote date. The ILGU and the GUI will hold separate club briefings with their respective ladies and men’s clubs in advance of the vote date. The exact date(s) for the briefings and the EGMs will be agreed by the respective Boards, with affiliated clubs being notified in due course.
If the clubs of the ILGU and GUI support the proposal, a transitions phase will commence during which the GUI, ILGU and Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI) will be wound down and the new body will be established to carry out all activities currently undertaken by the three organisations.
Golf Ireland – Progress Update - 26 March 2018 The Golf Ireland project has been ongoing since November 2015 and the Discussions Group (DG) has consulted extensively, both internal and external to both organisations.
In addition to broad consultation, work in other areas has been ongoing and this has culminated to a proposal, which the Boards of both organisations approved in principle in December 2017. Since then, both organisations have communicated internally with their Districts and Branches, and to their member clubs at their respective National AGM’s.
The final proposal will be put before both Boards for approval early in quarter two of this year. In tandem with the work on the final proposal, an expert review of financials is underway and Golf Ireland’s Memorandum and Articles of Association and Regulations have been reviewed by members of the DG and expert governance and legal review is ongoing, ahead of Board consideration of these documents.
Communications packs will be sent to Golf Clubs after final Board(s) sign off, which will contain all relevant information to Golf Ireland, such as the Proposal, Executive Summary and the Frequently Asked Questions. Legal documentation will also be sent to clubs ahead of the respective EGM’s.
The GUI and the ILGU, respectively will be setting up information sessions in Provinces and Districts around the country and all men’s and ladies clubs will be informed about the sessions and representatives invited, accordingly.
Both organisations will be asking respective ladies and men’s clubs to hold internal meetings with their members, to update them on the Proposal and to gain a consensus from their membership on how to vote on the Proposal at the ILGU and GUI EGM’s.
The GUI and the ILGU will be holding separate National EGM’s for member clubs to attend and to vote on the Proposal. These are expected to take place early in quarter three.
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Sarah Crowe (Project Manager) -firstname.lastname@example.org Alan Kelly (Golfing Union of Ireland) - email@example.com