Good news for the largest club “Festival of Golf” of its kind in the world - the Golfing Union of Ireland has secured a new sponsor for the All Ireland Cups and Shields.
Chartis Insurance Ireland will back the most popular event in Irish golf. Starting in March each year, the 430 golf clubs affiliated to the GUI begin their preparation to try and win a coveted green pennant for their club in one or more of the five main events – the Senior Cup, Barton Shield, Junior Cup, Jimmy Bruen Shield and the Pierce Purcell Shield.
According to the GUI:
It is estimated that over 20,000 golfers and 1,500 club teams participate at the first stages of the events at Provincial level.
The champions from each Province go forward to compete in the All-Ireland semi-finals and finals which this year will be held at Castlerock Golf Club from 14 – 17 September with 500 golfers from 20 clubs involved.
Speaking on behalf of Chartis Insurance Ireland, John Boylan, Personal Lines Motor Manager, stated: “We are thrilled to have received the opportunity to sponsor the Cups and Shields and fully recognise the importance of these events for the clubs affiliated to the Golfing Union of Ireland and we look forward to what I am certain will be another wonderful year in Irish golf.”
The President of the Golfing Union of Ireland, Eugene Fayne said: “We are indebted to Chartis Insurance Ireland for its sponsorship of this year’s Cups and Shields and thank them sincerely for their continued support of Irish amateur golf.”
The Irish Senior Cup was instituted in 1900, when Dublin University won it for the first time. The Senior Cup is the most coveted trophy in club golf with teams of five players in singles match play, off scratch.
Commemorating the former Golfing Union of Ireland President, the Hon. Mr. Justice Barton, the first club to win the Barton Shield was Portmarnock, in 1920. In this event, clubs are represented by two foursomes pairings, playing off scratch.
The Irish Junior Cup began in 1900 and is played for by teams of five players in singles match play, off scratch. There is a handicap limit for this event, which limits players to a minimum handicap of five in the preceding calendar year.
Named after Professor Purcell, one of Ireland’s outstanding golf administrators and former President of the Golfing Union of Ireland, from the 1920s to 1960s, the Pierce Purcell Shield was won first by Masserene, in 1970. Five foursome pairings represent each club, comprised of minimum individual handicaps of 12 and minimum combined of 27.
One of Ireland’s amateur golfing legends is commemorated by the Jimmy Bruen Shield, inaugurated in 1978 when Stackstown won the first competition. Clubs are represented by five pairings, the minimum individual handicap being 6 and the minimum combined 17.
Each of the four Provinces in Ireland hold qualifying events in each of the five Cups and Shields, with the provincial winners in each event reaching the National Semi Finals and Finals stage.
The current champions are:
Senior Cup - Bandon Golf Club
Barton Shield - Dunmurry Golf Club
Junior Cup - Portuma Golf Club
Jimmy Bruen Shield - Clontarf Golf Club
Pierce Purcell Shield - The Curragh Golf Club