These are challenging yet exciting times for the multi-faceted Irish golf industry with golf clubs and other businesses embracing new realities and opportunities as they prepare to take full advantage of the upswing that inevitably follows any downward shift in the economy.
Irish golf enjoyed phenomenal growth for over two decades from the mid 1980s and the industry is in a strong position to prosper again with 423 GUI-affiliated golf clubs across the 32 counties and a huge population of avid male and female golfers driving the multi-million euro industry forward.
At a time of great change in the industry the newly formed Golf Club Business Association of Ireland has an important role to play in the future of Irish golf.
The Association was launched today at The Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club in Dublin by Michael Ring TD, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport.
Minister Ring said: “I can claim with confidence that Ireland is a golfer’s paradise. We have more than 400 courses on the island, from internationally renowned courses to welcoming local clubs in every corner of the country, including over 30% of the world’s links courses.
From green parkland to rugged coastal links and everything in between, there is a course to suit every skill level, from beginner to pro, and for every budget.
“The golf sector is an important part of our tourism industry. New research recently published by Fáilte Ireland indicates that the golf sector provides a total overseas spend of €202m for the Irish economy.
The research also shows that Ireland is hitting the mark on both satisfaction levels and value for money for our overseas guests – with satisfaction rates at 94% and value for money at 83%.”
Minister Ring concluded: “I welcome the establishment of the Association and recognise a key aim is to establish and maintain stakeholder relationships with all of the other bodies and associations that form part of the golf business on the island of Ireland.
“I am also pleased to see another aim is to establish and maintain media and tourism relationships, using these to promote member interests both at home and abroad.
“Next week, the Irish Open takes place in Carton House and I am delighted that we are supporting this year’s event through Fáilte Ireland.
“International events like this provide Ireland with a unique opportunity to build on our solid reputation for hosting and managing large sporting events, and also showcase our warm and friendly Irish welcome. I wish the new Association every success in its endeavours.”
Joe Russell, Chairman of the new body, explained: “The establishment of the Golf Club Business Association of Ireland is fundamental to protecting golf as an industry in Ireland and raising the level of awareness of the business of Golf on this Island, North and South.”
“There are currently many organisations associated with the game of golf, and with its management, but at present, no association is tasked with leading and nurturing the golf business and industry in Ireland.”
This new all-Ireland body will seek to protect and promote the interests of the Irish golf club business.
Its core objectives are:
To enhance the profile of Irish Golf as a business and an industry, highlighting its economic impact and its significant source of employment
To be the Trade Body voice for Golf Clubs, in both a national and international context and to be the representative of the golf sector on relevant public bodies
To engage with Government Agencies with regard to strategy for the growth and enhancement of the game, and the industry
To initiate and administer a benchmarking process which will allow clubs to evaluate their performance against peers at both a regional and national level
To actively engage in the promotion of the game, particularly targeting younger participants in order to secure the industry¹s future.
To act as an information resource for members so as to keep them informed of educational and training programmes, offered by external providers.
To act as a peer support body for golf club executives, i.e. the professionals who manage and operate the business of the golf clubs, through networking opportunities on a regional and national basis, and through the hosting of an annual conference
To enhance the physical product through quality standards development
To encourage members to form group purchasing schemes between themselves to avail of their combined purchasing power
To promote and enhance the non-golf aspects of golf clubs, such as the catering and/or meeting facilities etc. and to encourage greater use of these facilities by both members and non-members
To issue periodic economic statistics, and an annual report, showing the economic impact of the industry at both a regional and national level
To engage at both governmental and EU level with regard to legislative issues that will impact the golf club business or any part of it
To establish and maintain stakeholder relationships with all of the other bodies and associations that form part of the golf business on the island of Ireland
To establish and maintain media and tourism relationships, using these to promote member interests both at home and abroad
Golf Club Business Association of Ireland, Interim Committee:
- Denis Kane, Garden of Ireland Golf CEO
- Joe Russell, Doonbeg Golf Club Chairman
- Colin Donovan, Mount Juliet Golf Club Vice Chairman
- Jim Melody, Woodbrook Golf Club Secretary
- Ian McGuinness, Roganstown Hotel & Country Club
- Tom Reid, Glasson Country House Hotel & Golf Club
- Michael Moss, Portstewart Golf Club
- John McLaughlin, North & West Links Golf
- Matt Sands, Cork Golf Club
- Brian Durran, South West Ireland Golf (SWING)
- Tom Cotter, Golf Advisory Board Member of NITB
For further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org