Munster Branch ADM: Membership down 1,500 this year
 Under 15 Order of Merit winner. Tramore's Jack Hearn (centre) with John Moloughney (Chairman GUI Munster Branch) and Peter English (Junior Convenor GUI Munster Branch)

Under 15 Order of Merit winner. Tramore's Jack Hearn (centre) with John Moloughney (Chairman GUI Munster Branch) and Peter English (Junior Convenor GUI Munster Branch)

Honorary Treasurer Michael Murphy told the Annual Delegates meeting of the Munster Branch that membership of the 88 affiliated clubs had fallen by just over 1,500 in the current year to 28,000. 

The meeting, held in front of a full house at the Hibernian Hotel in Mallow, heard that despite the drop in adult members, the number of junior golfers has held steady and this was a positive development. 

The Branch recorded a surplus of €10,382, driven mainly by a continued allocation of almost €15,000 from the GUI to offset the drop in membership levies.

Liam Harkin (Honorary Match & Handicapping Secretary) reported that the AIG Cups and Shields ran smoothly despite some disruption caused by late withdrawals and no shows.

New entries and some requests for section transfers should lead to a more equitable geographical basis in 2015.  He outlined the basis of the CONGU system as being about golfers firstly trying to make their best score at each hole in a qualifying round, and secondly that golfers report all such rounds for handicapping purposes.

While the system is there, there are some golfers who seek ways around it. In golf generally, a player is his own referee, golf is a game of honour and hopefully will remain so.

1. GUI Munster Branch Awards

  • Winner U15 Order of Merit - Jack Hearn (Tramore)
  • Winner U18 Order of Merit - Tommy O Driscoll (Ring Of Kerry)
  • Munster Junior Golfer of the Year 2014: Cathal Butler (Kinsale)
  • Munster Senior Golfer of the Year 2014: Gary Hurley (West Waterford)

SPONSORED BY KEANES JEWELLERS

This year Kinsale’s Cathal Butler represented Munster on the Boys interprovincial team, at the Island Golf Club where he contributed 4 points.  Following the inter-pros Cathal was selected for the Home Internationals in Scotland, again contributing 4 points to the teams tally.  Cathal was selected on the Irish squad sent to Hungary for qualification from division 2 for the 2015 European Boys Championship in pre-qualifying.  Cathal was consistent shooting 75, 71 to help Ireland qualify as 2nd seeds. 

 Ger Keane of Keanes Jewellers Cork (sponsor) presents Richie Hurley (Gary Hurley’s father) with the 2014 Munster Senior Golfer of the Year Award. Also pictured, John Moloughney, Chairman GUI Munster Branch

Ger Keane of Keanes Jewellers Cork (sponsor) presents Richie Hurley (Gary Hurley’s father) with the 2014 Munster Senior Golfer of the Year Award. Also pictured, John Moloughney, Chairman GUI Munster Branch

Gary Hurley had a year filled with individual and team success, representing West Waterford NUI Maynooth at club/college level and Munster, Ireland and GB&I at representative level.  Gary’s year started in South Africa in February where he was 10th in the South African Amateur Stroke Open.  He followed that with top five finishes in the Lytham Trophy and Brabazon Trophy before he made the cut and played four rounds in the Irish Open at Fota Island to the delight of a large number of West Waterford supporters. The second half of Gary’s season featured wins with the Munster Senior Interprovincial team, the Irish team in the Home Internationals and the GB&I team in the St Andrew’s Trophy.  Gary was runner up in the European Individual Team Championship and the European Individual Championship and was on the Irish team in the World Amateur Team Championship. 

 Munster Golf Club of the Year 2014. Left to right, Tim Smyth (Captain,  Ballyneety GC), John Moloughney and Mike Garry (President Ballyneety GC)

Munster Golf Club of the Year 2014. Left to right, Tim Smyth (Captain,  Ballyneety GC), John Moloughney and Mike Garry (President Ballyneety GC)

Munster Golf Club of the Year 2014: Ballyneety Golf Club (Limerick)

SPONSORED BY CRIOSTAL NA RINNE, AN RINN, DÚGARBHÁN

Each year the  Munster  Branch of the Golfing Union of Ireland award a Club, Club of the Year and this year the award went to Ballyneety Golf Club formerly Limerick County Golf & Country Club.

Limerick County Golf & Country Club ceased to exist in February 2010 which meant a lot of Golfers had to go elsewhere to enjoy their favourite past time a game of Golf.  Ballyneety Club is awarded Munster Club of the Year for the great work it has done to bring its Club back to its former glory.  What looked like a wilderness in 2012 has now been developed into an excellent golf course. Ballyneety Golf Club has risen like the phoenix thanks to the vision of a few and the support of many. Those who walked the site at the beginning cannot believe the transformation due in no small way to the dedication of all the staff and a host of members prepared to voluntarily lend their labours. They started by doing what was necessary, then what was possible and suddenly were doing the impossible.    Ballyneety is affiliated to the Golfing Union of Ireland and ILGU.   The Munster Branch GUI wishes them the best of luck in their future plans and projects for the club which are ongoing under the Ballyneety Members Golf Club Project.  

 Left to right: Ger Keane of Keanes Jewellers Cork (Sponsor) with 2014 Munster Junior Golfer of the Year, Cathal Butler (Kinsale) and John Moloughney (Chairman GUI Munster Branch)

Left to right: Ger Keane of Keanes Jewellers Cork (Sponsor) with 2014 Munster Junior Golfer of the Year, Cathal Butler (Kinsale) and John Moloughney (Chairman GUI Munster Branch)

2. Presentation on Governance and Strategy Review of the Golfing Union of Ireland by Jim Long Hon Secretary

Jim Long informed the Delegates of the process presently being undertaken by the Union in relation to the above including consultation process, strategic pillars and the next steps that will be taken in formulating a strategy for the future of the sport.  

3. Confederation of Golf in Ireland Presentation given by Jennifer Hickey who gave  an outline of what the CGI is about including services available to golf clubs.

4. Meeting Report

Chairman of the Branch John Moloughney opened the meeting and thanked everyone involved with the Branch over the year for all of their help and assistance.  He welcomed Mr Liam Martin; President GUI to the meeting, Liam is a member of Castletroy and former Chairman of the Munster Branch and has served the Union with distinction over the past year.  He described the start of 2014 as “eventful” with many clubs suffering damage from the storm in February.  He highlighted the Union’s intervention by way of an interest free loan for clubs and commended members in all clubs for their hands-on involvement in restoring their courses. 

He acknowledged the role of the CGI in promoting golf and developing club membership.  He congratulated all of the individual players for their successes during the season, and all of the clubs involved in the AIG Cups & Shields which all ran to schedule. 

He congratulated Muskerry, Castletroy, Tramore, Spanish Point and Waterford Castle for their success at national level.  He thanked Lahinch Golf Club for their continued support of the South of Ireland and hoped that changes planned in the national schedule would result in many more top Irish players being available for the event.  He closed by thanking Ballybunion’s Dan O’Sullivan on the occasion of his retirement from the Provincial Council.

Honorary Secretary Jim Long gave a comprehensive report of the year’s activities and gave details of several high points including the Interprovincial win and the success of clubs at national level. He congratulated GUI President Liam Martin on a very successful year.

He thanked the Officers, Provincial Council Members and staff, and also the many clubs who provided their courses to run provincial competitions during the year.

Honorary Treasurer Michael Murphy reported that club membership from the 88 affiliated clubs had again dropped, by just over 1,500 in the current year and now stood at 28,000. Clubs continue to have great difficulty in retaining members. 

Despite the drop in adult members, the number of junior golfers has held steady and this is a positive development.  He again highlighted the coaching grant scheme available to all clubs, and hoped that all clubs would avail of the scheme.

Mr Murphy noted that the figures for the current year indicate a small improvement from 2013.  The Branch recorded a surplus of €10,382, driven mainly by a continued allocation of almost €15,000 from the GUI to offset the drop in membership levies.

Liam Harkin (Honorary Match & Handicapping Secretary) started by thanking Dan O’Sullivan for his hard work and both Pat Dunne and Barry Lynch for their assistance on the Handicap Committee.  He reported that the AIG Cups and Shields ran smoothly despite some disruption caused by late withdrawals and no shows.

New entries and some requests for section transfers should lead to a more equitable geographical basis in 2015.  He outlined the basis of the CONGU system as being about golfers firstly trying to make their best score at each hole in a qualifying round, and secondly that golfers report all such rounds for handicapping purposes.

While the system is there, there are some golfers who seek ways around it. In golf generally, a player is his own referee, golf is a game of honour and hopefully will remain so.

Election of Officers:

  • John Moloughney (Templemore) was re-elected Chairman
  • Jim Long (Monkstown) was re-elected Honorary Secretary
  • Michael J Murphy (Tramore) was re-elected Honorary Treasurer
  • Liam Harkin (Muskerry) was re-elected as Honorary Match & Handicapping Secretary
  • (All elected unopposed)

 Election of Delegates to the Provincial Council (17): 

  • Gordon Adair (Douglas),
  • Eric Brick (Dooks),
  • John Carroll (Ballybunion)*,
  • John Carroll (Bandon),
  • Phil Cooney (Lee Valley),
  • Michael Coote (Tralee),
  • Tom Donnelly (Youghal),
  • Pat Dunne (Roscrea),
  • Peter English (Limerick),
  • John Fennessy (Clonmel),
  • Kevin Glynn (Lahinch),
  • Barry Lynch (Raffeen Creek),
  • Jim Lyne (Glengarriff),
  • Michael P Murphy (Newcastle West),
  • Sean O’Leary (Mahon),
  • Brian Punch (Castletroy),
  • Joe Rouine (Adare Manor)

*Indicates new nomination

(Unsuccessful Nominees: Dave Prendergast (Cork)*, Patrick Turner (Muskerry)*

APPOINTMENT OF DELEGATE TO CENTRAL COUNCIL – Peter English (Limerick)

Notices of Motion

Munster Motions

Thurles Golf Club

Thurles Golf Club proposes that the following system is introduced to achieve a uniform means of dealing with players recording notable performances in golf classics or similar team events (i.e. teams of four, teams of three, rumbles, scrambles etc.):

Mandatory Adjustments, under Clause 23 (B), for each notable performance:

Winners Runners-up Third Place
Category 1 0.0 0.0 Noted as a score
for consideration
under Clause 23 (A)
Category 2 -0.4 -0.2
Category 3 -0.6 -0.3
Category 4 -0.8 -0.4

Rationale:

To strive for uniformity of all handicap committees in implementation of handicapping in respect of all Non-Qualifying returns.  

CARRIED

Connacht Motions

Castlebar Golf Club

"That the Golfing Union of Ireland introduces an All-Ireland inter-club four-ball handicap championship."

Rationale:

Over the last number of years, a number of Castlebar Golf Club's Jack O'Sullivan Team Captains have expressed their desire to have an All-Ireland four-ball championship. Castlebar Golf Club is now proposing that the matter be considered at the Golfing Union of Ireland's four Annual Delegates Meetings.

In the event that this motion is passed, Castlebar Golf Club considers that it should be a matter for the Golfing Union of Ireland's Venues and Fixtures Committee to draft the conditions of the championship and that the committee should, if possible, endeavour to standardise the conditions of various provincial four-ball inter-club championships, to create one event.

DEFEATED

Ulster Motion

Lisburn Golf Club

“That, with effect from 1st March 2015, in order to be eligible to compete in a Singles Qualifying Competition at an Away Club, with the exception of all events listed in No. 6 of the Union Bye Laws, a Member of a GUI Affiliated Golf Club must have returned at least three scores in Singles Qualifying Competitions at his Home Club, at any time on or after the corresponding date one year before the Singles Qualifying Competition at the Away Club.”

Rationale:

The above motion seeks to modify a similar motion approved at the Annual General Meeting of the Golfing Union of Ireland in February 2014 and scheduled to be implemented 2015. It is argued that the prior motion and accompanying guidance notes circulated in August 2014 may be counterproductive in that it puts new members at a disadvantage by restricting their option to enter Open competitions in their first year of membership. 

CARRIED

DISCUSSION ITEM

WILLIAMSTOWN GOLF CLUB

We propose that any preliminary rounds in the Pierce Purcell and Jimmy Bruen competitions be held on a date prior to the main competition.

Our club has been drawn in the preliminary rounds a number of times in recent years and we have won three of these on the Saturday morning.  We then had to play against a fresh team in the afternoon.  On two of these occasions we had to play against the home team.  We think that this is unfair.

Mr Liam Harkin (Honorary Match Secretary) outlined some progress in 2014 with playing preliminary matches prior to the competition weekend.  He added that the Branch and Match Committee would continue to work with clubs to take into account travel, distance from clubs, travel costs and other relevant factors.           

All clubs were requested to return an updated list of Club Officers to the Branch as soon as possible.