Moloughney: "Handicap building is a form of cheating"

Moloughney: "Handicap building is a form of cheating"
Munster Golf Chairman John Moloughney presents a cheque to Emmet Murphy and Willie Walsh from Mallow Search & Rescue, Munster Golf's nominated charity for 2016. Picture: Niall O'She 

Munster Golf Chairman John Moloughney presents a cheque to Emmet Murphy and Willie Walsh from Mallow Search & Rescue, Munster Golf's nominated charity for 2016.
Picture: Niall O'She 

GUI President Elect Designate John Moloughney echoed the words of CEO Pat Finn and opened up with both barrels on handicap cheats in his farewell speech as Chairman of the Munster Branch.

Mr Moloughney will assume the role of President Elect at the AGM in February — Peter Sinclair is the incoming president — and having spent his life introducing youngsters to the game — the son of his friend Paddy Harrington went on to become a three-time major winner — he welcomed the publication of the CONGU Unified Handicap booklet for 2016-2018 and the change that sees the maximum increase from your lowest attained handicap of the year restricted to one shot.

"This was received with great applause last year and it was felt that by restricting the upward movement of handicaps in this way, it would restrict in some small way the coterie of players who feel that every year should bring an increase of two shots to their playing handicaps and would at some stage be playing with a handicap which far outstrips their playing ability," he said.

"In the words of our CEO, Clubs and players must be made aware of their responsibilities and that handicap building is a form of cheating as it’s premeditated.

"Peer pressure is needed to stamp out this with people in clubs taking an active interest in dealing with the problem.

"I do hope that the restriction of 1 shot will remain and continue attempts to thwart those who would bring the game into disrepute. It has to be explained that the system doesn’t restrict the player from getting only one shot as by losing some from time to time, he has the opportunity of increasing his handicap again.

"It also caters for those who are affected by old age, incapacity etc. and club Handicap committees can make representation to the Union at any time for increases, as they see fit." 

Mallow, 29th November 2016 – The Annual Delegates Meeting of the Munster Branch of the Golfing Union of Ireland took place at Hibernian Hotel Mallow with all 85 affiliated golf clubs attending.

Meeting Report

Chairman of the Munster Branch John Moloughney opened the meeting and thanked everyone involved with the Branch over the year for all of their help and assistance.  He said there was a degree of sadness in compiling his final report as Chairman.  He became involved with the Munster Branch in mid 1980’s and was elected to Council on 1992.  He served as Treasurer and Secretary before taking over from Liam Martin as Chairman.  He mentioned his time as Irish Boys Team Captain and as an Irish Junior Selector.  He again thanked everyone who assisted him through the years and especially as Chairman of the Branch.  He congratulated all of the winning Munster teams, and Nenagh, Slievenamon, Limerick and St Colemans Fermoy on their national wins.  He congratulated all of the championship winners and the Munster Under 16 team who won the interpro’s under Kevin Murray and John Fennessy.  He congratulated Tom Cleary, Arthur Pierce and team Captain Sean O’Leary on the Irish Seniors win at the European Team Championships, in addition to several other golfers from the province who won titles in Munster and further afield.

He spoke about the changes to the way the GUI is governed with the appointment of a new CEO and Board, and mentioned the One Governing Body deliberations and the work carried out by the CGI.  He gave his thoughts on the CONGU changes which limit to the maximum increase and hoped that that the restriction would remain.  He referenced the Tunnicliffe Report on Coaching and structures and welcomed the need of a Centre of Excellence, adding that he hoping that central funding support would be made available to for the development.  He thanked Liam Harkin and Barry Lynch for their respective work on handicaps and rules.  Lynch along with a trained team is also involved an audit of Munster clubs for SSS and Slope rating purposes.  He thanked all of the sponsors and John Fennessy for his work with the sponsors.  He also thanked the clubs across the province who provided the Branch with facilities for all of the competitions.  He referenced the elections for both the Chair and the Council, and thanked Joe Rouine on his retirement from Council.  He closed by thanking all of the friends he had made over the past 24 years.

Honorary Secretary Jim Long opened his report by thanking outgoing Chairman John Moloughney for his hard work and commitment to golf in Munster.  He gave a very comprehensive report of the year’s golfing activities and gave details of several high points including the success of clubs and individuals at national level.  He went on to reference the ongoing work with the implementation of the GUI strategic review, and development of a strategic plan to map the future of the GUI.  The plan now includes opening talks with the ILGU to examine the feasibility of having One Governing Body to oversee the game of golf.  Discussions are ongoing and will continue into 2017.  Long was also Coaching Convenor for the previous few years and he raised the issue of junior handicaps.  He outlined how some clubs are not keen to give juniors handicaps until they reach a certain standard while others do not wish to see juveniles playing in adult competitions.  He said such policies can be a stumbling block in the in the progress of young golfers and he hoped that all clubs would adopt a proactive approach to junior golf.  He closed by thanking Provincial Coach Fred Twomey, Munster Branch Officers, Council & Staff, and all of the clubs who assisted throughout the year.

Honorary Treasurer Peter English reported a marginal increase of adult membership in Munster of just over 1% (391 persons, total: 28,596).  There was however a drop of 4.5% in junior membership (228 persons, total: 4,810).  The accounts for the years showed an excess of expenditure over income of €25,208 which was broadly in line with the forecast.  An increase in sponsorship assisted the income side while a reduction in coaching costs and clothing costs help reduce expenditure.  Additional costs were reported in the areas of tournament costs, staff training, and course rating.  He highlighted to clubs that coaching grants are still available and encouraged all clubs to apply.  He also highlighted the services available from the CGI and was pleased to report that a large number of clubs had engaged with Gordon Campbell (Business Development Officer, CGI) on seminars covering networking, membership drives, and financial & business planning.  He outlined that the outlook for the coming year was healthier with an arrest in the falling membership numbers.  He thanked Karen Walsh and Margaret Sugrue for their assistance with the accounts and he also thanked all of the Munster Branch Sponsors.

Liam Harkin (Honorary Match & Handicapping Secretary) presented his report, and opened by thanking clubs for their co-operation with the Annual Handicap Reviews in November 2015 which were all completed before the December deadline.  All of the Cups & Shields competitions were completed successfully with worthy winners in each competition.  The inaugural All Ireland Four-Ball competition took place with the Michael J Cashman Cup presented to the Munster winners.  He reported that the handicap oriented Cups and Shields events once again highlighted the way some clubs use the system to produce teams who play to a standard far better than the figures.  He reported that the handicap committee have electronically monitored a number of clubs and have also carried out audits.  Advisory visits took place with positive action by some of the clubs.  The process is ongoing and results will be made available.  He thanked the handicap committee members Pat Dunne, Barry Lynch, Kevin Glynn, Tom Keane and Dave Prendergast for the tireless and sometimes thankless work, and he also thanked Karen Walsh and Margaret Sugrue for all of their assistance. 

A number of reports from team captains and managers were also submitted to the meeting.

[A copy of the full text from all reports is available from the following link: 

https://www.golfnet.ie/SiteAssets/Lists/News%20Listing/AllItems/AGENDA.pdf]

Gordon Campbell representing the Confederation of Golf in Ireland gave a comprehensive update on the first phase of the Confederation’s Development Plan and outlined proposal for phase two of the Plan.  Videos were played from the Golfing Union of Ireland highlighting the developments that took place in 2016 and also looking at the One Governing Body project.

Newly elected Chairman of Munster Golf Jim Long (Monkstown) pictured with outgoing Chairman John Moloughney. at the Munster Golf Annual Delegates Meeting, Tuesday 29th Nov 2016, Hibernian Hotel Mallow. Picture: Niall O'Shea

Newly elected Chairman of Munster Golf Jim Long (Monkstown) pictured with outgoing Chairman John Moloughney. at the Munster Golf Annual Delegates Meeting, Tuesday 29th Nov 2016, Hibernian Hotel Mallow. Picture: Niall O'Shea

Election of Officers:

  • Jim Long (Monkstown) was elected Chairman defeating Liam Harkin (Muskerry) & Michael Lawlor (Castleisland)
  • Barry Lynch (Raffeen Creek) was elected Honorary Secretary*
  • Peter English (Limerick) was re-elected Honorary Treasurer*
  • Dave Prendergast (Cork) was elected as Honorary Match & Handicapping Secretary*  
  • (*elected unopposed)

Election of Delegates to the Provincial Council (17): 

Gordon Adair (Douglas), John Carroll (Bandon), Phil Cooney (Lee Valley), Michael Coote (Tralee), Tom Donnelly (Youghal), Pat Dunne (Roscrea), John Fennessy (Clonmel), Kevin Glynn (Lahinch), Tom Keane (Ballybunion), Jim Lyne (Glengarriff), Sean Moran (Adare Manor)*, Kevin Murray (Tramore), Michael P Murphy (Newcastle West), Jim Nolan (Macroom)*, Sean O’Leary (Mahon), Brian Punch (Castletroy), Liam Troy (Thurles)*

*Indicates new nomination

Unsuccessful Nominees:

Brendan Magill (East Clare), David Taylor (Muskerry)*, Sean Turner (Castleisland)*

NOMINATION OF PRESIDENT ELECT OF THE GUI: John Moloughney (Templemore)

APPOINTMENT OF HONORARY DELEGATE TO CENTRAL COUNCIL: Michael Burns (Tramore)

APPOINTMENT OF DELEGATE TO CENTRAL COUNCIL: Pat Dunne (Roscrea)

Notices of Motion

MUNSTER

1. Motion proposed by Killarney Golf Club:

Change of condition of entry: Fred Daly Plate competition (Munster)

“Clubs must first enter the Fred Daly Trophy competition. Clubs defeated in their first match played in the Fred Daly Trophycompetition would then be eligible to compete in the Fred Daly Plate competition.”

Rationale

The above motion, if successful, would guarantee each participating Club, a minimum of two matches each year. Killarney Golf & Fishing club Mens’ Club see the existing wording to be a little ambiguous, and our representative shall explain our reasoning behind this notice of motion, on the evening of the Munster Branch GUI AGM.

This motion was carried by a large majority

2. Munster Bye Laws - Amendments

Replace Clause 4.4 to read

Each Affiliated Club, University Club and College Club situated in the Province shall receive a copy of the Branch Annual Report

with a Notice convening the Branch Annual Delegates Meeting at least 14 days before the date of such Meeting together with a list of nominations for members to serve on the Provincial Council. Financial report and accounts will be emailed to clubs under separate cover no later than 14 days prior to the Annual Delegate Meeting.

Clause 4.5 to include new final sentence which reads:

“Any such nomination may be withdrawn by the proposer and/or seconder in writing to the Honorary Secretary prior to the formal commencement of the meeting “

Amend Clause 5.1 to read:

Elections will be conducted in accordance with the provisions under Rule 38 of the Constitution.

Delete Clause 5.2

Renumber Clause 5.3 to read 5.2

Renumber Clause 5.4 to read 5.3

Replace 10.1 to read

Meetings of the Junior Committee will be convened by the Junior Convenor who will chair each meeting. In the absence of the Junior Convenor, one of the three Captains shall chair the meeting. The Junior Committee will consist of the U18 Captain,

Under16 Captain, U14 Captain, Coaching Convenor and others nominated by Provincial Council.

Insert new Clause 10.4 to read

Any person nominated as a member of the Junior Committee shall submit himself for vetting to the relevant vetting authority.

Such nomination as a member of the Junior Committee shall be subject to receipt of any report from the vetting Authority which is acceptable in all respects to Council.

Replace Clause 12.1 to read

The Handicapping Committee shall consist of a Convenor and four other members nominated by the Provincial Council.

Insert new Clause 12.2 The Standard Scratch Score Committee shall consist of a Convenor and three other members of the Provincial Council nominated to supervise the Standard Scratch Score of courses in the Province.

Insert new Clause 12.3 It shall administer and supervise the CONGU Unified Handicapping System in accordance with 11.4 of the Constitution.

Insert new Clause 12.4 It shall allocate a Standard Scratch Score to a newly affiliated club where such allocation is warranted.

Insert new Clause 12.5 It shall review and alter a Standard Scratch Score where such is warranted.

Insert new Clause 13.2 (1) (k) to read “Michael Cashman Munster Club Four-ball Trophy”

Amend Clause 13.2 (viii) to read “Munster Under 16 Amateur Open Championship”

Amend Clause 13.2 (ix) to read “Munster Under 14 Amateur Open Championship”

18

Amend Clause 13.2 (x) to read Munster U13 County Competitions

Insert new Clause 13.2 (xi) to read “Munster Fred Daly Plate”

Insert new Clause 13.2 (xii) to read “Munster Over-30s Amateur Open Championship

Clause 13.2 (xiii) delete “the Munster Mid-Amateur Open Championship to be competed for at Limerick Golf Club”

Renumber Clause 13.2 (xi) to Clause 13.2 (xiii)

Renumber Clause 13.2 (xii) to Clause 13.2 (xiv)

Renumber Clause 13.2 (xiii) to Clause 13.2(xv)

Amend Clause 19.5 to read The Executive Officer shall be responsible for the implementation of Council policy and be responsible through the Honorary Secretary to the Council.

Replace Clause 20.3.2 to read

The Banking Account shall be kept in the name of the Branch in such Bank as the Provincial Council may from time to time determine. All cheques to have two of three signatures of Chairman, Hon Secretary or Hon Treasurer. Any Electronic Fund Transfers (EFTs) will also require two authorisations of Chairman, Hon Secretary or Hon Treasurer.

Clause 20.4.2 (a)

Delete the fifth word “and” in line 2.

This motion was carried by a large majority

LEINSTER

3. Motion Proposed by Donabate Golf Club:

“That the GUI seeks the approval of CONGU to change the restriction in Clause 4.5c and 20.10 of the 2016-2018 CONGU UHS to a maximum of 2.0 strokes in a calendar year, effective, if possible, for the 2017 season”.

Rationale

At a time when participation in golf is diminishing, there is evidence that the imposition this year by the GUI of a limit of a 1.0 stroke increase to a players handicap in a calendar year, is having a significant negative impact on participation. There is evidence that players, having reached their ten 0.1’s are saying, why continue playing with no prospect of any further increase in their handicap. There is general dissatisfaction with this restriction among golfers of all levels, but particularly among middle to high handicappers. It is not clear why the GUI, alone of all the Unions, introduced this restriction in the new CONGU® System when there was general satisfaction with the existing system limiting increases to 2 strokes in a calendar year.

This motion was defeated by a large majority, all those who spoke on the topic were against any change to increase the current limits.

ULSTER

4. Motion proposed by Co. Armagh Golf Club:

"That the GUI seeks the approval of CONGU to change the restriction in clauses 4.5c and 20.I0 of the 2016-2018 CONGU UHS to a maximum of 2.0 strokes in a calendar year, effective - if possible - for the 20 I 7 season."

Rationale

At a time when participation in golf is diminishing, there is evidence that the imposition this year by the GUI of a limit of a 1.0 stroke increase to a players handicap in a calendar year, is having a significant negative impact on participation. There is evidence that players, having reached their ten 0.1’s are saying, why continue playing with no prospect of any further increase in their handicap. There is general dissatisfaction with this restriction among golfers of all levels, but particularly among middle to high handicappers. It is not clear why the GUI, alone of all the Unions, introduced this restriction in the new CONGU® System when there was general satisfaction with the existing system limiting increases to 2 strokes in a calendar year.

This motion was defeated by a large majority

Motion proposed by Portsalon Golf Club:

"That the GUI makes representation to the Confederation of Golf in Ireland to address the shortfall and ongoing reduction in the number of male junior club members, and to include a school’s programme with the objective offs promoting junior golf and junior club membership in common with other sports."

Rationale

To seek to address the shortfall in the number of junior golfers in club membership.

This motion was carried by a large majority

Any Other Business

The issue of handicaps was raised by a number of delegates.  The Pierce Purcell Shield and Michael Cashman Fourball were highlighted as competitions that had suffered from inaccurate handicaps.  The question was also asked as to where responsibility lay for the management of handicaps.  The issue of non-returns and continuous handicap reviews (increases) were also rasied.

Pat Dunne responded on behalf of the Branch outlining the processes involved and clearly starting that the responsibility first and foremost lay with club and their handicap committees.

Dave Prendergast, incoming Match & Handicap Secretary informed the meeting that the home and away format of the Michael Cashman Fourball would change to home (or away) and that representations had been made to the GUI to increase the age limit which currently stands at 30.

Barry Lynch informed the meeting that all courses in Munster were currently being re-rated in terms of new SSS and slope measurements.  The Branch had started with those course who had the longest standing ratings and were working through the courses on that basis.

Pat Dunne gave delegates an update on the responsibility on clubs to enforce rules on societies and reminded delegates on the obligations that apply under the CONGU UHS rules.

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

For queries and all other information please contact:

Golfing Union of Ireland Munster Branch

Karen Walsh

Executive Officer

6 Townview

Mallow
Co Cork

022 21026

info@munster.gui.ie