Team Ireland grants — Does the system work?

When you hand out more than €3.2m to 88 golfers over a 16 year period — €3.38m to 92 golfers if you count the class of 2016 — you can expect a little bang for your buck.

A total of 11 European Tour wins and 12 Challenge Tour victories by 10 golfers over that period is clearly not a total failure. But when one player, Michael Hoey, makes up nearly 35% of the total, it's hard to argue that the Team Ireland Golf Trust system has worked like a dream.

No Team Ireland recipient has ever complained about being handed money to fill out some forms, wear the Team Ireland logo on their sleeve and speak well of the scheme.

After all, Stephen Browne was awarded €135,394 over seven years from 2002 to 2008 and won two Challenge Tour events before being reinstated as amateur a few years ago.

Hoey has won five European Tour titles and three more on the Challenge Tour since he turned professional in 2002, making the €130,394 he's received look like a great investment.

But that's less than a tenth of the total.

Women's professional golf has proved to be a tough nut to crack and while the Team Ireland Golf Trust offers players a range of extras from coaching facilities to medical back up, most players are on the road so often that all they really care about the money.

Despite the name, there is no team element to the Team Ireland Golf Trust and players clearly need more support or guidance as they make the transition from the amateur ranks to the professional game. 

With the Confederation of Golf in Ireland keen to help and with a new golf federation in formation, things may improve and players encouraged to remain amateur for longer before taking the plunge.

The revival of the Challenge Tour event in the Republic has clearly helped with 29 invitations to 2016 events part of this year's scheme. 

How the Team Ireland Golf Trust works