Affiliated clubs have voted to implement three major changes to GUI competitions over the next few years — a scotch foursomes format for AIG Pierce Purcell Shield; a reduction in the AIG Junior Cup handicap limit to 4; and the introduction of a Seniors Inter-Club team event for 2019.
The motions put forward by the GUI and passed at the four provincial annual delegate meetings this week were:
- That the form of play for the AIG Pierce Purcell Shield be modified to Scotch Foursomes, (effective 2018).
- Effective 2019, that the Union introduce a new All-Ireland Seniors Inter-Club team event for golfers over the age of 55.
- That the Union introduce a new nett Under-18 Inter-Club event for five-man teams with full handicaps applying, to replace the Irish Junior Foursomes, (effective 2018).
- In the event of Motion (third above) being carried, that the Irish Junior Foursomes be immediately reintroduced by the GUI, (effective 2018).
- That the lower handicap limit of the AIG Junior Cup be reduced from 5 to 4 effective 2018
- That, in the AIG Jimmy Bruen Shield, the handicap limits be adjusted as follows effective 2018: Lowest individual reduced from 6 to 5 Lowest combined reduced from 17 to 15
- That, in the AIG Pierce Purcell Shield, the handicap limits be adjusted as follows effective 2018: Lowest individual reduced from 12 to 11 Lowest combined reduced from 27 to 25
- That, in the GUI Four-Ball Inter-Club Championship, the handicap limits be adjusted as follows effective 2018: Lowest individual reduced from 16 to 15 Lowest combined reduced from 36 to 34
- To seek to amend, within CONGU, the last sentence before clause 23.16 Continuous Handicap Review, as follows; To assist in identifying such players, a report has been developed within the ISV software to list players who have seven or more consecutive scores above the buffer zone (excluding any Reduction Only CSS competitions or abandoned competitions)
How the voting broke down by Province
Explaining the background to the changes, Mark Wehrly, Championship Manager with the GUI said: "Over the last year the Union has undertaken a very worthwhile review of its All-Ireland inter-club competitions, which included a survey of 4,500 golfers, a focus group of 12 golf club members and a detailed consideration of the issues arising from those engagements by the Union’s provincial councils.
“By including the views of a wide array of golf club members in the review, there has been an emphasis on the Union’s strategic goals of promoting a strong and open culture and ensuring our competitions programme keeps evolving and getting better.
“Everyone involved deserves thanks, and in the end the fact that a clear majority of the voters at the Branch Annual Delegates’ Meetings have voted in favour the seven motions that were put forward as a result of this review by the Provincial Councils is a great outcome for the process.”
The following motions, which were not part of the review conducted by the GUI and were proposed by clubs were defeated:
- That the competitors qualifying handicap in the AIG Junior Cup, AIG Jimmy Bruen Shield, AIG Pierce Purcell Shield, Irish Mixed Foursomes Challenge Cup and GUI All Ireland Four-Ball Inter-Club Championship be the handicap recorded as at 31st December in the previous calendar year, as opposed to being the competitor’s lowest handicap achieved in the previous calendar year.
- That the conditions of the GUI All-Ireland Four-Ball Inter-Club championship be amended so that, for the purpose of determining the eligibility of a pair, the sum of their exact handicaps – and not their playing handicaps – shall be calculated as per the handicap qualification criteria set down in those conditions.
- That the following tournament conditions be amended to increase the minimum number of returns required, in the previous calendar year, from Four to Ten, to be effective from 1 January 2019: 2.c – AIG Junior Cup, 2.c – AIG Jimmy Bruen Shield, 2.d – AIG Pierce Purcell Shield, 2.d – Irish Mixed Foursomes Challenge Cup & 2.d - GUI All-Ireland Four-Ball Inter-Club Championship.