Team Ireland scheme accepting applications for 2018 grants
 Stephanie Meadow, a Team Ireland Golf supported player, signs autographs at the 72nd US Women’s Open, held at at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster this year. Photo by Golffile / Ken Murray

Stephanie Meadow, a Team Ireland Golf supported player, signs autographs at the 72nd US Women’s Open, held at at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster this year. Photo by Golffile / Ken Murray

The Team Ireland Golf scheme, which was established to assist Irish professional golfers in the early stages of their careers, is now inviting applications for support for 2018.

The scheme, administered by the Confederation of Golf in Ireland, provides financial and non-financial support to professional tour golfers, both male and female, wishing to achieve success at an international level.

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and Sport Ireland provide the funding for the scheme.

Guidelines for the scheme are available below (download here):

  • Application forms are available from: James Corcoran - Phone: 01-5054000 or Email: james@gui.ie
  • The closing date for receipt of applications is Monday 15th January 2018

CONFEDERATION OF GOLF IN IRELAND

TEAM IRELAND GOLF 2018 SCHEME GUIDELINES

Scheme of Assistance for Irish Professional Golfers

1. Introduction

Team Ireland Golf was established in 1999 by the then Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation to assist Irish golfers, both male and female, in the early stages of their professional careers on tour and to become established players on the major international tours.

The Team Ireland Golf Committee was established to oversee the operation of the Scheme and to consider applications received under the Scheme. The Committee consists of a representative each from the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Sport Ireland, the Irish PGA, the GUI, the ILGU, and the private sector.

The Confederation of Golf in Ireland runs the Team Ireland Golf Scheme and funding for the scheme primarily comes from Sport Ireland.

2. Objective of the Scheme

The objective of the Scheme is to support golfers who have the potential and programme to become established players on the main international tours, such as the European Tour and US PGA Tour. Team Ireland Golf is designed to provide support, both financial and non-financial, to selected young professional golfers to help them to succeed at international level.

Golfers, who are being supported by the Scheme, will be expected to show and maintain a reasonable level of progression in their performances on a yearly basis. This level of progress will determine future funding decisions by the Committee.

Professional golfers, male or female, who meet the performance criteria as outlined below, will be eligible to submit an application for assistance from Team Ireland Golf. Applicants must provide evidence of a competition schedule and tour playing rights, which will lead to becoming an established player on the European Tour/US PGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour/LPGA Tour.

The Scheme will consist of three general categories for the achievement of criteria; current professional golfers, male amateur golfers turning professional and female amateur golfers turning professional.

I) Professional Golfers (including PGA Irish Region professionals)

a) To be considered for support from TIG, male professional golfers must meet criteria for the 2018 season on the following tours:

  • European Tour (exemption categories 1–15)

  • European Challenge Tour (exemption categories 1-14)

  • U.S. PGA Tour (exempt tour priority rankings 1–27)

  • Satellite Tours (PGA Europro Tour, EPD Tour, ALPS Tour, Nordic League – top 30 on the 2017 Order of Merit)

3. Eligibility and Criteria

Note – 2019 Scheme eligibility under the Satellite Tour criteria will change to top 15 on Satellite Tour Orders of Merit from the 2018 season. The criteria will remain at top 30 on 2017 Orders of Merit for 2018 Scheme eligibility.

  • Asian Tour (exempt status)
  • South African Sunshine Tour (exempt categories 1-13)
  • Japan Golf Tour (exempt status)
  • Korean Golf Tour (exempt status)
  • Web.com Tour (exempt status)
  • PGA Tour of Australasia (exempt status)
  • PGA Tour Canada (exempt status)
  • PGA Tour Latin America (exempt status)
  • PGA Tour China (exempt status)

b) To be considered for support from TIG, female professional golfers must meet criteria for the 2018 season on the following tours:

  • Ladies European Tour (exemption categories 1–10)
  • U.S. LPGA Tour (priority status 1-21)
  • Japan LPGA (exempt status)
  • Korea LPGA (exempt status)
  • Australian LPG Tour (exempt status)
  • China LPGA (exempt status)

Note: Please note that applications received from players who achieve the criteria at a and b above will be subject to the provisions of the three to five-year rule as set out at section 5 of the guidelines.

Note: Players that win over €250,000 in total prize money in the season immediately prior to that in which they wish to receive assistance through Team Ireland will not be eligible to receive financial support for the season ahead. These players will still be eligible to receive non-financial support through the Irish Institute of Sport or through the Team Ireland Performance Managers (Neil Manchip & David Kearney).

II) Male Amateur Golfers (turning professional)

Only players in the top six of total points accumulated over a two-year period from the criteria as set out below will be considered.

The annual criteria for points are:

  • Willie Gill Award:  Points accumulated in the Willie Gill Order of Merit
  • Internationals: 100 points for selection on Walker Cup team or Ireland team for World Amateur Team Championship
  • Home Internationals: 25 points for selection on Ireland team
  • European Team: 25 points for selection on Ireland team

In addition, players who are ranked among the top 100 in the R&A’s Official World amateur Rankings at the time of turning professional will also be considered.

Note – For the 2019 Scheme, only players ranked among the top 100 in the R&A’s

World Amateur Golf Rankings at the time of turning professional will be considered for the Scheme. The Willie Gill points criteria will be used for 2018 eligibility.

Note: Please note that applicants who are deemed eligible for support under the amateur criteria may be allowed up to a maximum of three years to achieve the professional golfers criteria in section 1a (excluding Satellite Tours criteria). This will be subject to annual review of each application and compliance with the terms and conditions of the Scheme. Applicants for support under the amateur criteria for the 2019 Scheme will be allowed a maximum of two years to achieve the professional golfers criteria in section 1a (excluding Satellite Tours criteria). Players who achieve the professional criteria in section 1a (excluding Satellite Tours criteria) in Year 1 but regress in Year 2 will be considered for support. The three-year max will remain for applicants for the 2018 Scheme.

III) Female Amateur Golfers (turning professional)

To be eligible for grant aid from Team Ireland Golf, female first-time applicants must have achieved elements of the following performance criteria, or similar, in amateur competition over the previous two years:

  • Top 50 in World Women’s Amateur Golf Rankings (WWAGR)

  • Top 25 in Ladies European Amateur Rankings (LEAR)

  • Top 10 in the Ladies Golf Union Order of Merit (LGUOM)

  • Full Irish Senior International for a minimum of 2 years

  • Selected on Great Britain and Ireland, Curtis Cup, Vagliano Trophy or 5 Nations Team

  • Top 5 in the Ladies Order of Merit for 2 consecutive years

Winner or runner up in the Irish Women’s Close or Open Stroke play Championships

In exceptional circumstances, success in major International Events may be considered where the applicant does not meet the above criteria.

4. Financial Support

Individual grants will be provided to successful applicants to assist with out-of-pocket expenses directly associated with the pursuit of training, coaching and competition programmes. The assessment of the amount to be awarded in each case will be based on the information provided in the player’s application form and their competition pathway.

Grant payments will be divided into two instalments and will be paid out in accordance with the following timelines;

  • 1st Payment – April
  • 2nd Payment – August
  • Certain documentation will need to be returned to the Confederation in accordance with the above deadlines for payment. All grant recipients will be required to account for all items of expenditure by completing an official expenditure report at agreed intervals.

    5. Three - Five Year Rule

    Notwithstanding any other part of the rules of the Scheme, the Team Ireland Golf Committee may, on a case-by-case basis, review the eligibility of players who have for a cumulative period of three to five years, received financial and/or other support from the Scheme pursuant to the terms of the Scheme. The purpose of the review is to determine whether financial and/or other support will continue to be made available to such players. In conducting such a review, the Team Ireland Golf Committee will consider the player’s Progression within professional golf and within the Team Ireland Golf over the last three to five years

  • Current playing status as a professional golfer

  • Ability to progress in professional tour golf over the succeeding years

    6. Non-Financial Support

    The Scheme will continue to provide successful applicants with free access to a range of Sports Science, Medical and Lifestyle support services. The services will be coordinated by the Sport Ireland Institute based in Abbotstown. The services available will include:

    (i) Sports Science support: sports science support in sports physiology, sports psychology, sports nutrition and sports biomechanics.

    (ii) Sports Medical support: medical screening, diagnosis, physiotherapy and specialist medical advice on a referral basis, based on agreed standard rates of fees and an overall monetary limit specific to each golfer.

    (iii) GUI National Academy: Use of the Academy’s facilities which include; multiple indoor and outdoor bays, 5 USGA-specification greens, 5 grass teeing areas, and a purpose-built wedge-play area.

    7. Application Procedures

    Application forms for the Scheme are available from the Confederation of Golf in Ireland, Carton Demesne, Maynooth, Co. Kildare.

    Applicants are requested to:

(i) Ensure that application forms are completed fully and accurately and that all the necessary information is supplied to include:

  • Playing rights 2018
  • Full playing schedule for 2018
  • Coach and coaching programme
  • Training and fitness programme
  • Financial details
  • Statement outlining goals and objectives

(ii)  Ensure that they fulfil the criteria specified for the particular category.

(iii)  Give precise information in relation to handicaps and previous performances.

8. Selection Procedures

Following consideration of the applications received under the Scheme, the Team Ireland Golf Committee will make decisions on the grants to be awarded. Decisions of the Committee will be forwarded to the Board of the Confederation for authorisation. In view of the level of funding available under the Scheme, it is intended to provide substantial aid to a limited number of applicants only. All applicants will be informed in writing of the outcome of their application. Details of the awards made under the Scheme will be published on Golfnet.ie.

9. Payment of Awards

Payment of the awards will be made in two instalments by the Confederation directly to the successful applicants and will be subject to providing:

  1. (a)  Signed Form of Agreement

  2. (b)  Bank Details

  3. (c)  Expenditure reports with appropriate receipts, covering the value of the grant

  4. (d)  Playing schedule

  5. (e)  Photo evidence of logo wearing, as designated by the Team Ireland Golf Committee

10. Appeals Process

Golfers may appeal decisions of the Team Ireland Golf Committee made in respect of or under the Scheme regarding non-inclusion or the level of grant allocation. The appeal must be made on the appropriate Team Ireland Golf Application Appeal Form, which will be available after the announcement of the awards.

Such appeals must be made by the player to the secretary of the Appeals process. An independent panel may be set up and any decision of the panel in relation to such an appeal shall be final and binding, and no further appeal may arise therefrom.

11. Conditions of Participation in the Scheme

Participants in the Scheme will be bound by conditions of award outlined hereunder:

  • Must be undertaking a current competition programme, details of which must be submitted to Team Ireland Golf at the Confederation of Golf in Ireland.

  • Must compete as an Irish player on the main International tours or tours for which financial support is being given.

  • Provide details of all eligible expenditure with appropriate receipts when requesting grant instalments. Any player who fails to make a return of expenditure will not receive further grant payments or be considered for further support under the Scheme.

  • Acknowledge the support of the Team Ireland Golf in media interviews and articles.

  • Agreement to publicly represent the Team Ireland Golf and its members in the promotion of Ireland abroad as a golf destination. This will involve a small number of public appearances and the wearing of logos on all clothing and equipment in events as decided by Team Ireland Golf

  • Subscribe to anti-doping policies set out by Sport Ireland and abide by a drugs-free philosophy.

  • Any breach of the rules or misconduct regarded by the Committee as incompatible with participation in the Scheme may result in the withdrawal of all or part of the financial support and/or access to services awarded under the Scheme.

Application forms are available from the Confederation of Golf in Ireland, Carton Demesne, Maynooth, Co Kildare

The closing date for receipt of applications to the Confederation is Monday 15th January 2018.