Posts Tagged ‘Ulster Branch’

Ulster Branch news – Reece Black claims Boys OoM; John White named Branch Chairman

December 10, 2017

Ulster Branch 2017 OoM winners (l-r)
Andrew Morris sponsor, Aaron Marshall (Lisburn), Reece Black (Hilton Templepatrick), Joshua Hill (Galgorm Castle), John McKinstry (Cairndhu) Ulster Branch Junior Convenor

East of Ireland Champion, Reece Black, was crowned Ulster Boys Order of Merit winner at the recent Ulster Branch GUI ADM.
The Hilton Templepatrick member carded a superb final round 66 to claim the East. In doing so, the 17-year-old became the youngest ever winner of the East in its 77-year history.
The U16 Order of Merit winner was Lisburn’s Aaron Marshall. Aaron won the Munster and Leinster Boys titles and also came second in the Irish Boys while Joshua Hill (Galgorm Castle) lifted the U14 award.
John White (left) a member of Co Armagh GC was elected Ulster Branch Chairman for a two-year term.  John joined Co Armagh as a juvenile and played at Senior Cup and Barton Shield level. He has served on numerous committees, is a past captain and past president of the club and is currently a trustee.
He has been involved with the Ulster Branch for some 20 years and has held the posts of Hon Treasurer and Hon Secretary. He has also been a provincial selector for some years and is a former captain of the Senior Interprovincial team winning the title in 2005 and 2006.
At national level, John is a previous convenor of the Venues and Fixtures and High Performance Committees and is currently the Ulster nominee to the GUI Board. He is also an Irish Senior selector and has acted as team manager on several occasions including a victorious European Nations (2016) and two Home International winning teams (2015 and 2017).
Norman Bennett (Holywood) was elected Hon Secretary, Alasdair Gibson (Knock) Hon Treasurer and Brian Hutchinson (Donaghadee) Hon Match and Handicapping Secretary.
Elected to the provincial council were; Jackie Graham (Castlerock), Terry Magee (Clandeboye), Tony Cassidy (Dunmurry) and David Heaney (Scrabo).
Elected to the Match and Handicap committee were; Patsy McCaffrey (Enniskillen), Billy McCaul (Greencastle), John Doran (Letterkenny), Jason Wilson (Loughgall), Michael Leonard (Portsalon) and Jeff Forde (Tandragee).



Ulster Branch steps up efforts to unearth the next Rory McIlroy

November 29, 2012

ULSTER branch officials are ramping up their efforts to unearth the next Rory McIlroy by seeking to appoint a Talent Identification Officer.
Branch Chairman, Peter Sinclair, told club representatives at the ADM that discussions were well advanced with Sports NI to provide funding for the new role.
In recent years the branch has stepped up efforts to pinpoint the next generation of players with former secretary, Brendan Edwards, and his team of coaches driving the process.
This year a summer assessment programme was well supported by the clubs with some 300 boys attending various venues across the province. The coaches then selected 80 participants for further intensive coaching during the winter at the Greenmount Academy.
Ulster golf continues to produce world class performers at both the professional and amateur level but the branch is determined to make the most of the new upsurge in interest sparked by the success of Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Alan Dunbar.
To that end, the new appointee will be charged with working closely with junior convenors across the province to ensure that promising young players are not lost to the game which is particularly important at a time when falling membership is a serious issue for many clubs.
Mr Sinclair revealed that adult membership across Ulster had dropped from a peak of 44,000 in 2008 to a current level of 36,500.
He added, “We believe there are not fewer people playing golf. We believe people are playing golf elsewhere by taking advantage of the deals that are available.

“It concerns the provincial council and we are continually striving to find ways of assisting clubs in this area. We will be supporting changes to the GUI Constitution allowing the formation of a separate body in conjunction with the ILGU and the PGA.

“This Confederation will be tasked with the development of the game of golf and will include later next year the appointment of Club Development Officers in the four provinces.”
Motions put forward by Donaghadee to regionalise the Ulster Fourball and Ulster Cup competitions was defeated as was Rockmount’s motion urging the GUI to subsidise clubs reaching the All-Ireland Cups and Shields.

Chairman – Peter Sinclair (Knock)
Hon Sect – Eamonn O’Connor (Donegal)
Hon Treasurer – John White (Co Armagh)
Hon Match Sect – Norman Bennett (Holywood)
Provincial Council
Tom Jones (Belvoir Park), David McNeill (Cairndhu), Sam McBurney (Massereene), Dougie Irwin (Rathmore)
Match & Handicapping Committee
Jason Wilson (Loughgall), Nick Agate (Malone), Tony Cassidy (Dunmurry), Richard Dillon (Tandragee)

GUI financial proposals have ‘not gone far enough’

November 22, 2012

Donaghadee Junior Cup team celebrate their victory over Athenry in the Chartis Europe sponsored Junior Cup at Kinsale Golf Club.

GOLFING Union of Ireland proposals aimed at helping cashed strapped clubs have been dismissed as ‘not going far enough’ by Rockmount GC captain Peter O’Hara.
For the second year in a row, the Co Down club has tabled a motion ahead of the forthcoming Ulster branch ADM urging the GUI to subsidise clubs reaching the finals of the All-Ireland Cups and Shields.
“We put forward the same motion last year. At the time, Peter Sinclair [Chairman], indicated to the meeting that the GUI was looking at ways to help clubs out,” said Peter.
During last year’s debate on Rockmount’s motion, Mr Sinclair insisted that the Union would, ‘not sit on three million’. He added that the Union was working to produce a plan that would benefit ‘every GUI member’ and not just the clubs that reached the All-Ireland Finals.
The Union intends to freeze competition entry fees for three years and also freeze the levy [£11 paid by every affiliated member] for a minimum of three years. The Ulster branch levy [£3.50] will also be frozen for three years.

“I hope the delegates remember what was said last year and support the motion, in my eyes not enough has been done to help the clubs,” added Peter.

Rockmount GC captain, Peter O’Hara

The levy remains the major source of income for both the GUI and the provinces. A decision to freeze them at current levels, coupled as it is with a declining membership, will undoubtedly have an impact on the Union’s ability to administer the amateur game.
Ulster branch figures for 2012 reveal that £131,787 was taken in through the levy, down by just over £4000 on the 2011 figure. It is expected to decline again in 2013 as a result of dropping membership. Yet, the branch and the Union are still able to report an operating surplus at the end of the year, while many clubs are battling to stay afloat.
Donaghadee’s Junior Cup team went all the way to the All-Ireland Finals in Kinsale this year, returning with a gold medal but the success came at a cost of over £4000.
Like most clubs, Donaghadee was forced to fundraise to send the team to Cork and club captain, Jim McCurley, an enthusiastic supporter of the Rockmount proposal, is convinced that something more than just ‘tinkering at the edges’ has to be done.
“We have been cutting costs for a number of years and we will be doing so next year,” said Jim.
“All the money that was talked about last year [at the ADM] and still they are taking money off us.”
Jim estimates that Donaghadee spent somewhere in the region of £10,000 on team expenses this year, a heavy reduction on previous campaigns and only achieved by some early exits and tight monetary controls.
It’s one of the reasons why the club has proposed motions to the ADM aimed at regionalising the early rounds of the Ulster Cup and Ulster Fourball competitions.
“Our Ulster Cup team went to Ballyliffin this year to play and our Ulster Fourball team played Ballybofey and Newtownstewart. It was two expensive trips costing £1500,” added Jim.
“If things continue the way they are going, I can see clubs not being able to pay expenses or simply making financial decisions not to enter competitions.”
The Ulster Branch ADM is on November 27th.

GUI urged to get the cheque book out

November 14, 2011

ANNUAL general meetings tend to come and go without much controversy these days but there could be some interesting discussions at the forthcoming Ulster branch ADM which will be held at Shandon Park GC on November 22.
County Down club, Rockmount GC has put forward a motion which may give the Union’s finance officials some food for thought.
The actual motion reads as follows; ‘Rockmount Golf Club propose that in light of the healthy bank balance held by the GUI and the poor economic climate in which quite a few Golf Clubs are struggling financially that the GUI subsidise teams getting to the All Ireland Finals in 2012 and thereafter in the following competitions; Cups and Shields, Fred Daly Trophy, Irish Junior Foursomes and the Irish Mixed Foursomes.’
The motion was suggested by the Carryduff club’s incoming captain, Mr Peter O’Hara.
“I saw the accounts in the GUI golf yearbook and I noticed that they are very healthy. There’s millions sitting there,” said Peter a former Connacht Boys champion back in 1974.

“One of the major expenses that any club can have is if a team reaches the All-Ireland finals. I thought that at this stage, the GUI should be helping out those clubs by subsidising them to some degree.”

This year the All-Ireland Cups and Shields finals were hosted by Castlerock GC near Coleraine. Under the long-standing rotation system the annual amateur jamboree moves to County Cork and Kinsale GC in 2012 followed by Royal Tara, County Meath in 2013.
After that the festival is scheduled to be based at Carton House, near Maynooth from 2014-2017.
It is undoubtedly a very expensive operation to field teams in the latter stages of the Cups and Shields. The money for travel, accommodation, practice rounds and meals all has to be found by the clubs themselves.
Warrenpoint GC represented Ulster in three events – the Jimmy Bruen, Barton Shield and Senior Cup this year.
With that level of commitment, the club embarked on a series of fundraising events to gather the necessary funds which amounted to almost £10,000.
It was a similar story with the other clubs involved. Co Cork side Mitchelstown, who won the Junior Cup, cut costs by staying in local guesthouses but their bill also stretched into the thousands.
“I would say there are a lot of treasurers cringing when their teams progress to the All-Ireland finals,” added O’Hara.
“The size of the team can have a big impact. In the Senior Cup it’s only four or five players but when you get up to the likes of the Jimmy Bruen its 10 plus the team captain and club captain.”
There is no compunction on clubs to enter any GUI competition and many clubs don’t field in every event. However, it will be highly unsatisfying if finances start to dictate who can or can’t compete at provincial and all-Ireland level.
“The accommodation is going to be the most expensive thing. A lot of clubs just don’t have the money to throw around,” continued Peter.
“The time is right for the GUI to start helping the clubs and this being a major drain on any club’s finances it would be a good place to start.”