Golf Ireland has launched a Junior Policy that will help clubs ensure Junior members are at the forefront of every club’s future.
The Policy has been created to support and encourage more Juniors to get involved in the game and stay in the game, and to outline best practice for clubs in relation to the recruitment and retention of Junior boys and girls.
It is envisaged that the Junior Committee have a representative at each club’s Management Committee meetings to provide an update on Junior Development.
Barriers to entry in club competitions will also be removed as part of the new policy. Boys and Girls with handicaps 19.9 or 39.9 respectively must have the opportunity to compete in and win Men’s and Women’s competitions.
The Policy aims to remove barriers that hinder the opportunities juniors have to participate in club competitions, with Clubs having until April 20 to fully implement it. Clubs who feel they may struggle to implement aspects of the policy are encouraged to seek support by emailing the Golf Ireland Regional Team (Contacts found here) who will work directly with the club.
Martin Hynes, Chair of Golf Ireland’s Junior Development Committee said: “A corner-stone of Golf Ireland’s strategy is to grow the game of golf throughout our community. Central to this, and to the future of golf in Ireland, is to foster and grow junior participation. We are recommending best practises to integrate Junior Committees into your Club’s overall governance structures and to removing any barriers to the development of junior golfers.”
Golf Ireland’s National Coach and High Performance Director, Neil Manchip says the new Policy will have a long and lasting positive effect in clubs around the country.
“The key to this policy is to provide more opportunities for boys and girls to play the game within their clubs, and more importantly, to enjoy it. We have terrific and talented youngsters around the country that are role models and stars in their clubs.
“Having the tools in place to make sure our Juniors are listened to, and looked after will mean the number of boys and girls playing and progressing in the game will continue to improve, no matter the level they wish to reach.”
A long and extensive consultation process took place in 2021 with clubs nationwide in the creation of the Junior Policy.
Edenderry GC’s Designated Liaison Person Kevin Farrell says the Policy will be widely welcomed by clubs.
“When this sense of a shared vision exists between a small club and a national body it gives a sense of energy or indeed synergy, stemming from a deep passion for the game and for the place of young people in securing its long term future.”
“It is an exciting time for junior golf, and I was thrilled to hear of Golf Ireland’s vision. A document is one thing but when you hear people speak enthusiastically about its purpose and its implementation then it comes to life.”
Junior Convenor Workshops will take place in each region in Spring, which will cover the new Golf Ireland Junior Policy as well as a range of support initiatives specific to Golf Ireland that are available to golf clubs through Golf Ireland.