Golf Ireland has launched a new five-year Strategic Plan that will help guide the game from 2022 to 2026.
Titled ‘Golf For Everyone’, this is the first Strategy of its kind from Golf Ireland and arrives after a lengthy consultation process.
“Golf is a game for everyone – for enjoyment, for health, for life,” is the Vision of the Strategic Plan, with five focus areas set out throughout the Strategy. These are, Securing the Future of Golf, Supporting Our Clubs and Golfers, Leading Our Organisation, Delivering Our Events and Nurturing Our Talent.
18 objectives form the heart of the Strategic Plan, that sit under the five focus areas.
‘Golf For Everyone’ is the first time in Ireland the sport will have a cohesive strategy which provides a framework to shape and grow the game of golf for men, women, boys and girls of all backgrounds and abilities equally.
The development of the strategy involved consultation with every corner of the golf community through surveys, focus groups and data analysis as well as research with non-golfers to find out more about how the game can be made open, attractive and accessible to them.
The strategy has a specific focus on the future, supporting clubs to retain their current members (the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a 12% growth in membership in 2020, membership is currently at the highest level since 2012) and attracting new ones, particularly more women and juniors.
Research conducted by Golf Ireland shows there are 500,000 casual golfers on the island and over 40% of the population are open to the idea of playing the game, therefore the aim is to provide opportunities for more people, to play more golf, more regularly.
Golf is a lifelong game that has proven benefits for both physical and mental health. In an average 9-hole round a player will take over 5,000 steps so it is a great way for people of all ages and abilities to have fun and be active. In addition, the ability to play the game outdoors and in a naturally socially distanced manner, has helped participation thrive and in popularity over the last two years.
The recently turned professional John Murphy and Ireland international Beth Coulter joined Golf Ireland CEO Mark Kennelly along with representatives from the Golf Community to launch the Strategy.
“The creation of Golf Ireland was, at its core, the bringing together of women and men to work together for the betterment of our great sport,” Golf Ireland CEO Mark Kennelly said.
“That spirit has been very evident in our first year of existence when our fantastic volunteers helped deliver an outstanding programme of top-class events.
“That same spirit will be the key to the success of this first Strategic Plan. We invite the entire golf community – Board, Committees, Regional Executives, Clubs, Players, Volunteers, Staff and Partners – to help us make it a reality.”
“It’s an ambitious Plan for the sustainable growth of our sport”, Golf Ireland Chairperson Paul Haran added. “It places a special emphasis on the place of young people, women and girls in the future of golf in Ireland, and on excellent governance at all levels.”
- You can view the Strategic Plan here