Golf Ireland have launched the 2023 Championships programme, with a number of significant changes being heralded for the forthcoming season.
Following a High Performance Review, the AIG Irish Men’s Amateur Close Championship, will be played over 72 holes of stroke play, while the AIG Irish Women’s Amateur Close Championship will be played over a streamlined format with two rounds of stroke play qualifying from which the top-16 players will advance to the championship match play rounds. Connemara will host the Women’s Championship (22-25 June) with Malone the host venue for the Men’s event (18-20 August).
A new programme of championships for Women and Girls will also be rolled out for 2023. The Golf Ireland Women’s Championship Series has been modelled on the highly successful Rose Ladies Series in the UK, and will consist of four regional championships, each played over one day, culminating in a season-ending 54-hole Championship. The events will be for players over 18 years of age, with the season-ending event played in conjunction with the Irish Men’s Mid-Amateur Open Championship. The Women’s Championship Series is intended to be more attractive to female championship golfers in their 20s, 30s and 40s – an age cohort that has been under-represented in recent years. As part of this change, Golf Ireland will stage four Regional Girls’ Championships as separate events to the Women’s Championships. Two of these will be played in the high summer season in conjunction with two of the four Regional Boys’ Championships. This initiative is another which aligns with Golf Ireland’s strategic aim of creating a culture of mixed events in its competition programme.
After the success of its inaugural staging in 2022, the second annual Irish Open for Players with Disabilities will return to Roganstown on 27-28 June, and will for the first time be a European Disabled Golf Association Flagship event, guaranteeing higher World Ranking points for elite players. Entries for this event have already opened and the entry portal can be accessed through the European Disabled Golf Association website (edgagolf.com).
The Golf Ireland’s Senior Men’s Championship circuit has also been restructured, with the inclusion of a new Seniors and Veterans’ Stroke Play Championship played in conjunction with the Irish Senior Women’s Amateur Open in Powerscourt on 16-18 August. This adds to the existing national programme which includes the Irish Senior Men’s Open Championship at Hermitage (24-26 May) and the Irish Senior Women’s and Men’s Close Championships at Strandhill (4-7 July). As part of this restructuring, Golf Ireland will also reintroduce the Veteran Men’s Category, with two 18-hole championships being played at regional level in Munster and Leinster with a Veterans’ Championship category also being competed for at the Senior Men’s events.
“The aim of the restructuring of our championships programme is to create a broader appeal for our events and to make them more attractive, living up to the commitments in our Strategic Plan to deliver a streamlined, inclusive and equitable calendar” said Golf Ireland’s Championships Director Mark Wehrly.
“The restructuring will also see us deliver our competitions in a smarter way, and add value and opportunities for our players, who are at the centre of everything we do.”
Golf Ireland’s flagship amateur open championships will once again take place on back-to-back weeks in May. This time the Flogas Irish Men’s Amateur Open will be first up, being played once again at The Island Golf Club on 11-14 May. The following week Woodbrook will take centre stage for the Flogas Irish Women’s and Girls’ Amateur Open Championship, on 19-21 May.
Golf Ireland will also once again launch an extensive programme of inter-club events when entries open in the coming weeks, with these running throughout the season and culminating in the All-Ireland Final Series which will be staged at Castletroy (Underage Series, 29-30 August), Dun Laoghaire (7-10 September), Knightsbrook (14-17 September) and Westport (21-24 September).
Entries for all Championships will open in late January. Golf Ireland would like to thank all host clubs for their cooperation and providing outstanding facilities to host such an extensive and diverse event schedule.
For a full list of the 2023 Golf Ireland Schedule, see below or click here.