Golf Ireland professionals receive over €325,000 in funding from Sport Ireland

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Mark Kennelly (Golf Ireland CEO), Neil Manchip (Golf Ireland HP Director), Mark Power, Conor Purcell, Lauren Walsh and Úna May (Sport Ireland CEO) Credit: James Crombie / Inpho.

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Sport Ireland, Golf Ireland and Minister Thomas Byrne TD have welcomed the launch of the 2024 Golf Ireland Professional Scheme, with ten golfers set to benefit from the grants worth more than €325,000.

For 25 years the program has helped Irish golfers compete on the world stage, and at the launch of the 2024 scheme at the Golf Ireland Academy today were three of the new generation who will benefit.

Conor Purcell, Lauren Walsh, and Mark Power were at the Maynooth, Co Kildare venue. They are among ten professionals who will each receive €33,000 in funding. The other golfers are Olivia Mehaffey, Gary Hurley, Dermot McElroy, Ronan Mullarney, Conor O’Rourke, John Murphy and Alex Maguire.

Welcoming the announcement, the Minister of State for Sport, Physical Education and the Gaeltacht Thomas Byrne TD said: “I welcome the positive impact that Government funding has had in supporting Irish golfers through this important scheme which is administered by Sport Ireland. As Ireland looks forward to hosting the Ryder Cup in 2027, it is important that we continue to invest in Irish golfers and I want to wish this year’s 10 beneficiaries every success as they continue to forge their careers in professional golf.”

Golf Ireland will receive €325,000 in Government funding, via Sport Ireland, for the management and administration of the Golf Ireland Professional Scheme. This significant backing, together with a contribution from Sport NI, will once again enable these golfers to compete on the international stage.

Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, Dr Úna May said: “This year marks a quarter of a century since Sport Ireland first backed the Golf Ireland Professional Scheme. We’re proud of our long association with the initiative and delighted to have been able to play a key role in backing some of Ireland’s most talented golfers over the past 25 years and again for 2024.”

Conor Purcell, who has been part of the scheme since 2020, said: “We are all grateful for the support we receive from the Golf Ireland Professional Scheme. This not only acknowledges the dedication we put into improving our game but also helps to equip us for the global circuit.”

Lauren Walsh, who joined the Golf Ireland Professional Scheme last year, said: “When I turned professional last year it was a huge help to be able to avail of the scheme and the ongoing support into 2024 is invaluable. It’s wonderful to have this backing as I continue to elevate my game.”

Mark Power, who is embarking on his first full year as a professional, said: “Joining the scheme is a fantastic bonus at the start of my professional career. The support and resources it offers are crucial for my development on the international stage.”

Golf Ireland CEO Mark Kennelly said: “Our ongoing partnership with Sport Ireland represents a joint commitment to advance the game across the island. This funding is vital for enabling these ten golfers to perform at the top level around the world. We are excited about their bright futures and the role they will play in motivating the next wave of golfers in Ireland.”

Through Government funding, Sport Ireland provides significant investment through financial support and tournament invitations to professional golf tournaments in Ireland including the Amgen Irish Open, KPMG Women’s Irish Open, Irish Challenge and the OFX Irish Legends events. The Sport Ireland funding is strategically important for professional golfers who can compete at these levels.

Sport Ireland has provided funding to the Golf Ireland Professional Scheme since 1999. The scheme also gives players direct funding; coaching expertise; access to Golf Ireland’s National Academy and Quinta do Lago training base; and access to the Sport Ireland Institute.

For more information on the Golf Ireland Professional Scheme visit the Golf Ireland website here. Full criteria for the scheme can also be found here.

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