HAVING survived a rollercoaster 2020, golf clubs got a boost recently with the announcement of a new government grant fund for golf clubs.
The Club Resilience Fund was announced just before Christmas by Sport Ireland and golf clubs can now apply for grant funding up to €25,000.
Commenting on the announcement Mark Kennelly, the CEO of Golf Ireland said: “Many golf clubs have suffered a losses in revenue because of the pandemic and Golf Ireland is committed to supporting clubs in every way possible.
"This is a substantial allocation for golf, and it underlines the important role of golf in the sporting landscape. I encourage all clubs to inform themselves of the requirements of the fund and to submit their applications.
"We are delighted to have secured this funding for golf clubs in the Republic of Ireland and I’d like to express our thanks to Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Media and Sport Catherine Martin TD, the Minster for State for Sport and Gaeltacht Jack Chambers TD and Sport Ireland for considering the submissions that Golf Ireland made on behalf of golf clubs.”
This funding is in addition to the R&A fund of €596,000 which was announced in October.
To be considered for funding, applicants must meet the criteria and conditions set out for the fund which is designed to assist clubs most in need of financial supports.
Clubs can consider applying under the areas of sustainability, service improvement, training and education for staff and/or volunteers, programmes for vulnerable and under-represented groups to engage them in golf, modification of facilities and ways to reduce costs. Clubs are however encouraged to apply for other ventures which fall within the terms of the funding rules. The initial allocation for golf was €2.7m but an additional €100,000 has since been secured by Golf Ireland to bring the total support package to €2.8m. Clubs have until 20th January 2021 to submit their applications with an announcement of recipients expected in early February. Grants of up to €25,000 will be awarded to successful clubs. Golf Clubs can also apply for funding under the sport capital scheme which is also open for applications until mid February.
In other Golf Ireland news, Neil Manchip has been appointed as the Golf Ireland High Performance Director and National Coach. Manchip has worked with the GUI for 15 years and held the role of National Coach until his new appointment. With Golf Ireland taking over as the single governing body for the sport from 2021, Manchip will now oversee the high performance programmes for all amateur golf in Ireland. Speaking after the announcement, Manchip was relishing the task ahead: “I’m delighted and honoured to be part of the Golf Ireland Team during what promises to be an exciting and innovative period for Golf in Ireland. Irish Golfers have enjoyed huge success on the world stage over the past number of years and we hope to build on their legacy with continued success with today’s very talented group of golfers.”
Originally from Scotland, Manchip moved to Ireland in 1992 spending time in Royal County Down and Royal Dublin before moving to the GUI in 2005. Since then Manchip has presided over an unprecedented period of team and individual successes since 2005. Some highlights include two European Team Championships, five Men’s Home Internationals (including four-in-a-row from 2014) a bronze medal in the 2016 World Amateur Team Championships and three Amateur Championship titles. His relationship with Shane Lowry has produced a series of top-level professional victories, the highlight of course being the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush. He has also worked with several Cork golfers through the Irish panels over the past 10 years, including James Sugrue, John Murphy, Peter O’Keeffe and Fionn Hickey.
A recipient of the John Jacobs Award for Coaching and Teaching, awarded by the PGAs of Europe, Manchip is no stranger to success himself. He was a dominant force on the Irish PGA circuit around the turn of the millennium, with the highlight being his 1999 PGA Championship win at The Island, where he beat notables such as Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley. Off the golf course, Manchip has been instrumental in instilling a culture and philosophy of success within the GUI and in developing the Union’s world-class High Performance Programme. Manchip will now turn his attention towards Golf Ireland’s fully integrated, inclusive High Performance Programme which will support players development from Regional to National level and during their early years as touring professionals.