Templemore’s John Moloughney bowed out as president of the Golfing Union of Ireland at the weekend as the office transferred out of Munster to Connacht.
Moloughney’s 12-month term in 2018 saw Ireland host the World Amateur Teams Championships at Carton House while the annual AIG Cups and Shields All-Ireland finals were hosted in his native Tipperary at Thurles Golf Club.
Moloughney was succeeded as President by Mayo’s Jim McGovern at the GUI’s Annual General Meeting at Knightsbrook in Meath last Saturday.
The Castlebar man becomes the 71st President of the GUI and speaking after his election he spoke of his hopes for his term in office.
“I’m looking forward to serving the union as an ambassador, meeting new people and listening to people to find out their views on how golf can be improved,” McGovern said.
“I hope that our teams and our players will have a good year. I’m really looking forward to watching our amateur players contesting and winning. We have got off to a great start with Conor Purcell winning the Australian Amateur Championship.”
McGovern, a retired teacher, takes over the presidency after two decades of voluntary service within the game, including seven years as his club’s honorary secretary from 1999 to 2006. He was elected to the Connacht Provincial Council in 2004, serving as honorary secretary for the Branch from 2010 to 2013 before taking over as chairman in 2014.
With the governance of golf on the island of Ireland undergoing sweeping change over the next couple of years as the GUI and Irish Ladies Golfing Union merge into a single governing body, Golf Ireland, following landslide votes for reform by their respective club delegates last month, McGovern also addressed the need for clubs to themselves adapt for the future in order to arrest drops in member numbers.
“I hope that clubs can get enough memberships to make ends meet and survive. I’m the oldest of our fourball and the rest are no spring chickens either. Young people have too much to do now. The time involved in playing a round of golf is too long.”
The transition to a single governing body took a significant step yesterday with the appointment of former Consul General of Ireland in New York Tim O’Connor as Chairman of the Golf Ireland Transition Board.
The board, which is charged with getting Golf Ireland up and running ahead of the official launch of the body in 2021 includes four representatives from both the ILGU and GUI with O’Connor as an independent chairman.
Its formation follows the historic vote of approval for the Golf Ireland proposal by golf clubs by 94% of the GUI ballot and 100% of the ILGU vote.
“I am honoured to be asked to be the chairman of the Transition Board of Golf Ireland and I look forward to working with my fellow Directors, and the GUI and ILGU, to making the new organisation a reality,” O’Connor said.
“I see the establishment of Golf Ireland as a historic new beginning for the sport in Ireland, building on the great work over generations by the GUI and the ILGU. Change is never easy and I pay tribute to both unions, their affiliate clubs and members of them around the island, for recognising the need to evolve and taking such a forward-thinking and important step in creating one governing body for the sport.
“Golf is set for an exciting future in Ireland, based on one vision and one voice. I look forward to making my contribution to such an exciting and positive project.”