The Munster Council of the Golfing Union of Ireland lost 5% or 1,544 members for the year until the end of September — with an estimated 9,000 quitting membership in the region since 2007.
Even if there are signs that the worst effects of the recession are coming to an end – many clubs have eliminated joining fees for new members and even reduced the annual subscription – numbers continue to decline.
“Clubs are having great difficulty in retaining members”, states treasurer Michael J Murphy (Tramore) in his report to the Annual Delegates Meeting to be held at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow, on Tuesday, November 25.
“The province has lost 9,000 members since 2007 and there is recognition of the fact that a significant number of these people still play but are not members of a club.
“It is in the interest of all clubs that we try and encourage some of these back into membership of our clubs.
“At national level, a new company, the Confederation of Golf in Ireland, has been set up and one of its major aims is the promotion of the game throughout the country and to assist clubs in attracting new members.”
On a more upbeat note, Murphy reports that “our junior membership numbers at just over 5, 000 have remained fairly constant and we would encourage all clubs to look at juniors as potential full members and put in place a structure that will make the game of golf a choice for life. We have in place since 2009 a coaching grant scheme which has greatly improved junior golf in the province.”
Outgoing John Moloughney (Templemore) and Michael Murphy (Ballybunion) have been proposed for the position of Branch chairman with Hon Secretary Jim Long (Monkstown), Hon Treasurer Michael J Murphy (Tramore) and Hon Match/Secretary Liam Harkin (Muskerry) all returned unopposed.
* Nineteen nominations have been received for the 17 positions available on the provincial council. The new nominations are John Carroll (Ballybunion), Dave Prendergast (Cork) and Patrick Turner (Muskerry).
The full list is: Gordon Adair (Douglas), Eric Brick (Dooks), John Carroll (Bandon), John Carroll (Ballybunion), Phil Cooney (Lee Valley), Michael Coote (Tralee), Tom Donnelly (Youghal), Pat Dunne (Roscrea), Peter English (Limerick), John Fennessy (Clonmel), Kevin Glynn (Lahinch), Barry Lynch (Raffeen Creek), Jim Lyne (Glengarriff), Michael P Murphy (Newcastle West), Sean O’Leary (Mahon), Dave Prendergast (Cork), Brian Punch (Castletroy), Joe Rouine (Adare Manor), Patrick Turner (Muskerry).
Delegate to Central Council – Peter English (Limerick).