Delegates agreed a 15 once off levy to fund the development which includes administrative headquarters, a national museum, a golf academy and a national coaching centre.
The Carton complex already has two 18 hole championship courses designed by Colin Montgomerie and Mark O’Meara and the Carton House Golf Club has made 22 acres available to the GUI at the site, 15 miles from Dublin.
Mr Lee said he hoped the sale of Glencar House at Eglinton Road would raise in the region of 2.5 million, leaving a shortfall of 2.25 million from the Carton Project. Mr Lee also said that the new national coach would be a full-time position and not part-time as pertained in the past.
He also said that the GUI in conjunction with the PGA and the Irish Ladies Golfing Union had recently appointed two national development officers to promote the game from school level.
“All going well,” continued Mr Lee, “we should be able to move to Maynooth by January 2005.”
A lively debate ensued on the formula for deciding national team competitions in the province, in particular the Pierce Purcell Shield, the Jimmy Bruen Shield, the Irish Junior Cup and Irish Mixed Foursomes. There was majority support for reverting to full matchplay instead of strokeplay qualifying as pertained this year but this posed a huge problem for the branch officials who had already worked out the schedule for 2004.
They had also planned to increase the number of strokeplay qualifiers from two to four.
Many delegates found it difficult to accept that the 2004 fixture list could not be changed and delegates, particularly in West Munster, offered to run the events under matchplay conditions in their own area. This view was opposed, however, by branch secretary Sean McMahon who said that there had to be uniformity for all areas.
There were impassioned pleas from the top table to let the 2004 programme stand and they said that the pros and cons of the issues involved be debated and an EGM held prior to next year’s annual meeting.
Some delegates continued to push for the change to be made for 2004, however, but finally after another vote a majority of the big attendance agreed to run the events as per this year’s formula but that it would revert to matchplay in 2005.
Many tributes were paid to the late John Brett, Munster Branch chairman, whose death occurred during the year.
The tributes were led by Mr Bernard Hynes of Carrick-on-Suir who chaired the meeting at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow and a minute’s silence was observed in his memory.
Mr. Bernard Hynes was elected as chairman in succession to Mr. Brett, while Sean MacMahon (Adare Manor) and Michael Cashman (Cobh) were returned as honorary secretary and honorary match and handicap secretaries respectively.
Bill Murphy of Fermoy, an outgoing member of the Council, succeeds Mr. Hynes as treasurer and in the election of delegates through the Provincial Council, George Crosbie (Cork), was nominated as honorary delegate to Central Council.
Elected to the Provincial Council were: Tommy Donnelly, Youghal; Donal Hurley, Douglas; Michael Lawlor, Tralee; Peter McMahon, Lahinch; Alan McIlraith, Tramore; Graham McKay, Macroom; Liam Martin, Castletroy; Michael Minihan, Bandon; John Moloughney, Templemore; John Molyneaux, Ballybunion; Christy Moylan, Shannon; Michael P Murphy, Newcastle West; Patrick Murphy, West Waterford; Paddy O’Connor, Muskerry; Pat O’Dwyer, Kenmare; Sean O’Leary, Mahon and Phil O’Sullivan, Monkstown.