Hopes for a fully rescheduled elite amateur men’s competitive golfing calendar this summer have been dashed after the Golfing Union of Ireland announced its revised championship season on Tuesday.
Chief among the events that have been cancelled for 2020 are the Flogas Irish Amateur Open and Ireland’s four amateur “majors”, the West, East, North and South of Ireland Championships.
With travel beyond one’s home area prohibited until Phase 4 of the Irish Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, there will be no national competition possible in the Republic before June 20.
The GUI has rescheduled a limited Bridgestone Order of Merit series including new dates for the Munster Stroke Play, Mullingar Scratch Trophy and Connacht Stroke Play in August and September, while the AIG Irish Amateur Close Championship will now serve as a season-ending event at Rosapenna on October 9-11.
The governing body stressed, however, that all its events on the revised 2020 calendar “will only proceed following rigorous risk management and consultation with the latest public health advice”.
Explaining the loss of the Irish Amateur Open and big four provincial championships, the GUI said: “After careful consideration, the Flogas Irish Amateur Open Championship has been cancelled due to the uncertainty prevailing around international travel and related disease control challenges.
“The ‘big-four’ provincial championships have also been cancelled after detailed consideration of any and all options for rescheduling. The Union wishes to place on record its thanks to the four host clubs for their support and helpfulness in trying to accommodate alternative plans. The Interprovincial Championship and the Underage Interprovincials have also been cancelled.
“The GUI and Provincial Branches have sought to provide as much of a balance of age categories as possible in scheduling and rescheduling other championships throughout August, September and October.
“Caddies will be prohibited in all events, and the format and terms of competition may be altered.”
The GUI added that entrants who do not wish to participate may withdraw up to the closing date for entries and receive a full refund.
“The priority at all times – in all of these cases - will be the safety and wellbeing of all involved – participants, volunteers, spectators and staff. Events will only proceed following rigorous risk management and consultation with the latest public health advice from the relevant state authorities and the World Health Organisation.”
The Union said it was working on plans to reschedule the Irish Seniors Close Championship, the Irish Boys Amateur Open Championship and the Irish Under-14 Boys Amateur Open Championship, but as Close Championships with Irish entrants only in 2020.
There remains uncertainty about the status of the provincial and national inter-club championships, known collectively as the AIG All Ireland Cups and Shields but the GUI said it was currently finalising a paper on those competitions, ready for circulation to clubs for “consideration and feedback” early next week.
Ulster Regional Series 2 of 3 (Ballyliffin); Connacht Boys Alliance No 3 (Ballyhaunis); West of Ireland Amateur Open Qualifier & Championship (Co Sligo); Ulster Winter Series 2 of 3 (Edenmore); Ulster Regional Series 3 of 3 (Slieve Russell); Ulster Winter Series 3 of 3 (Galgorm Castle); Connacht U15 Schools Development (Castlebar); Irish Seniors Amateur Open Championship (Castlewarden); Leinster Mid–Amateur Open Championship (Balbriggan); Ulster Stroke Play Open Championship (Galgorm Castle); East of Ireland Amateur Open Championship (Co Louth); Ulster Schools Junior Championship (Tandragee); Munster Mid–Amateur Open Championship (Nenagh); Munster U14 Boys Championship (Cahir Park); Munster U13 Close Qualifier (Adare Manor); Ulster Mid–Amateur Open Championship (Rosapenna); Leinster U16 Close Championship (Ashbourne); Munster U13 Close Qualifier (Macroom); North of Ireland Amateur Open Championship (Royal Portrush); Ulster Scratch Foursomes Championship (Malone); Underage Interprovincial Championships (Mullingar); South of Ireland Amateur Open Championship (Lahinch Old Course); Flogas Irish Amateur Open Championship (Galway); Men’s Interprovincial Championship (Ballykisteen); Connacht Mid-Amateur Championship (Roscommon).
Ulster Under-18 Close Championship (Royal Portrush Valley Links); Ulster Under-16/Under-14 Close Championship (Knock); Irish Boys Inter-Club Leinster Qualifiers (Kilkenny & Millicent); Irish Boys Inter-Club Leinster Qualifiers (Malahide & Woodbrook); Connacht Junior Close Championship Qualifiers (Ballinasloe & Ballina); Connacht Under-16 Inter-Club Championship (Ballinrobe); Munster Under-15 & Under-17 Close Championship (TBC); Ulster Under-14 Boys Championship (Donaghadea); Munster Under-16 Boys Championship (Roscrea); Ulster Seniors Championship (Slieve Russell); Connacht Junior Close Championships Finals (Tuam); Ulster Under-16 Boys Championship (Carnalea); Mullingar Scratch Trophy (Mullingar); Irish Boys Inter-Club Ulster Section (Ballycastle & Dungannon); Irish Under-16 Boys Championship (Lurgan); Ulster Under-18 Boys Championship (Warrenpoint); Irish Boys Inter-Club Munster Qualifiers (Cobh); Leinster Under-16 Boys Championship (Beaverstown); Irish Boys Inter-Club Munster Qualifiers (Newcastle West); Irish Boys Inter-Club Connacht Qualifiers (Boyle & Gort); Irish Boys Inter-Club Munster Qualifiers (Ennis & Carrick-on-Suir); Leinster Under-14 Boys Championship (TBC); Connacht Under-18 Boys Championship (Loughrea); Munster Stroke Play Championship (Cork); Connacht Under-16 Boys Championship (Roscommon); Munster Under-18 Boys Championship (TBC); Connacht Stroke Play Championship (Portumna); Munster Seniors Championship (TBC); Irish Mid-Amateur Championship (Nenagh); GUI All-Ireland Gold Medals Grand Final (The K Club); Leinster Seniors Championship (New Forest); AIG Irish Amateur Close Championship (Rosapenna – Sandy Hills); Connacht Seniors Championship (TBC); Irish Intervarsity Championship (Portsalon); Connacht Under-14 Boys Championship (Strandhill); Leinster Under-18 Boys Championship (Glasson).