GUI, ILGU consult members on merger

A bid to unite golf in Ireland under one governing body could move a step closer with the involvement of key stakeholders in the game in the next two months.

The Irish Ladies’ Golf Union (ILGU) and the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) announced they would be holding exploratory talks about a merger in May 2015, with the aim of creating “one governing body to serve the game of golf, and its players and clubs, into the future”.

A result of those discussions is that both the ILGU and GUI have identified the need to consult with their various stakeholders.

“These consultations will provide an opportunity for various stakeholders, including our clubs and club members, to voice their ideas and visions for one governing body,” a statement issued yesterday on behalf of both parties read. “All clubs will be given an opportunity to participate in the consultation process, and individual members of clubs will be surveyed for their views.

“The aim is to draw out the perceptions and attitudes of the stakeholders so as to inform future steps in the process. This will lead to a model being presented to the member clubs of both organisations for decision.”

The first round of consultations will take the form of focus-group sessions with a cross-section of member clubs at seven venues around the island of Ireland.

“These sessions will take place over the next two months and will be attended by up to 15 clubs each, representing a quarter of the membership of both the ILGU and the GUI,” said the statement, which was signed by ILGU chief executive Sinead Heraty and her GUI counterpart, Pat Finn.

Should a merger take place, it would be between golf’s oldest respective national governing bodies. The GUI is the oldest golfing union in the world, having been formed in 1891, with the ILGU founded two years later.

Their potential merger would follow the example of Home International rivals England and Wales. Scotland’s men’s and women’s governing bodies unified last October.


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