New dawn for golf in clubs in Laois, Offaly and Ireland

Brian Guinan, Captain, Portarlington Golf Club

Reporter:

Brian Guinan, Captain, Portarlington Golf Club

New dawn for golf in clubs in Laois, Offaly and Ireland

The arrival of Golf Ireland in 2021 will not only initiate a whole new chapter in the history of Irish golf, but also a new beginning for clubs that previously had separate identities for ladies and gents golf.

Portarlington Golf Club will see this as an opportunity to unite both ILGU & GUI clubs, by moving forward together, and bringing uniformity with the rest of the golfing fraternity throughout the country.

Golf Ireland will provide several initiatives that are designed to assist clubs with promoting new ideas to help with existing structures that may have passed their ‘sell by’ date.

Membership of Portarlington Golf Club is open for everyone; we welcome both new and existing golfers of all ages and abilities to our excellent Member’s owned Course, Clubhouse and Facilities.

Portarlington Golf Club is an 18 hole mature Parkland course. A hidden gem of the Midlands that prides itself on excellent course presentation.

Portarlington is a popular venue for seasoned golfers while also providing an excellent society destination.

GOLF4ALL

Golf Ireland seeks to encourage greater accessibility for golfers with disabilities, open the sport to become inclusive and embrace new players and families. In this regard, Golf Ireland have been working with CARA and Disability Sport NI to develop ideas that will increase awareness, participation, offer golfing opportunities and make golf more open and inclusive to people with a disability.

Portarlington Golf Club is an ideal centre for disabled persons and their families to enjoy a round of golf and a meal afterwards, as both the course and restaurant are fully accessible, and user friendly for disabled persons, so we are looking forward to working with GOLF4ALL and CARA in creating an atmosphere that is more open and inclusive to people with a disability.

Junior Development

With ageing club memberships and the overall decline in golf participation, junior members have never been more important to the future of golf clubs.

Similarly, never have children had more variety and opportunity in the terms of activities, all competing to occupy their spare time and attract their talent. These factors present a challenge for golf to improve its ‘offer’ to young people and encourage them to start and stay in the game.

There are many reasons why golf is appealing to young people and their parents/guardians:

- Golf welcomes players of all ages and abilities

- Golf is a fun and challenging game, with a low risk of injury

The skill set required are different in comparison with traditionally popular sports such as Gaelic games, rugby, and soccer

- Golf can be played as both an individual and team sport

- Golf is a lifelong activity and is suitable for individuals, families, and groups

- There are many fantastic role models in Irish Golf including professionals such as Rory McIIroy, Shane Lowry, Stephanie Meadow and Leona Maguire to name but a few

- Golf is one of the most popular individual sport in Ireland

In the past junior golf did not require a great degree of care and attention from club management and officials as junior recruitment appeared to be relatively “easy” especially for boys. Today, the role of the junior committee should be regarded as the most important one in the golf club.

It is vital that adults, parents, and club officials work to provide a safe, supportive, and child-centred environment in which young people can thrive during their earliest experiences of golf.

Golf needs to embrace all abilities and welcome diversity in the playing population to ensure a sustainable future.

We have in Portarlington an excellent academy already blossoming under strict supervision, and the guiding care of our Junior Convenor, and our dedicated team of mentors, and we are looking forward to new additions in the coming year.

Membership Enquiries: Tel: 0578623115: email: www.portarlingtongolfclub.ie