Golf in Ireland has moved a major step closer to gender unity with the Boards of the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) and the Irish Ladies Golf Union (ILGU) having approved a proposal which provides for the formation of a single governing body for Golf in Ireland.
The ILGU and GUI will now prepare for EGMs of the organisations at which affiliated clubs will vote on the Proposal.
A huge amount of work at executive level and through consultation with clubs has gone into the proposals which will bring together the two sides of the sport at every level.
Given that they were founded in 1891 and 1893 respectively that is a lot of history to bear in mind but in order to shed a historic image of golf and golf clubs as being a game and a refuge primarily for old men, it’s the right thing, and the only thing to do.
It seems like a very straightforward idea that sport should be for all and managed accordingly but it is a path which has proven anything but across multiple sports. The FAI formally brought it’s Women’s Committee onto the main board in recent years and World Rugby took a major step in terms of Women’s leadership within the sport when expanding its Governing Council to include 17 women in addition to the 32 men who had previously run the sport.
Ireland nominated Su Carty to that role and her first meeting took place in Dublin earlier this month.
The playbook of how the two sides are being brought together in golf can provide valuable lessons within Gaelic Games too as the GAA, Ladies Gaelic Football and Camogie Associations draw inevitably closer.
The next stage for golf is the distribution of information packs to affiliated clubs so that they can have an informed say on the rule changes that will be needed across the sport to make equality properly happen.
These will include the wording of the proposal, an executive summary of what it will mean and a section devoted to likely questions.
It is a professional approach, fully thought through and should lead to broad support across the sport.
There are some who would say it has taken too long but in many ways creating the right structure for a brand new organisation as opposed to just the bolting together of two will provide for a greater and deeper level of commitment as well as thought as to why it has been undertaken.
The EGM’s are expected to be held before the end of 2018, with the club briefings being held in advance of the vote date.
The ILGU and the GUI will hold separate club briefings with their respective ladies and men’s clubs in advance of the vote date.
If the clubs of the ILGU and GUI support the proposal, a transitions phase will commence during which the GUI, ILGU and Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI) will be wound down and the new body will be established to carry out all activities currently undertaken by the three organisations.