Thursday, October 15, 2020

Tramore GC’s Anna Dawson has been named in the U-18 Girls’ High Performance Panel. Photo: Pat Cashman.

There was great news for young Waterford golfers this week as the Irish and provincial high performance panels were announced for the 2021 season.

There are two Waterford golfers named in Irish panels. Tramore GC’s Anna Dawson has been named in the U-18 Girls’ High Performance Panel, while Faithlegg GC’s Alex King has been named in the U-18 Boys’ High Performance panel.

In the provincial panels, Waterford Golf Club’s Alex Byrne has been named in the Leinster U-17 panel. Well done to all three.

Golf Ireland has identified a clear pathway for all golfers to follow in the development of their game. The programme aims to equip players with the necessary skills to help them participate in the sport for life.

It also aims to provide opportunities for players to achieve their full potential, from basic competencies to representatives honours and ultimately becoming a professional golfer, if that is what they wish to do.

‘At each stage of the pathway, players and their support team will be aware of the skills and knowledge required to reach the next stage of their development,’ said ILGU High Performance Manager David Kearney. ‘In turn, this will empower them to take control of their personal progression within the game.’

GUI National Coach Neil Manchip said: ‘Players taking their first steps towards personal progression right up to our emerging Professional golfers will be supported in the Golf Ireland pathway. This support varies and includes financial grants, resource provision, coaching and mentorship.’

Until Golf Ireland takes over as the single governing body for golf, the 2020 winter training programme activities will be conducted under the remit of the ILGU and GUI. The 2020-2021 Golf Ireland Panels are as follows:


Team Ireland Golf aims to support emerging professional golfers who have the potential to become established players on the main international tours. Team Ireland Golf is designed to provide financial and non-financial support to developing Irish professional golfers, who meet the criteria for the Scheme, to help them succeed at international level. The 2021 Team Ireland supported players will be confirmed by Sport Ireland early next year.


Details of this panel will be shared in the coming weeks following the completion of the GUI Championship season.


Anna Foster (Elm Park), Paula Grant (Lisburn), Julie McCarthy (Forest Little), Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL), Jessica Ross (Clandeboye), Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden), Annabel Wilson (Lurgan).

Faithlegg GC’s Alex King has been named in the Irish U-18 Boys’ High Performance panel. Photo: Pat Cashman.


Joseph Byrne (Baltinglass), Luke Cunningham (Galway Bay), Mel Deasy (Lee Valley), Joshua Hill (Galgorm Castle), Thomas Higgins (Roscommon), Darcy Hogg (Belvoir Park), Alex King (Faithlegg), Sean McLoughlin (Co. Sligo), Gavin O’Neill (Malahide), Morgan O’Sullivan (Ballyneety)


Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle), Anna Dawson (Tramore), Aine Donegan (Lahinch), Emma Fleming (Elm Park), Corrina Griffin (Killarney)


Aodhagan Brady (Co. Sligo), Adam Challoner (Galway Bay), Fionn Dobbin (Malone), Sean Keeling (Roganstown), Lucas Lyons (Limerick), Harry McArdle (Warrenpoint), Jack Murphy (Douglas), Corey Scullion (Moyola Park), James Walsh (Kinsale), Michael Wilson (Massereene).

Alex Byrne of Waterford GC has been named in the Leinster U-17 panel. Poto: Niall O’Shea.


U17 – Thomas Abom (Edmondstown), Alex Byrne (Waterford), Jake Foley (Elm Park), Ethan Garvey (Laytown & Bettystown), Matthew Giles (Greenore), Aiden O’Carroll (Powerscourt), Calum Ward (Carton House)


Applications for those interested in joining the Golf Ireland U17 Girls’ Performance panel are now open. Successful new applicants will join the existing ILGU U16 Development panel players to form the first Golf Ireland U17 panel.

Panel activities will include sessions with Michelle Carroll and Dr. Lee-Ann Sharpe taking place on weekend dates between November and March at the GUI / Golf Ireland Academy.

All sessions will follow strict Covid-19 Protocol and the first weekend of activity is set for November 7th and 8th, 2020. The coaches aim is to support players with player progression and improvement plans.

Should you and have an interest in aspiring to High Performance golf, please send a short note expressing your interest to join this programme detailing your club, handicap and guardian’s contact details to [email protected] before the 11th of October 2020. Applicants should be U17 years of age on 01 January 2021 and have a playing handicap of 12 or below.


The Funded Performance Programme aims to assist players in gaining international experience and help them to develop their skills towards improved tournament performance. Funded awards will be granted in November 2020 with applications for this programme opening on 12th October.


The Golf Ireland Area Development panels are a natural ‘first step’ for girls (handicap 12 – 35) and boys (meeting age and ability criteria) outside the club environment and onto the Golf Ireland pathway. Area Development panellists will have the opportunity to improve their skills with some of Ireland’s finest coaches. These coaches will support players to reach their goals, whether the aim is to improve their handicap, meet friends or play for Ireland.

Details of these panels will be shared in mid-October for boys and early January for girls.

The Golf Ireland Development and High Performance Programmes will be supported by Sport Ireland, Sport Northern Ireland and The R&A.


Meanwhile, this weekend’s Senior Cup semi-finals and finals, which included Faithlegg GC have been postponed.

The GUI statement reads, “In light of the Irish Government’s announcement this evening, the

@AIGIreland All-Ireland Cups and Shields will not take place at
@donegalgolfclub this weekend. Our plans for all competitions are under review as of now, and further updates will be given in the coming days.”

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