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PHOTO: Colm Campbell celebrates with family and friends after winning the Flogas Irish Amateur Open in 2016, courtesy of Pat CashmanOnline Entry: Online entry is now open for all Union and Provincial Championships for 2017. While we encourage you to login to allow Golfnet to retrieve your details, you may opt not to login and complete the entry process in that manner. In either case, it is absolutely essential that all players whose handicaps are controlled by a golf club in Ireland use their eight-digit Golfnet number in entering the Championship.Overseas players should select the option to continue without logging in.For 2017, the Provincial Branch Offices and National HQ have agreed a uniform procedure for the close of entries in all Championships, and the publication of the draw. Entries for all Championships will close 28 days before the Championship is due to commence, at 11.59pm. Extensions to closing times may be made in exceptional circumstances, and will be communicated on the Championship page.Please note that as per the General Rules for Union and Provincial Championships, it is not possible to admit a player to the field who has not entered the event prior to the closing time for entries. It is strongly recommended that players do not leave entering Championships too late as the entry system is timed to close automatically at 11.59pm in each case. Should you experience any problems with the online entry system, please email email@example.com – but please note, where a payment card is declined you should in the first instance contact the card issuer before contacting our support. There is a link to online entry provided below.Publication of Player Information and Draws: For 2017, the Union and its Provincial Branches will align their procedures around the publication of information. Championship information, in all cases, will be made available as follows:1. Within 72 hours of the closing date for entries, a Player Information Pack will be distributed by email to all entrants, and published on the relevant Championship Page on www.golfnet.ie. Included in this Pack will be a Starting List detailing the names, in alphabetical order, of all entrants who have qualified to play in the Championship Field as per the criteria laid out in the Tournament Conditions. In addition, below this Starting List will appear the Waiting List from which places in the field will be allocated. 2. Seven days before the commencement of the Championship, the draw will be published. No refunds will be issued for any withdrawals after this time.As a result, entrants will normally know whether they have automatically made the field 25-27 days before the start of the Championship, but the draw itself will not be published until much closer to the start date.Tournament Conditions: Here is a guide to important changes in the 2017 Tournament Conditions. It is recommended that you read this document closely, and it is essential that you also consult the Tournament Conditions Book, a link to which is contained on every Championship page on www.golfnet.ie.Fixture List for 2017:Click here to view all GUI Fixtures for 2017
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SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT CHANGES FOR 2017Below is a summary of important changes for 2017. However, it is not a definitive list of all amendments to Tournament Conditions. Players, Team Captains and others involved in any competition organised by the GUI or its provincial branches are reminded of the importance of reading the conditions of the event, contained in the Tournament Conditions book (available online from www.golfnet.ie). The Union also distributes a limited number of printed copies to each golf club every spring.New Events in 2017:• Connacht Nine-Hole Course Inter-Club• Irish Students Amateur Open Championship• Leinster Students Amateur Open Championship• Munster Students Amateur Open Championship• Ulster Students Amateur Open Championship Discontinued Events in 2016:• The Munster Veterans Amateur Open – absorbed into the Munster Seniors• Irish Youths Amateur Open Championship (incorporating the Irish Colleges Invitational Tournament)• Leinster Youths Amateur Open Championship• Munster Youths Amateur Open Championship • Ulster Youths Amateur Open Championship Students ChampionshipsFrom 2017 the Union and its Branches will discontinue “Youths” category championships and have replaced them with a new category, “Student”. The following players will be eligible to compete: 1) Male and female players of 18-21 years of age. 2) Students of third-level institutions of any age who are selected by their college to compete on a three-person team. Colleges may enter more than one team. Limits on the numbers of players and teams that can compete in each event will vary due to available light, but where the number of teams entered exceeds the number of places available, all colleges will have at least one team accommodated and the remaining teams, if applicable, will be chosen on the basis of lowest combined team handicaps. Underage Stroke Play Championship FormatsThe formats of the underage stroke play championships conducted by the Union and its Branches have been streamlined as follows:Provincial Championships Under 14- One round (18 holes) on one day Under 16- Two rounds (36 holes) over two daysUnder 18- Three rounds (54 holes) over three daysIrish Championships Under 14- Two rounds (36 holes) over two daysUnder 16- Three rounds (54 holes) over three daysUnder 18- Four rounds (72 holes) over four daysNew Local Rule modifying 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1The GUI and its Branches will apply the new Local Rule eliminating penalty for a golfer who accidentally causes his ball to move on the putting green at all of its events in 2017. Provision has been made for this in the General Rules for Cups and Shields, Interprovincial Championships and Union & Provincial Championships. Cups and Shields – General Rules• Clarification has been added that nine-hole qualifying scores are counted as part of the four-card rule.• The proviso that Honorary Members must have been a fee-paying member for a period of two years before representing clubs has been reserved for the Senior Cup and Barton Shield.• Clarification has been added that with regard to the submission of teams, the handicaps declared on the team-sheet only – and not verbally on the first tee or otherwise – will apply in any consideration of Rule 6-2, which deals with circumstances where higher or lower handicaps than that to which the player is entitled are declared.Irish Schools Junior Championship• The format will be amended from Nett Stroke Play to Nett Stableford with effect from the 2017-2018 Championship.General Rules for Interprovincial Championships• The role of “Team Manager” has been added to the Team. General Rules for Union & Provincial Championships• Clarification has been added that the closing date for all Championships is 28 days in advance, and that this will not be extended unless the field size determined by the Committee has not been met at closing time. • An addition has been made to the Pace of Play Condition (No 6) for players to be “timed without warning” irrespective of their group’s position on the course. This is a condition The R&A have utilised in 2016. The time limits before penalties are applied are more generous, given the lack of notice that may be given (ie, a 60/70-second standard instead of a 40/50-second standard). This provision will be utilised as the pace of play policy where a timing schedule is not in operation. Additional Exemption Categories for the Irish Amateur Open & Irish Amateur Close: • In addition to the changes that were made for the 2016 Championship, two further exemption categories have been added to these Championships for 2017:o The leading four finishers in last year’s Irish Mid-Amateur Order of Merito The leading four finishers in last year’s Tom Montgomery Award (Under 18 Domestic Order of Merit)• In addition, the sizes of the fields for these two events have been streamlined to 132 places. Irish Seniors Amateur Close Championship:Following last year’s decrease of the age limit of this Championship from 55 to 50, it was agreed – given the increase in entries that came with this – to increase the field size from 90 to 120. East of Ireland Amateur Open Championship: The East of Ireland Championship Committee have decided to extend the Championship by an extra day – starting on Friday 2nd June – with 18 holes each day and a cut now falling after 54 holes instead of 36.