'I enjoy it. It's never a chore.'

​Time spent volunteering in golf is never a chore for Kevin Glynn, who serves on the Munster Branch and the GUI's Championship Committee.​

  • 05 December 2017

Picture: Kevin Glynn refereeing at the South of Ireland in Lahinch - Golffile

Tuesday 5th December marks International Day of the Volunteer. Golf in Ireland would not thrive without the dedication and committment of volunteers across the island who give of their time freely to grow, develop and bring to life the sport that we all love. The Golfing Union of Ireland thanks all those that volunteer in golf and ​to mark the occasion, each day this week we will take a look at some volunteers that work with their club and the GUI.

It is a rare distinction to be conferred with Honorary Life Membership at your home club.

Kevin Glynn, born and raised in the seaside town of Lahinch, has spent a lifetime immersed in the golf club. His passion for the game endures whether playing, refereeing or giving succour to the juniors. His work within the club has enabled countless more, and his commitment to junior development is greatly appreciated. In recognition of his immense contribution, Lahinch granted him Honorary Life status in 2016. Not that he will take much credit for his efforts.

"John Smith, who won the South of Ireland in 1968, decided to make some formal junior section," Glynn recalls. "I only got involved because Patrick (his son) was interested in golf. It was pure selfish."

What struck Glynn most was the dearth of local talent: "I brought Patrick down when he was nine or 10 and I looked around... there was nobody from the local village playing, Patrick was the only one."

Kevin's father, Paddy, had also been a member of Lahinch, and through him their association with the club stretched back as far as the 1920s. Followed in his father's footsteps, Kevin had become a schoolteacher and that gave him the chance to preach golf in the classroom.

"I was teaching in the school, encouraging kids to come into the golf club," he says. "The secondary schools closed at 1.30pm on a Friday, so there was three hours there for golf. They would get an hour's coaching every Friday."

Robert McCarvery, the pro in Lahinch at the time, provided the coaching on Friday afternoons, a far cry from Glynn's introduction to golf.

"We weren't allowed out on the old course until we were 16 so of course we'd sneak out," he remembers fondly. "On the western side, at the second and third, there was an area there, in the late '50s or early '60s, they did out holes for the youngsters in Lahinch and we would play there. There was no junior section. It was just sons of members who played."

Following the progress of his own drew Kevin into junior golf.

"I was involved with Fred Daly teams and the Irish Junior Foursomes. I enjoyed it. It was never a chore," he maintains.

Other tasks came his way. Naturally, the South of Ireland was among them. He joined the Munster Branch six years ago and in 2013, completed the R&A's Level 3 Tournament Administration and Referees School at St Andrews.

"I always volunteered at the South of Ireland," he states. "During the season I officiate at Cups and Shields events within Munster."

Since becoming a member of the GUI's Championship Committee, his scope has broadened. This season he refereed at the AIG Irish Close, the Men's Interprovincial Championship and the Irish Seniors Close.

It can be a demanding schedule but as teachers are wont to tell students, find something you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life.

* Have you ever wondered what the GUI does? Find out all you need to know by reading, The GUI: What We Do - Click Here