Deputy John Deasy has again called for greater investment in young Irish golf prospects trying to make their way on the professional circuit.
The Waterford TD raised the matter with Irish Sports Council CEO John Treacy during his recent appearance before the Dáil Public Accounts Committee, highlighting how the country continues to punch way above its weight in the sport.
In follow-up correspondence to the committee, Mr Treacy confirmed — in response to one specific query by Mr Deasy — that no player has made it as a pro after being refused funding from the Team Ireland Golf Trust programme; a scheme that sees around €140,000 per year split between 15 leading young players to help meet their expenses.
But, returning to the subject at last Thursday’s PAC meeting, the local Fine Gael deputy said the wider issue is the small financial backing the government gives to up-and-coming talent relative to the “amazing” global success and profile Irish golf enjoys.
“The point I was making is that the amounts of money involved are tiny compared to the enormous cost of pursuing a professional career,” he said.
He has now requested the Committee to ask the Sports Council to look at how much funding other countries, “especially those around Europe”, provide to help golfers starting out in the hugely competitive pro ranks.