At present the First Round or Group Stage consists of eight Sections of 4 teams comprising one “Tier 1” team, one “Tier 2” team, one “Tier 3” team and one “Tier 4” team.  The Tier a Club is in depends on a rolling total of points awarded for their progress through the Rounds over the last 5 years.


Within the Section, each Club plays each other on a 3 home/3 away match basis, ideally on the same day & at the same time over the months of April, May & June.  This format was born out of necessity in the year following COVID & was adopted as the permanent way forward at the 2023 AGM.


Traditionally clubs would have played both a home & away leg against each other team in the group.  The new format recognises that the traditional format placed a heavy burden on Clubs particularly when taking other Golf Ireland Interclub competions into account.


The Section Draw is published on this website as soon as the Committee has confirmation of participating Clubs, listing fixtures for April, May & June, together with an end date for the Section stage.  While the end date for the Section stage is hard & fast, we appreciate that April fixtures may sometimes slip into May, and May fixtures may sometimes slip into June.  This isn’t generally a problem, the Committee fully understands pressures due to course conditions, other competitions, and calendar congestion.  However, best practice suggests that Team Captains shouldn’t allow fixtures to slip too much, as it can be very hard to clear a backlog.  Should a Team Captain have major difficulties due for instance to prolonged course closure or hole closure due to remodelling works, please involve the Committee earlier rather than later.


Team Captains should make early contact with their opposite numbers from the other Clubs, in an attempt to organise mutually convenient dates & times for the fixtures.  The Committee expects Team Captains to be reasonable & work together.  You should consider the fall-back position of Rule 16 only as a last resort.


Best practice suggests that the first tee should be reserved for around 75 minutes for the day of the match – 30 minutes before the match to allow a gap and roughly 45 minutes to get the 5 matches away.


Visiting teams should be afforded complimentary practice at your Club, again Team Captains are expected to be reasonable in this regard & not abuse the privilege.


Team Captains should be aware of all the Rules, and in particular those relating to eligibility of their players (Rules 2, 3 & 4).


For each match, a Team Sheet should be completed and made available to the visiting Team Captain, ideally 15 – 30 minutes before the scheduled start time.


Home Team Captains should act as MC for the individual matches, announcing players onto the first tee.  Away players have the honour on the first tee.


In the First Round/Group Section each individual match is worth 2 points for a win, or 1 point per team for a halved match.


When all First Round Sections have been completed, the eight Section winners plus the eight Section Runners-Up go forward into Round Two/Last 16.  The draw is seeded based on total number of points.


In 2023 the format for Round Two/Last 16, Quarter Final, Semi Final & Final reverted to the traditional 5 man home & away leg format.


These rounds all follow the same format – knockout, home & away matches, completed by the date defined on the website, 1 point for a win in an individual match, ½ point for a half, most overall points wins.  In the event of a tie at 5-all after the second leg, then those in the last match on the Team Sheet play sudden-death tie holes.


Team Captains should be aware of the potential need for tie holes & should allow for this in organising the start time for the 2nd leg.


Team Captains should agree reciprocal meal arrangements with each other eg 1 course or 2 course.  In recent years the provision of tea/sandwiches before matches seems to have all but disappeared, best practice would suggest that it really isn’t required.  The Committee is very aware of financial pressure on Clubs and doesn’t want Clubs to pull out of the competition due to the cost of providing unnecessary or extravagant food.