The Big Interview: ‘We want people to feel welcome, and that golf includes them’ - Mark Kennelly, chief executive, Golf Ireland

The head of the island-wide sporting body has left a career in politics behind to promote golf to a much more diverse demographic

Mark Kennelly, chief executive of Golf Ireland: ‘Golf wasn’t part of any grand plan for me. I had spent over 25 years in politics.’ Picture: Lorraine O'Sullivan

Mark Kennelly was a lifer in politics, so it was more than the opportunity to spend extra time outdoors that attracted him to the top job in Golf Ireland.

The governing body of the sport only came into existence in January 2021 after the merger of the Irish Ladies Golf Union and the Golf Union of Ireland. The decision by the two governing bodies to come together, as they considered that a single organisation would ...