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One of only 11 Institutions from across the UK to be funded by the R&A, Ulster University has a well-established and successful Performance Golf programme in place.


To be considered eligible for the programme students must:

  • Hold a current handicap of three or better for men or seven or better for ladies
  • Join the Ulster University Sports Union Golf Club
  • Agree to play for Ulster University on all possible occasions
  • Maintain a satisfactory level of academic achievement

Support offered to students through the programme will include some or all of the following depending upon individual circumstances and requirements.

Approved absence and independent study programme.

Students are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress but they can take advantage of the flexible study options that this programme facilitates.

It offers high level student golfers who need to travel to competitions or attend training camps, the opportunity to be away from class for an agreed period of time.

They may also choose to slow track or split academic years in order to accommodate major international events.


Johnny Foster has been head coach of the golf programme for a number of years.

He is a Level 3 PGA Professional with an MSc in Sports Science.

A member of the ILGU High Performance Coaching Team, a GUI Provincial Coach and Lead Coach at Maynooth University, he also works full time with players from the European Challenge Tour.

As a graduate of Ulster University and former winning team member for Ireland of the World University Golf Championships, Johnny is ideally placed to provide high quality one to one and group coaching, course management, tournament preparation and feedback which students are offered through a comprehensive, annual programme.

He is assisted by Chris Gallaher, academy coach at the Johnny Foster Golf Academy and GUI Regional Coach.

Support Services

Students can access a wide range of support services based upon their individual needs.

These include:

  • musculo skeletal screening
  • physiological testing
  • strength and conditioning
  • biomechanical analysis
  • physiotherapy
  • optometry
  • sports psychology
  • nutritional advice
  • lifestyle management

The programme of support to be offered to a student and their individual performance plan is developed following an initial performance profiling exercise prior to the commencement of the academic year.

Golf Facilities

Ulster University students are privileged to be awarded membership of Royal Portrush Golf Club during their time on the Performance Golf Programme.

Home to one of the best and most challenging links courses in the world with the Dunluce Links and the lesser known Valley Links, Royal Portrush Golf Club is the only club in Ireland to have hosted The Open, an honour they will repeat in 2019 when this famous tournament returns to the province.

Ulster University teams play their home fixtures at the Club and also avail of on and off course practice regularly throughout the year.

Students also utilise the facilities of the Johnny Foster Golf Academy at Greenacres Golf Club and receive Gold Membership package for them to access the world class sports facilities at the Ulster University Sports Village or on the campus of their course of study.


Of the R&A funded institutions Ulster University is in the unique position of being eligible to enter teams within both the Student Sport Ireland (SSI) and British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) competitive golf programmes with the best male and female students included.

The SSI programme, coordinated through the Golfing Union of Ireland, includes individual and team competitions for Strokeplay and Matchplay.  Within the BUCS structure, Ulster University competes in the BUCS Championship finals. Teams also travel to BUCS and Irish Colleges Invitational events.

Ulster University has won the All Ireland SSI Matchplay Championship in three of the last four years and also won the inaugural Team Stroke Play Championship in 2014.

We have had individual men’s strokeplay champions in 2012 & 2013, a ladies champion in 2013 & 2014 and an All-Ireland order of merit winner in 2015. In 2016 we were runners up in the European University and BUCS Championships and in 2013 and 2014 had a winner in the prestigious R&A Scholars Ladies Tournament.

We have had full Irish internationals on our programme for the past four years, as well as numerous players on provincial panels.


In addition to the R&A individual scholarships that eligible players may apply for, sudents can also be awarded a performance Sport Scholarship from the University.

Awarded through the University Golf Club, scholarships towards tuition fees, up to the value of the University’s published full time NI/EU undergraduate tuition fee rate, can be applied for on an annual basis.

Also for the first time in 2016-17, Ulster University partner the Sport Changes Life Foundation and will deliver a Golf Victory Scholar Programme.

Golf victory scholars will be supported to study for a post-graduate qualification while using their skills and knowledge to help change the lives of young people through sport in our local communities while working on the award winning Sport Changes Life EHOOPS programme. In addition, they will inspire young people through a one to one mentoring programme whilst playing for the University and availing of the benefits associated with Golf Scholarship Scheme.

The Golf Victory Scholars Programme is supported by Sport Changes Life Foundation partner The Rory Foundation.