Irish golf clubs are anxious about Brexit

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 20, 2019 13:23

A number of golf clubs in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have expressed their concerns about Brexit.

The Irish Examiner spoke to eight golf clubs about their hopes and fears for 2019, and Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, which at the time of writing is set to happen in 2019, was a theme picked up by three of the eight.

In response to the question: ‘What do you consider to be the greatest challenges facing Lough Erne?’, David Allen, the Northern Irish club’s PGA professional, said: “Uncertainty surrounding Brexit, given the resort’s proximity to the border.”

Lough Erne also said it will be investing in coaching for juniors and ladies, YouTube and developing more flexible pricing.

Water Rock Golf Course in County Cork’s Donal O’Herlihy said the club’s greatest challenges are: “VAT and Brexit.

“[Elsewhere], over the past four years the course has successfully implemented a maintenance programme that has seen an 80 per cent reduction in fertiliser and pesticide usage, in favour of organic treatments. This has increased wildlife significantly on the course and the programme will continue into the future.

Paul Vaughan, director of golf at Ardglass Golf Club in Northern Ireland, said: “If we can keep a solid membership base and continue to invest in the tourism market then Ardglass has a bright future. It goes without saying we are all anxious to see what Brexit brings.”

Elsewhere, David O’Donovan, the general manager of Co. Sligo, detailed his plans for 2019: “The key goals are membership retention and being able to offer members more than just 18 holes of championship golf. There will be more emphasis on the nine-hole Bomore course and the club’s impressive practice facilities.”

John Devine, general manager of Newcastle West Golf Club, stated: “Sixty new members joined in 2018, through various offers, packages and group discounts. Membership age profile is a concern: senior numbers are growing but there are not enough 25 to 40 members.

“The club has developed a twinning arrangement with five other clubs to incentivise existing and potential members.”

And Denis Twomey, secretary manager at Fermoy revealed: “Over the last four years we have increased our general membership marginally, year on year, which is positive considering the huge drop in golf globally. But it is an ongoing struggle for all clubs. The biggest increase is in ladies’ and junior golf mainly due to some very committed members who ran various programmes in recent years.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 20, 2019 13:23
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  1. Dave January 20, 16:54

    Given the number of Irish golf courses I’m not surprised but they do have some stunning scenic advantages!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Wayne January 21, 11:44

    North American golfers coming to play links golf in Ireland and Northern Ireland will wonder if they have to go through border control. It is seamless to drive between Ireland and Northern Ireland now. Will our golfers decide to go to one or the other? And the currency difference may make it closer between the Pound and Euro if Brexit occurs. Interesting times…

    Reply to this comment
  3. Dave P January 22, 12:59

    Really? Or just more fake new fear mongering nonsense?

    Reply to this comment
    • djm January 24, 13:27


      The Oirsh courses need to be aware that after March 29, the EU is going to drop them like a hot potato

      Reply to this comment
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