Members regain control of club that could have closed down

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 16, 2020 06:44

The members of a golf club that was a private members’ venue, but was then taken over by banks and a hedge fund due to financial issues, have now regained control and are looking to the future with confidence.

In many ways it’s symbolic of how some golf clubs have finally bounced back from the devastating 2008 financial crash, even against the backdrop of coronavirus.

In fact, the club has seen its membership more than double in just the last two years.

The 18-hole, 70-year-old Edenderry Golf Club in the Republic of Ireland suffered significant problems following the crash, including crippling debt driven by a large overdraft, which meant greens could not be properly maintained.

This then resulted in a large loss of members – more than halving from in excess of 500 to less than 250.

Its bank then withdrew its overdraft facilities and ultimately took control of the club in order to prevent it from going under. It sold the venue to a fund in 2016, and that hedge fund has now sold it back to the members.

Edenderry Golf Club. Image from Facebook

For years the club had just one paid employee: a greenkeeper. The present honorary secretary, Mary Farrell, explains: “Volunteerism kept us afloat, it did not matter what the job was, big or small, it was undertaken by volunteers – a group of people with various different skill sets who would keep the show on the road.”

Recently, word filtered through that the hedge fund was about to put the club on the market and the members were asked to give the club a donation or loan, repayable in ten years time. Final proposals were put to the general membership at an EGM which saw the club taking back full control in a financial deal that is 50 percent funded by members and the remainder by Community Finance Ireland.

‘The influx of new members has been a real added bonus and when you consider that membership had fallen in 2018 to 230; that has now grown to a very impressive 531; a remarkable achievement by any standards especially in the height of a pandemic,’ said a spokesman.

‘Another really positive aspect for the club is that some three years ago a junior programme was put in place, initially with just 20 members, but that has also grown and now stands at 120, so the future, from that regard, is very positive also.’

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 16, 2020 06:44
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6 Comments

  1. Brooks November 24, 10:36

    “Volunteerism kept us afloat, it did not matter what the job was, big or small, it was undertaken by volunteers – a group of people with various different skill sets who would keep the show on the road.”

    Surround yourself(your business) with the right people and pour value into them and you will find yourself excelling always.

    #teamworks #golfclub #createthefuture

    Reply to this comment
  2. Peter November 16, 16:52

    With 500 plus members and a good strategic plan , anything is possible !! Great success !!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Gurr November 16, 16:49

    Great stuff, excellent to see that the future of golf is with juniors, a lesson to be learned here!

    Reply to this comment
  4. DSC November 16, 16:09

    It is clear that the non-professional management of the Club led to a financial and maintenance problem. Management through members is an outdated management of past centuries. This article is an example of the need for management by professionals.

    Reply to this comment
  5. MarkG November 16, 15:41

    To me this just proves the value of volunteering and the coming together for one common purpose. Well done

    Reply to this comment
  6. MichelleS November 16, 12:22

    Fantastic news! Good luck!

    Reply to this comment
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