Irish golfers couldn’t play for 209 days

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 27, 2021 07:29

Golf courses in the Republic of Ireland reopened this week – after being shut for 209 days out of the last just over 13 months.

While reports suggest the venues are very busy, different facilities have different ideas about how to make up to the golfers for their lost golf.

Some golfers who pay an annual subscription may feel they are due something back while others recognise that some golf clubs have been hit very hard by the pandemic, reports The Irish Times.

Mount Juliet, for example, discounted two months off members’ renewal fee while Arklow and Strandhill both gave renewing members three months off. Castleknock, Corballis, Elmgreen, Seapoint and Hollywood Lakes all provided members with 13 months for the price of 12.

Greencastle Golf Club gave members 10 percent of credit towards their fee in 2022. Spanish Point gave a 15 percent discount to all members who renewed by March 31 while East Clare changed the start date of the subscription year from January to April.

Fota Island credited all renewing full members with €200 to be used in the bar and restaurant, and Scrabo, Clandeboyne and Kirkistown joined together to offer members a three-day competition across all three courses in June for a fee of just £50.

Most clubs spoken to by the newspaper report renewal rates upwards of 90 percent for 2021.

At Lucan Golf Club, general manager Mark Ruddy says events will be introduced this summer to thank members.

“Depending on the various formats and when the protocols lift for competitions and more people on the tee-sheet, we have a menu of events and value-adds that will be given back to the members in the summer as a thank you note. We also committed to finish off our three-hole development this year and that’s down to the membership support.

“Instead of putting a discount on a membership we’ve said we’ll prioritise our members when they get back and reduce the amount of outside available tee times because the culture now is that the member wants to play golf. We’ve shaped our model this year to focus on our membership playing so our members feel that they’re getting the rewards for paying a sub for 12 months while only getting golf for eight months. In those eight months we believe our members will still get up to the amount of rounds played in 2019.

“Plenty of our membership are playing double and the majority are playing 50 percent more so what we’ve said is those other incomes are down and will continue to be down but we have the support of our membership so we need to give them support back. Members traditionally would use up 70 percent of the timesheet but we’re now setting up a format where they will more than likely utilise 90 to 95 percent of the timesheet.”

Ireland in the next few days is set to see what England experienced in early April.

PriceSpy, for instance, found product popularity soared from April 6 to April 20. Golf shoes were up 341 percent year-on-year, golf clubs 133 percent, golf balls 733 percent and golf gloves 457 percent.

Spokesman Ossie Bayram said: “After being stuck at home for what seemed an eternity, our data shows trips to golf courses are proving hugely popular.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 27, 2021 07:29
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  1. LINKS BRIDGES April 28, 17:13

    My goodness! Glad they are open now

    Reply to this comment
  2. Zen Golf April 28, 10:43

    Good to see yous back have fun

    Reply to this comment
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