*Sean Desmond playing the South of Ireland in Lahinch. Photograph: Brian Arthur

LAHINCH GOLF CLUB was sitting on a record €4.7 million cash fund at the end of June due to bumper green fee receipts this summer.

In a half year report by Chairperson of the golf club, John Gleeson reports that green fee income for 2023 is expected to beat the €2.7 million estimate.

Mr Gleeson has told members in a six page report, “Our green fee tee times are virtually ‘Sold Out’ for the season. The revenue generated provides much needed funds for our capital projects, provides employment for our staff and contractors and is vital in supporting the local business community”.

US golfers usually make up a sizeable chunk of the green fee income where it costs non-member golfers €275 for a round at Lahinch’s ‘Old Course’ during high season from mid April to the end of September this year.

Mr Gleeson said, “Our finances are in a very healthy state with a record €4.7m cash held by the club”.

Mr Gleeson said that the €4.7m cash included €1.4m in pre-payments. He added, “However, with our contingency fund of €2m, irrigation project costing €2m, clubhouse improvements essential and the upgrading plans for the Castle Course also requiring consideration, the Club will need these funds and more to complete its ambitious plans”.

Mr Gleeson has told members that the Club Council will continue to manage the club’s finances “in a very careful and prudent manner, and we most certainly do not have a philosophy of ‘we have it so let’s spend it’”.

He said, “These capital projects are necessary to keep Lahinch at the forefront of not just Irish golf, but world golf and we will invest our resources wisely and prudently”.

Underlining the buoyant summer season at Lahinch Golf Club, Mr Gleeson said that sales at the Launch GC golf shop at the end of June were €625,000 (ex VAT) which, he said, is ahead of projections.

He said that annual subs received to date total €1.13m which is in line with budget. Mr Gleeson said that expenditures for the first six months of this year of €1.6 million is also in line with budget.

Club membership at the club which staged the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in 2019, won by 2023 Masters’ winner Jon Rahm, is much sought after and earlier this year, Lahinch GC concluded its first membership election in six years which was limited to spouses/partners of members and permanent local residents.

In his report, Mr Gleeson stated that the Club Council “acknowledges that some excellent candidates were unsuccessful in a very competitive but open and fair election process”.

Mr Gleeson reports that the Club Council will look to hold a further election at the end of 2024, subject to a full analysis of tee time availability on the Old Course.

Mr Gleeson also pays tribute to club member, Áine Donegan who featured as an amateur in the recent US Women’s Open.

Mr Gleeson said, “What a star Áine has proved to be, with not just her fantastic play but her engaging personality that brought such credit to her, her family and also worldwide recognition to Lahinch. What a future lies ahead for her”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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