*Lahinch Golf Clubhouse.

ONE of the country’s most celebrated golf clubs, Lahinch last year enjoyed a record operating surplus of €2 million as green fee income soared.

In his report to members for the club’s 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM), Chairperson of Lahinch Golf Club, John Gleeson states that 2022 “was a record financial year for the club”.

The club recorded the bumper surplus on the back of green fee tripling from €1 million to €3.05 million, topping €3 million for the first time in the club’s history.

Newly crowned US Masters winner, Jon Rahm won the highly successful Dubai Duty Free Irish Open staged at Lahinch in 2019 which raised the course’s international profile.

US golfers usually make up a sizeable chunk of the green fee income where it will cost non-member golfers €275 for a round at Lahinch’s ‘Old Course’ during high season from next Monday, April 17th to the end of September this year.

In his 2022 Chairperson’s Report to members, Mr Gleeson says, “These unprecedented results have allowed us to rebuild our finances that, not only secures our future, but facilitates the funding of a number of key capital projects that are necessary to keep us at the forefront of not just Irish golf but world golf”.

Mr Gleeson said that “2022 was an excellent year for our great club with activity at record levels after two turbulent years of the COVID pandemic”.

He said, “It was a record financial year for the club with profits of €1.2 million after depreciation of €818,737 giving an operational surplus of €2.02 million”.

Mr Gleeson stated that while the club will see a reduction in the number of overseas visitors to the golf course in 2023, to facilitate additional tee times for members, green fee income is still expected to be around €2.7 million for this year.

The €3.05 million in green fee income along with €1.1 million in members’ subs contributed to overall revenues last year increasing by 93 per cent from €2.56 million to €4.94 million.

Mr Gleeson said that Lahinch has “one of the largest memberships of any club in Ireland”.

The accounts show that expenditure increased by €1.1 million or 41 per cent to €3.83 million last year and Mr Gleeson said, “While overall expenditure increased due to the record number of overseas visitors, operating expenditure as a percentage of total income reduced significantly from previous years.

Mr Gleeson stated that 2022 “was a very challenging year for tee times as we had to accommodate many overseas visitors who had booked to play in 2020 and 2021”.

He said, “Despite this challenge, we were able to accommodate most of our members’ golf requests”.

Mr Gleeson said, “We are committed to expanding members tee times in 2023 with the resultant reduction in visitor rounds”.

Staff costs last year increased from €924,946 to €1.65 million and a note confirms that the club received Covid-19 wage subsidy supports of €74,020 from January 1st 2022 to May 31st 2022.

The note states “all conditions have been met under the terms of the grants”.

The annual report is forecasting an operating surplus of €707,276 for 2023 based on total income of €4.5 million, entrance fees of €300,000 and expenditure of €4.11 million.

At the end of December, the golf club’s equity had increased to €8.74 million made up of €6.74 million in accumulated funds and €2 million in a contingency fund.

Mr Gleeson said that the €2 million fund “will provide some security for future unexpected financial shocks”.

The golf club’s cash funds increased from €2.24 million to €4.06 million.

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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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