Golfing Union set aside €250,000 to assist storm-damaged courses

Dozens of clubs devastated by storms over the winter are expected to apply for aid after the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) set aside €250,000 for an Emergency Loan Fund Scheme.

Under the scheme, which was approved following a special meeting of the Central Council of the GUI, clubs that suffered damage as a result of the recent extreme weather may apply for an interest free loan of up to €12,000, with a maximum term of 10 years.

The central council met to amend a sub-clause in the Union’s Constitution, which formerly prohibited the Union from providing financial assistance to its member clubs.

“It makes a lot of sense for the Union to introduce this scheme at a time when many clubs suffered damage to their courses, piling increased pressure on finances already hit by falling membership and green fee rates,” said the GUI’s Honorary Treasurer, Rollo McClure.

“The capital sum from Union reserves for the scheme would otherwise earn minimal bank interest, so there’s a negligible opportunity cost.”

Storms in January and February caused widespread damage to many clubs across Ireland with Doonbeg in Co Clare, recently renamed Trump International Golf Links Ireland following its acquisition by Donald Trump, sustaining an estimated €1million in erosion damage.

Mulranny Golf Club in Co Mayo also suffered severe flooding while at Limerick Golf Club, more than 300 trees were brought down by hurricane strength winds estimated at 160kph.

Applications will be accepted from any club affiliated to the Union and should be regarded as “emergency loan funding” to enable repair work to be done more expeditiously than if no assistance was made available. According to the GUI, applications should be channelled through the relevant Branch and be accompanied by photographs of the damage, details of the repair work required and estimates of the cost involved.

Representatives of the relevant branch of the Union may inspect the damage on site and discuss the proposals and the application for assistance with relevant club officials, preferably within one week of receipt of the application. The Branch will prepare a short report of the club’s application which will be submitted to the Emergency Loan Committee to be set up by the Union.

Unless in exceptional circumstances, no club may apply for additional assistance until any previous outstanding loan has been repaid.

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