Raffeen Creek target another nine holes

Cork Golf Club Raffeen Creek is considering a plan to purchase land and develop a further nine holes.

Members voted last week to give the club’s management committee the go-ahead to begin talks with pharmaceutical giants Pfizer who are selling the plot which runs alongside the course.

Chairman of management committee Jim Farrelly admitted any expansion to an 18 hole facility “would be a massive boost for our existing members and in attracting new membership.”

If a deal is agreed, Farrelly believes the new course would be playable by 2015.

However he warned that progression of the proposal is dependent on members’ appetite to pay out a levy which may run between €1,500 and €2,000.

Mr Farrelly revealed: “We had an emergency general meeting last week. Members voted to give the management committee the go ahead to negotiate a deal with Pfizer who are selling the land.

“Pfizer have been extremely good about the matter and are basically giving us first refusal on the property.

“The land is at a competitive price — roughly at the cost of farmland in the area. It is a once off opportunity given the cost and the location of the land.”

Farrelly explained the next sequence of events: “A levy will be required and whether or not we can go ahead with the plan depends on how many members sign up to that. We have about 475 members and the levy cost could come in between €1,500 and €2,000. The first installment on the levy (€350) would be due at the end of November and then we will be in a better position to judge where things stand. The rest would be payable over a 14 months period.”

Farrelly admitted Raffeen Creek has been hit by the recession but is continuing to attract “a very steady playing membership of committed people.”

He continued: “When you take that into account along with the fact we have no outstanding loans and are not running any deficits, then things are pretty positive.The extra land would be a massive boost.

“We have a design for the expansion from Hawtree Architects, and we have had preliminary talks about planning permission and such things.

“But as I said time will tell what happens next and at the moment it is hard to know what the costs would be on a short or long term basis.”

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