110 golf clubs across Ireland have shared in a support package worth €596,000 provided by the sports global ruling body the R&A.

The R&A Covid Support Fund was established in the summer with the aim of helping national associations to support clubs that were clearly going to face serious financial challenges.

The fund was administered here by Golf Ireland and clubs were invited to put themselves forward for grants on a sliding scale with preference given to those in the smaller to medium category who could demonstrate a clear and short term financial need.

98 per cent of the clubs that applied for funding were approved for some measure of relief.

Bonus

An additional bonus for the sport as a whole is that clubs which were successful must be signatories to the Women in Golf Charter and have plans in place to implement the gold standard of this within an agreed timeline.

“Covid-19 has significantly impacted all areas of our society, sport and golf are no different,” said Golf Ireland CEO Mark Kennelly.

“We are extremely grateful for the on-going support of The R&A throughout this turbulent period. While there are challenges ahead for golf, the funding supports made possible by The R&A will help those clubs most in need at this time.”

“Clubs have demonstrated a need for this funding which will assist them in recruiting and retaining members while also ensuring appropriate safety procedures are in place at their facilities.”

Income

The funds were restricted to clubs that are privately owned and have an annual membership income of less than €600,000 or £555,000.

“The R&A Covid-19 Support Fund will enable clubs to invest in areas which will make them more sustainable,” added Kennelly.

“Investment will be made to the way services are provided to club members and guests including to online platforms and/or facilities that will ensure the safety of all going forward.”

“The pandemic is continuing to have an impact on the day-to-day operations of golf clubs and many of them have suffered the loss of income due to circumstances, not in their control,” said Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at the R&A.

“We have a responsibility to help protect golf from the effects of this crisis where we can and so we hope that our Covid-19 Support Fund will allow affiliated national associations to support clubs in dealing with the challenges of the pandemic and begin the process of recovery.”

Sport for Business Partners