EAST Clare Development Village, the new management company behind East Clare Golf Club, has announced details of an ambitious €20 million redevelopment plan for the course and surrounding resort.
The development of the Bodyke club will take place over the next five years, in four or more separate phases, which will increase the number of holiday homes adjacent to the golf course. There are currently 51 holiday homes.
It will also see the development of a new leisure centre, comprising swimming pool, gym and spa facilities.
The plans contain the construction of 10 luxury private homes next to the golf course and the development of apartments aimed at the active retired.
The development plans were set out by East Clare Development Village at the recent annual general meeting of the golf club. The company received significant support from the members to take over the management of the golf course and facilities with immediate effect.
It is understood that the club will continue to elect ladies and men’s committees and club captains.
The company, through sister companies, already manages holiday home accommodation in the area, including the adjacent East Clare Holiday Village, which attracts 15,000 visitors to the region each year, contributing significantly to the local economy.
Brian Martin, CEO of East Clare Development Village Limited, said, “The unveiling of our plans reinforces our ambitions for growing golfing tourism in the region, as well as offering our local golf members additional benefits that they wouldn’t have had previously.
“We believe the future for local community golf is to enhance and vary the offering around the course for a family audience. This will help position the course at the heart of family breaks and lifestyles, even if some family members don’t play golf.
“At East Clare Golf Course, we want to offer more in terms of leisure facilities, modern accommodation, excellent food and drink and all at good value,” he continued.
“One of the biggest advantages for current and new members to the golf course will be the knock-on effect on fees. Increased revenue from the surrounding facilities will contribute toward golf course running costs and help reduce membership fees for golf over the coming years. We will be making an announcement on our commitment to reducing fees in the coming weeks,” Mr Martin added.
East Clare Golf Club was founded by the late Tom Murray, Michael Hogan, Michael Fahy, John Joyce and TJ McNamara. It was designed by Dr Arthur Spring and spans over 150 acres at Bodyke.
The course, first opened in 1997, is a par 71 course with more than 6,500 yards of fairway. It is located just five minutes from Lough Derg and within a half hour from Limerick, Shannon and Ennis, making it ideal for golfers in the surrounding region.
On the ownership of the golf course, Mr Martin commented,“The ownership of the golf course up to this point has always been with the members.
“We recognised the importance of this membership involvement and have structured the new management company, East Clare Development Village Limited, so all members have the offer of shareholding, to maintain the connection with the ownership.
“All members will be given one share in the company, with an option to match the overall shareholding with the company directors.
“We wholeheartedly believe this is the best way forward for the future of East Clare Golf Club and will preserve the sense of community ownership,” he concluded.
By sports editor Seamus Hayes