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Green fees down €1m over two years

GREEN fee income at the famed Lahinch golf club is down almost €1million in the last two years.
All of the predictions that 2009 was going to be a difficult year for Lahinch Golf Club came true, chairman of the council and outgoing captain Austin Slattery told last week’s annual general meeting.
The meeting was told that green fee income for the year under review dropped by almost half a million euro from €1,436,675 in 2008 to €944,522 last year. Given that there was a drop of €434,303 in green fees from 2007 to 2008 this means that the drop in green fees at the famed Clare links in the past two years has been €926,456.
In 2009 competition fees went up from €58,000 to €108, 891 while there was an increase of €25,247 in subscriptions while sponsorship increased by €3,750.
Overall, expenditure exceeded income by €476,580 which was an improvement of €84,743 on the previous year.
“Drafting the budget for the financial year 2010 presented no less a challenge that it did 12 months ago. We face economic uncertainty on every side and some of the risks will continue to be difficult to manage. Our income in the main is derived from members’ subscriptions and green fees and generating green fee income during 2010 will continue to be a challenge,” the meeting was told.
According to the report presented to members, “2010 will have the benefit of the full year effects of the cost cutting measurers implemented during 2009. The result of this decisive action is that our budgeted expenditure for 2010 is €375,539 lower that the actual expenditure in 2009 which means a saving in expenditure of €880,967 over a two year period which is in line with our financial plan.”
“The council reacted decisively to cope with the ever changing circumstances in which we found ourselves,” the chairman added.
“We are currently operating in a world of total financial uncertainty and none of us know when this uncertainty will end. To use a golfing term, “you must play the course as you find it and the ball as it lies”. This is true both off the course as well as on the course. We will continue to manage our overheads carefully in addition to promoting our golf courses in order to maximise our revenues to the greatest possible extent”, Mr Slattery said.
The number of full time staff at the club dropped from 34 in 2008 to 28 last year.

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