The impact of coronavirus is being felt across every corner of the planet and no industry seems safe.
The golf industry, for one, will take an untold hit. Coming off the back of a long winter’s hibernation, clubs were just preparing for Captains’ Drives as sprouts of spring summoned a new season when COVID-19 stopped plans in their tracks.
First, it looked like just the professionals would be affected, those needing to travel far and wide in search of the almighty dollar, bringing with them large entourages of tournament staff and in some cases, spectators.
Pretty soon even the casual golfer took the hit – the flowing fields of golf courses across Ireland and beyond no longer the safe haven we once hailed them to be.
The fear now is where this extended winter leaves us – will all clubs that have closed be capable of reopening under such financial pressure?
We hope that those of us who committed to a subscription to their local club this year will be able to honour that investment. We understand that circumstances are individual and not everyone can afford to let money sit idle when they may have been let go by their employers as a consequences of all this.
However we also recognise – if you can afford it – how greatly appreciated such support would be to golf clubs across Ireland who are striving to keep the grass cut with bare bones maintenance staff even though their main revenue streams have been crippled.
So, support your club where possible and if you are one of those golfing institutions badly affected in all this, the GUI, ILGU and CGI have been engaging on behalf of golf clubs to communicate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic for the game of golf to the Governments and relevant state agencies in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland:
- Golf is directly engaged at the highest level with government agencies to establish recovery support measures
- Unions have begun to highlight the plight of golf clubs to government as part of this
- Club survey will follow next week to help Unions identify the economic impact on the sport
- GUI, ILGU & CGI outline immediate supports available
The Unions acknowledge the challenges that golf clubs across the island are experiencing. This will not be an easy time for our sport but we endeavour to monitor options available and engage with the relevant sporting bodies to represent you, our member clubs.
In line with this, we have been asked to outline the financial impact of the current crisis on our member clubs. In the coming days, you will be asked to complete a survey which will allow the GUI/ILGU to best represent the sport and begin to put recovery measures in place.
All sporting activity in Ireland has now ceased, and all golf clubs in the vast majority of European countries and many other countries worldwide – have also been asked to close. We thank our member clubs for adhering to this recommendation. The last thing the Unions would ever have wanted to do is recommend our clubs to close, but at a time of global emergency, golf must show solidarity with those around us, in our towns, villages and communities across the island.
A large concern for most clubs will be how to manage their current cash pressures and what areas can be looked at during times of uncertainty. While ILGU/GUI do not typically offer any form of financial advice, a simple guidance has been compiled. This guidance has been adapted to include advice from numerous organisations such as The R&A, GCMA, BIGGA, Deloitte, KPMG, PWC and Local Enterprise Boards.
Advice can be found HERE
*Please note these documents and advice are prepared for guidance only and GUI/ILGU will not accept any liability arising from any member or third part acting, or refraining from acting on the information contained in this document.