In a blow to the golf industry in Ireland, Charlesland Golf Club has announced that the club will close its doors permanently on Thursday, 31st December 2020.
The Carr Golf managed facility, which is owned by the Wicklow-based Evans family, has been a club on the rise in recent years but will close its gates for the final time this winter as the ownership group moves away from the golf industry to focus on other ventures.
A full statement from the club reads:
‘We can confirm that the course and clubhouse at Charlesland Golf Club will permanently close on Thursday 31st December 2020.
Situated on the east coast of Ireland at the foot of the Wicklow mountains, the course and clubhouse at Charlesland was formed in the early 1990’s and is still owned by the Co. Wicklow-based Evans family. Over the years the family has continued to invest heavily in course, clubhouse and facility improvements. Carr Golf was instructed by the Evans’ in 2014 to maintain the golf course and manage club operations.
Nikki Evans, on behalf of the senior generation, explained the family’s decision to close the course: “Despite significant levels of investment, a business restructure and the success of Carr Golf in recent years to build membership, increase revenue and provide a golf course of the highest standards, the facility still requires regular cash injections from the family. Coupled with an uncertain medium-term outlook for golf, after long and careful consideration we made the difficult decision to close.”
A Carr Golf spokesperson said: “We appreciate the news to close Charlesland may come as a shock to members and the wider golf community. The management team has met with Golf Club staff and the Captains to explain the owner’s decision and communicated with members to inform them of the news. We will provide Club staff with support and assistance over the coming weeks and months. Plans will also be developed alongside the Committees to ensure events are in place to help members safely celebrate the lifetime memories Charlesland has brought to so many.”
Evans paid tribute to the Charlesland members and staff behind the scenes. “On behalf of the Evans family, we would like to thank the members for their loyal support, particularly those who have been with the Golf Club from the start. As a local family entrenched in the Greystones community, we sincerely hope all will find a suitable place to continue to enjoy their golf, camaraderie and friendship. Thank you also to the Greens team for presenting a wonderfully conditioned golf course and the management team for their positivity, professionalism and support over the years.”
The course, clubhouse and facilities at Charlesland Golf Club will remain open for the remainder of 2020, enabling members to play golf and participate in club competitions, and guests and visitors to enjoy the course – subject to COVID-19 safety protocols and HSE guidance. A dedicated helpline and FAQ document have been made available to members to assist with any questions they may have leading up to the Golf Club’s closure on 31st December.’
The news will come as a shock to the golf industry, and particularly those associated with Charlesland, a venue that has been improving rapidly under the management of Carr Golf in recent times. It has been an uncertain year for all sports and golf’s been no exception, however a membership surge has accompanied the sport’s reopening in May and the outlook was an altogether brighter one than the doom and gloom that first accompanied Covid-19.
Still, the golf business – pandemic or not – remains especially competitive in Ireland and the closure of the popular Wicklow venue is a reminder that the industry needs our support, perhaps now more than ever as we face into another long winter. From everyone here at IGM, best wishes to the Evans family in their next venture and good luck to the current Charlesland members who’ll no doubt be welcomed with open arms to pastures new ahead of next season.