One of the country's most exclusive golf clubs has come out of the rough and is back in profit.
A collapse in green fee income resulted in Lahinch golf club in Co Clare recording a combined operating loss of €1m in 2008 and 2009.
But yesterday its captain Richard Pyne said the club "has turned the corner and is back in profit".
Presenting a report on the club yesterday, the Ennis man said the club recorded an operating surplus of €97,626 in 2011.
However, in a bid to cut costs, staff at the club have been placed on a three-day week for six months of the year from October to March.
Mr Pyne said that a combination of the three-day week, cost control, restructured staffing arrangements and a 10pc increase in green fee bookings had resulted in the operating surplus.
The €1m recorded in green fee income is 45pc down from €1.87m in 2007.
Mr Pyne reported: "There have been further staff redundancies and resignations in 2011 and the process is ongoing to attain an acceptable overall staffing structure at an affordable cost that will deliver the standard of product and services required".
The accounts show that the surplus of €97,626 followed a surplus of €65,280 in 2010.
The club counts current Ireland and Munster rugby captain, Paul O'Connell, as one of its members, and in a bid to boost revenues, admitted 16 new members last year, raising €262,999 from memberships. The revenues from entrance fees and €179,606 from overseas life memberships resulted in an overall surplus of €540,231.
The club's accumulated fund at the end of 2011 stood at €6m. The club's cash balance also increased from €856,164 to €1.32m.
Speaking, before the AGM yesterday, Mr Pyne said: "The club has turned the corner and is back in profit. Membership over the past two years is down 7-8pc, but it is containable and the course is in great shape."
However, in his report to members, Mr Pyne warned that "there is no room for complacency as the surplus only represents a return of 4pc on a turnover of €2.4m and is subject to vagaries outside our control".
Adult membership at the club last year declined by 66 from 2,203 to 2,137 and this followed 2010 where "the continuing downturn in the general economic situation resulted in 55 members resigning and 75 being struck off for the non-payment of subscriptions".
Mr Pyne said that a membership review is to be completed.
A contentious 5pc hike in annual subscriptions for last year resulted in income from subscriptions declining only marginally from €1.17m to €1.13m, while income from green fees eclipsed the €1m barrier -- up from €927,040 in 2010.
Unspecified redundancy payments for staff resulted in staff costs rising from €885,165 to €912,471. The figures show non-cash depreciation costs amounted to €417,976 in 2011.