Strandhill 'putting shoulder to wheel'
With membership down by almost 10% over the last three years, Strandhill Golf Club is undertaking a number of ambitious initiatives
Captain Michael Phelan said: "The first priority is to hold the members we have and then do all we can to push the club forward.
"It's all about everybody putting their shoulder to the wheel – on and off the course"
A number of ideas are in the pipeline to attract more members and increase the profile of the club.
A major Gathering event is planned for June with an intensive drive to bring ex-members back for a special week-end of competitions, followed by a gala dinner.
And a detailed club history is also being prepared.
Already, other ventures are in full swing.
'Open Fridays', offering a round of golf for €25, is bringing in about €1,000 every week while a 'Happy Mondays' scheme, comprising golf and refreshments, is also doing very well.
"These are the sort of initiatives which wouldn't have been necessary in the past but are now a vital revenue stream for the club," Michael points out.
"The recession is hitting hard and we've got to be imaginative in coming up with ways of generating more funds."
The club, which has a current membership of 500 – 25% of which are ladies – is also exploring avenues of State funding, through cross-border initiatives and other schemes.
Fundraising ventures, such as the 400 club draw, which brings in about €20,000 a year, and sponsorship is vital to ensuring the club's stability.
Michael admits: "These are the most challenging times we have ever faced.
"But we've got a great product and we'll get through this tough period.
"Strandhill Golf Club has a long and proud tradition and we'll be around for a long time to come."
Meanwhile, the work on the ground continues apace.
There's a flourishing junior section, with convenor, Paddy Doherty, at the helm, and the club is building contacts with local national schools, offering free tuition to young children.
"You can never stop planning for the future," says Michael.