North west cut subs in 'gamble'
NORTH West Golf Club members gave themselves an early New Year present -- by voting to reduce the annual subscription, WRITES LIAM KELLY.
Members of this prestigious 119-year-old club will pay a sub of €550 instead of last year's €655. But this is not a frivolous move. It's hoped that the initiative can help attract new members to the links, situated close to Buncrana.
Club Hon Secretary Eddie Curran said: "As a links we offer 12-months-a-year golf and we want to spread the message about what we can offer. We used to have a joining fee of €260, but we had already suspended that, so a new member coming in can join for €365 less than it would have cost in the past.
"It's a gamble on our part, because we will be down over €100 per full member, which is around €30,000, but we hope to make that up by attracting new members. We're being pro-active rather than reactive, because the reality is that golf is going to be down the priorities in a lot of households around the country this year."
As part of the club's initiatives, they have an €18 'meal deal' on a Tuesday which consists of a round of golf and a meal afterwards.
North West is a par-70 links whose relatively flat terrain suggests a pushover course to the casual observer -- but that is far from the case.
Locals liken it to St Andrews, in that it seems to offer no major challenge -- until you try to work your way around and produce a score when it's needed.
The club has produced Brian McElhinney and Michael McGeady. The former won the European Individual and British Amateur championships during his days in the unpaid ranks, and the latter was a regular on international teams.
Both were part of the North West team which won the Irish Senior Cup in 2005. They also went head-to head in the Irish Close championship in 2004, with McElhinney triumphing by one hole.