Celebrity golf course makes €510k profit on green fee boost
Soaring green fee revenues contributed to one of the country's most exclusive courses, Lahinch Golf Club, enjoying profits of €510,733 last year.
The links club counts Irish rugby legend Paul O'Connell and golf champion Phil Mickelson as members.
The club's 2016 annual report show a 4pc increase in profits after green fee income increased by 13pc to €1.82m.
Yesterday, the golf club kicked off its 125th anniversary celebrations with the unveiling of a bronze plaque in Lahinch at the site of the original meeting place where the club was founded.
This year, the club is projecting even higher green fee income of €1.9m and North American golfers are expected to arrive in big numbers to play at the course ranked 4th among the elite of Irish golf courses and 31st on the world rankings.
According to the annual report, the club recorded a surplus last year of €510,733 compared to a surplus of €491,937 in 2015.
In a report presented to the members of Lahinch Golf Club yesterday at the club's AGM, chairperson Jim Nolan said that "the past year has seen positive performance on all of our key financial areas".
During the recession, the club recorded significant losses as green fee income plunged. Mr Nolan said that the club is putting in an emergency fund to deal with the twin threats of coastal erosion and dependence of green fee income.
Last year, green fee income of €1.8m made up 56pc of overall income.
There was €1.6m in a contingency fund at the end of last year.
Mr Nolan said: "Our balance sheet remains strong and free of borrowings and we plan to continue with our policy of adding to our contingency fund, on an annual basis, to cushion the club against future shock events or economic downturns."
Annual renewal of membership accounted for a further €945,000 in revenues.
The club last year enjoyed an operating profit of €229,302 and entrance fees totalling €221,431 and overseas life membership of €60,000 resulted in the overall surplus of €510,733.
Overall income last year increased from €2.9m to €3.23m while expenditure rose from €2.77m to €3m.
The cash balance increased from €1.57m to €1.79m.
Wage costs totalled €1.27m while the club's total funds last year amounted to €8.16m.