Hundreds left out of pocket as golf club closes down
Hundreds of people were facing an uncertain wait last night to see if they will get their fees reimbursed after a popular golf club closed its doors.
South County Golf Club in Brittas, Co Dublin, has been operating since 2002 and has about 600 members.
When it first opened, shareholders paid prices ranging up to €25,000 for a stake in the club. They would then have to pay an annual subscription.
The club posted a statement on its website yesterday saying it had no option but to cease operations.
Two of the club's directors would not comment when asked if members would be reimbursed for outstanding fees.
Chairman Thomas Fahey said members had been notified of the decision. "I'm not answering any questions," he said. "I really have no comment to make on anything.
"It's part of a process which will lead to the winding up of the company and it wouldn't be appropriate for me to say anything about it."
Vice Captain Ronan Smith, who is also one of the directors, also declined to comment.
In its statement the club said: "The South County Golf Club (2004) Ltd regrets to announce that the company has taken the decision to cease operations as of this morning, May 9, until further notice.
"The decision has been taken as the company has become insolvent and the company has had no option but to cease operations.
"The company has been operating under extremely difficult market conditions in Ireland for golf clubs generally."
Club captain Michael Moore said 120 people had not renewed their membership for this year, including 55 shareholders.
Club professional Raymie Burns said he was only notified of the decision yesterday morning after being contacted via telephone by Mr Fahey.
"I know nothing about it," the PGA professional said.
Mr Burns operates the pro-shop at the club, which provides equipment, clothes and a repair service. He also offers a junior coaching programme.
The club has tried to attract new members in recent years by offering various membership options which do not require the applicant to own a share in the club.
These included family membership with a joining fee of €2,500 per adult and an annual subscription of €1,600 per adult, with the first year free per child.
The directors' report and financial statements for 2011 noted an operating deficit of €62,666 after tax last year. It said the company continued to be adversely affected by the economic situation and the "oversupply" of golf courses in the greater Dublin area.