Golf Ireland has welcomed the allocation of €2.7 million for golf in the Republic from the Irish Government’s Resilience Fund for Sport.
The new unified governing body for golf on the island of Ireland was responding on Monday to the announcement of allocation details by the Ministry for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Media and Sport.
It comes as many golf clubs and facilities are facing continuing financial challenges accentuated by the latest round of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and the severe fall in golf tourism revenue from overseas as a result of the global pandemic.
Golf courses and driving ranges were forced to shut temporarily for the second time this year last Thursday after the decision of the government that all sports facilities must close during Level 5 restrictions, with some exceptions. Only structured training sessions for school-aged children are permitted, as long as sessions comply with current public health guidance.
In a statement released on Monday, Golf Ireland said it was delighted to have secured funding under two separate allocations of the Sport Ireland Resilience Fund, including a Club Resilience Fund of €2.7m to support golf clubs across the Republic of Ireland and a Restart and Renewal Fund of €30,000 that will see the creation of a Golf Ireland Education Portal which aims to develop a range of online courses that will be available to affiliated clubs, staff, volunteers and PGA Professionals.
Golf Ireland said it had made a compelling case to Sport Ireland using accurate data captured directly from clubs and its chief executive Mark Kennelly added: “Irish golf welcomes the allocation of €2.7 million in funding which will support clubs that have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This substantial allocation underlines the important role of golf in the country’s sports landscape. It will be a very welcome addition to the €597,000 we allocated to clubs last week under the R&A Covid-19 Fund.
“We will be working closely with Sport Ireland in the coming weeks to finalise the qualifying criteria for the club resilience fund and look forward to communicating this to clubs as soon as possible.
“In addition, we are excited to begin work on the Golf Ireland Education Hub which we hope will be a further support to clubs, staff, volunteers and PGA Professionals across the country. We would also like to thank Sport Ireland for the support they have shown us throughout this pandemic and we look forward to continuing our work with them.”