Boost for golf in Ireland as R...


Boost for golf in Ireland as R&A launch €7.8m Covid-19 fund

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Irish golf clubs are set to benefit from a €7.8m (£7m) funding package launched by the R&A to help the sport deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fund is aimed largely at  national associations and other affiliated bodies in Great Britain and Ireland.

Courses around the country reopened today, on a restricted basis, but they had been closed since 24 March.

The story is different in the UK with the R&A advising courses to remain closed on government advice while the Golfing Union of Ireland and Irish Ladies Golf Union told Northern Ireland clubs that they "must remain closed until further notice".

With so many clubs now facing financial difficulties, the R&A announced their decision to try and soften the blow.

"The fund is being provided to help the R&A’s affiliated national associations to support those clubs and facilities, although some of the money may be used for other activities key to the future health of the sport," their statement reads.

The chief executive of the R&A, Martin Slumbers, was keen to highlight their support of the club game.

"The pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on golf and many clubs are facing dire financial situations through no fault of their own," said Slumbers.

"Golf is in our DNA and we want to see the sport continue to thrive from grassroots right through to the top level on the professional tours.

"We have a responsibility to do what we can to help in such a crisis.

"The R&A Covid-19 Support Fund will enable national associations and other key bodies to provide support to some of their members.

"We know that many challenges lie ahead but club golf is the bedrock of our sport and hopefully this fund will help to begin the process of recovery."

The R&A says it is working with its national associations and other selected organisations on communications, with each body being responsible for controlling and allocating its share.

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