The Golfing Union of Ireland has introduced an Emergency Loan Fund Scheme, to assist Clubs that have suffered damage as a result of the recent extreme weather.
An initial €250,000 has been set aside, from which Clubs may apply for an interest free loan of up to €12,000 (£10,000 stg), with a maximum term of 10 years.
The introduction of the scheme necessitated a special meeting of the Central Council of the GUI, held on 14th March 2014, in order to amend the sub-clause 4.1.5 of the Union’s Constitution which formerly prohibited the Union from providing financial assistance to its member clubs.
Speaking following the Special General Meeting, GUI Hon Treasurer, Rollo McClure said: “It makes a lot of sense for the Union to introduce this scheme at a time when many our clubs have suffered damage to their courses, piling increased pressure on finances already hit by falling membership numbers and green fee rates.
"The capital sum set aside from Union reserves for the scheme would otherwise earn minimal bank interest, so there is a negligible opportunity cost.”
The details of the scheme are set out below:
1. An initial capital sum of €250,000 will be set aside for the fund.
2. Applications will be accepted from any club affiliated to the Union and should be regarded as “emergency loan funding” to enable repair work to be done more expeditiously than if no assistance was made available
3. Applications should:
• Be channelled through the relevant Branch
• Be accompanied by photographs of the damage
• Be accompanied by details of the repair work required, the methods by which this will be done (outside contractors, own green staff, volunteer assistance etc)
• Include estimates of the cost to repair the damage, including where appropriate written quotations from outside contractors
4. Representatives of the relevant branch of the Union may inspect the damage on site and discuss the proposals and the application for assistance with relevant officials of the Club. Since the assistance is envisaged as “emergency funding”, this inspection should wherever possible take place within one week of receipt of the application
5. The Branch will prepare a short report of the Club’s application which will be submitted to the Emergency Loan Committee to be set up by the Union.
6. The Emergency Loan Committee will be ad hoc, and will be made up of three Union officials, one of whom shall be an officer of the Union.
7. Assistance to clubs will be through an interest free loan, repayable over a period to be agreed with the Club, but not to be longer than 10 years. This repayment will be invoiced to the Club each year along with the Club’s subscription notice.
8. The maximum amount which the Union may award any club by way of a loan will be €12,000 (£10,000 stg)
9. The repair work should be inspected by an official of the branch who should report to the General Secretary of the Union that the work has been satisfactorily completed. This fact should be recorded at the next meeting of the Emergency Loan Committee.
10. Unless in exceptional circumstances, no club may apply for additional assistance until any previous outstanding loan has been repaid. The maximum amount of loan assistance outstanding from any club shall not exceed €12,000 (£10,000).
Applications for loan assistance may be made at any time from 14 March 2014, but any applications in relation to damage caused by weather conditions prior to this date should reach the Union no later than 14 April 2014.