At a time when the cost of golf is increasing it is nice to report that membership fees for some clubs have not gone through the roof. One such club is Abbeyleix, just a short drive from Dublin these days, thanks to the Portlaoise bypass. Membership has just been opened to a limited number of applicants and, including first year subscription, will cost only £800 for men and even less for women. The offer is on a first-come first-served basis and details are available from the club's honorary secretary. Long regarded as one of the best nine-hole courses in the country, Abbeyleix recently spent £600,000 in constructing a new 18-hole layout, designed by Mel Flanagan, which is scheduled to open later this year.