Take a swing at this.
Visits to the Castlegar Golf Club and RV Park (CGC) increased by 30 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019, according to CGC director of golf Pat Biln.
Biln said the number of golf rounds that people played increased from 25,000 to 33,000.
More families decided to play golf this season with less things going on during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What we noticed is that parents weren’t swimming, playing baseball or soccer with their children like they normally would,” said Biln.
“Instead, they started going to our golf course more. Our junior lessons also kept getting busier and busier as the season went on.”
Golf memberships to the course also spiked this season by 11 per cent from 383 to 424.
The number of regional visitors to the golf course also rose this season.
“Another thing we saw is way more people visiting the golf course from larger urban centres like Kelowna, West Kelowna, Vernon and Osoyoos during long weekends,” said Biln.
“Many of them didn’t want to be in their communities during those busy times. They would arrive at the RV park before the long weekend and leave a day after it ended, so they stayed two or three days longer than they normally would.”
The RV park was full from the start of June to the end of September. Biln figures the RV Park would’ve been full this upcoming winter if it remained open with snowbirds unable to travel south this winter.
Total sales at the golf shop and the RV park increased by 15 per cent over the 2019 season. Quite an accomplishment considering CGC staff couldn’t even order golf equipment at the start of the season because of the crisis.
“There’s only a certain amount of companies that make push carts and they sold out of them in May because the U.S. golf clubs opened up before the Canadian ones,” said Biln.
“As a result, I wasn’t able to purchase any for our visitors. We were able to rent some of our older ones out, but buying them just wasn’t possible. So many people wanted them because they wanted to be able to physically distance while out on the course.”
Four more golf carts will be added to CGC’s fleet next season.
Even with all the uncertainties around COVID-19, Biln said his staff are already looking forward to opening up next season.
“If everything continues as it did this past season, we’ll have no issues opening in 2021 and keeping our operations going strong.”