The Bangor Municipal Golf Course has seen a surge in interest during the pandemic which has led to the public fairway selling out its memberships for the first time in 20 years.
People flocked to golf courses during the pandemic because they provided a convenient outlet for exercise and allowed for social distancing.
The course noted that it had exhausted memberships for the upcoming season in a copy of Bangor’s proposed fiscal year 2023 budget, which City Manager Debbie Laurie presented to City Council on Monday evening.
The golf course was a “winner of [the pandemic]”, Laurie said. “When people were worried during the shutdown, people turned to outdoor activities, and golf is something people have come back to or come to again.”
Memberships sold out on March 21, a month before the hoped-for opening for the 2022 season, the course said in a Facebook post. The golf course, which is operated by the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department, raised its membership cap to 400 people in 2021 from 300 in 2020.
Golf pro Rob Jarvis did not immediately respond to a voicemail on Tuesday.
The course, which closed for the winter on Oct. 31, has yet to set an opening date for its 2022 season.
The proposed budget would set aside $819,000 for the golf course, a 2.3% increase over the previous year. Most of that increase would go toward salary increases, Laurie said. The course is also asking about $59,000 to replace its current fleet of golf carts and lawnmowers. Golf carts saw more wear and tear during the pandemic as more players flocked to the course and COVID-19 restrictions initially limited carts to one rider each.
The city will review membership levels, fee structures and prices for golf courses in Bangor after the season ends, Laurie said.
Seasonal class memberships range from $275 for juniors and $460 for young single adults to $935 for families. Non-Bangor residents pay a little more.