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BIRMINGHAM – Local golf courses have had a record year for profits and attendance in 2021.

This is consistent with national records which suggest golf’s popularity has increased due to the pandemic.

The number of rounds played in 2020 and 2021 each reached more than 64,000, marking the highest number of annual rounds since 2003. This number includes combined rounds at Springdale Golf Course in Bloomfield Hills and Lincoln Hills in Birmingham.

Birmingham utilities manager Lauren Wood said rounds had increased by around 29 per cent since 2019.

“I think it rejuvenates the game. I think people want to be outside and do outdoor activities to feel safe,” Wood said. “All outdoor activities have been increased throughout the city, such as the use of parks, the use of public spaces and, of course, the golf course, because it is a place of recreation. “

In addition to an increase in rounds, profits have increased by 46% and annual memberships have increased by 12% since 2020.

Wood said they’ve seen more golfers on the course participating in more recreational games rather than following rigid rules.

A round of golf can provide players with benefits beyond the boundaries of the sport. Social connection can be one of the main assets for playing a trick or buying a subscription, especially during the pandemic, when there was a dearth of opportunities to connect in person.

The social element of golf is something that Wood says has been particularly prevalent on courses recently.

This increase in recreational play could be caused by the increase in the number of golfers who are new to the game. The National Golf Foundation reports 3.2 million new golfers this year.

Jacky Brito, Golf Director of Lincoln Hills and Springdale Golf Courses, said: “Our goal is to ensure these golfers play for a lifetime by creating a fun, stress-free and safe environment within their golf course. community.

The course should generally advertise club events and activities; however, members have participated more than ever in the past two years. Events such as Nite Golf in Springdale, Dueling Pianos in Lincoln Hills and the annual Turkey Shoot were all sold out in 2021.

There has also been an increase in the number of female golfers over the past year. The NGF reported that the number of female golfers increased by 2.5% over the past year, with women accounting for 25% of golfers.

This national increase in the number of female golfers is consistent with reports from local courses. Wood said he has seen many more female members over the past year.

As revenues increase, further enhancements will be made to the courses. Some improvements at Lincoln Hills are already underway, such as repairing hole four and hole five drainage issues.

“Golf course revenues are plowed back into golf courses, so we can continue to make the improvements they need at no cost to taxpayers,” said Mayor Therese Longe.

In future years, Lincoln Hills will strive for a new fairway bunker for the first hole, an increased putting surface on the practice green, and renovations for the tee hole. Facilities for an additional cart path on hole six and new landscaping will also be added.

Among the cart and cart path repairs, a big project ahead of Springdale in the next few years is to install a new irrigation system. Springdale also plans to install a cement washroom on the course and additional erosion control along the river.

Longe said the dedication of the Department of Public Services, golf course staff and the Parks and Recreation Board is another reason for the courses’ recent success.

“They have a multi-year plan to invest in programming and amenities to make the golf courses the optimal resource they can be for the community and to make them more family-friendly,” Longe said.