Golf’s popularity on the rise in Manitoba, course association says

As the ice melts and spring weather is beginning to look like it’s here to stay, Manitobans are getting ready to tee off again.

Although many may have pursued the sport as a pandemic hobby, they’re getting hooked on the game and becoming perennial golf enthusiasts.

Kevin O’Donovan, regional director of the Prairie chapter of the National Golf Course Owners Association of Canada, told 680 CJOB’s The Start that the province saw a 17 per cent increase in rounds of golf played last year — and that’s compared with pre-pandemic numbers in 2019.

“I think everybody feels comfortable (now) and golf in Manitoba’s in a good place,” O’Donovan said.

“They definitely want to get out and play a number of courses across the province, and certainly — fingers crossed that the weather co-operates — they’ll be able to do that and get out on the golf course as often as they can.”

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Click to play video: 'Talking golf with Coun. Sherri Rollins'

Talking golf with Coun. Sherri Rollins

O’Donovan said another interesting change is that demographics have shifted, and golf courses are seeing a much more diverse clientele these days.

“Whether that’s family golf, whether that’s juniors — which has always typically been strong, especially in the province of Manitoba,” he said.

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“And a lot of women are getting out to play in groups and learn-to-play lessons, and sessions like that.”

Dave Comaskey, the City of Winnipeg’s golf operations co-ordinator, said Winnipeg’s courses have seen a similar increase in popularity.

“With the pandemic, there was a real boom in golf,” Comasky said.

“Participation has increased — every golf course in and around Winnipeg has been very busy over the last number of years, which is great. It’s good for the game, and it’s good for the sport.”

Click to play video: 'City golf courses opening Thursday'

City golf courses opening Thursday

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