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South Ayrshire Council has reported a massive increase in golf participation across its courses since the sport was allowed to resume from the spring COVID lockdown on May 29.

Research undertaken by Golf South Ayrshire has shown a year-on-year 43% increase in registered users, contributing to a staggering 90,000 member rounds – an increase of 23,000 on 2019.

Impressively, despite the removal of reserved times for visitors, there has also been an increase of nearly 9,500 non-member rounds compared to the same period last year.

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All of this has been done against a challenging and changing backdrop. The intervals between tee times has been increased, whilst an updated online booking system has been introduced to help reduce physical contact and improve course usage.

Golf South Ayrshire operates eight courses throughout the region: Belleisle, Seafield, Dalmilling and Maybole, as well as Girvan and a trio of courses at Troon Links.

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Welcoming the news, Councillor Siobhian Brown, the Economy and Culture Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council, said: “The number of people playing golf on our courses is fantastic. Golf is one of the few sports where players can remain physically distanced, and it’s a great way to maintain physical activity.

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“We would like to thank all of our members for their patience in the face of increasing demand. We realise that a small number may not be able to get their preferred tee times at the moment, so we are continuing to review and manage availability.”

She added: “The team at Golf South Ayrshire has done an amazing job to make sure that everyone is kept safe, and that golfers can continue to do what they love. Golf has always been an important part of the local economy, and it plays a crucial role in ensuring South Ayrshire is an even better place to live. I’m sure we can continue to grow the game in years to come.”

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

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