THE number of Leeton shire residents taking to the town's golf course during lockdown increased exponentially, according to professional Jason Mimmo.
"It was a bit of a silver lining to lockdown as we were able to stay open and operate under certain restrictions," Mimmo said.
"A lot of new people, even younger-aged school children.
"It's interesting, we're hoping the numbers stay high."
During lockdown, Saturday competitions were booked out to capacity.
"We were going from 7am to 2pm ... every seven minutes we had two people teeing off," Mimmo said.
"From 2pm we basically had social players coming and going the whole time.
"During the week where there was no competition, we were getting about 50 people here, where we usually might have 10."
Mimmo said groups of four players were now allowed, so there wasn't as much pressure on players to get their names down on the playing sheets.
"It will be interesting to see if we get the same numbers over the coming weeks," Mimmo said.
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"I'm expecting a bit of a drop off because people can do a bit more now.
"But hopefully some of those new faces stick around and keep coming back."
With the twilight golf competition soon set to start, hundreds of players are again expected to take part in what has become Leeton's largest social sporting event that runs throughout the warmer months.
Mimmo said a lot of hard work and effort had been put into the course in recent times to get it up-to-scratch from volunteers, Leeton Shire Council and staff.
This has included the installation of a new automated irrigation system.
Last financial year we had an increase of $50,000 in green fees compared to the year before.Leeton golf professional Jason Mimmo
"The course is looking fantastic at the moment ... we've actually started watering again at night," Mimmo said.
"We've replaced one of the greens on one hole.
"It's a couple of months away, but we've got a spare hole now too which is great.
"Last financial year we had an increase of $50,000 in green fees compared to the year before.
"We took $1000 a week extra income from golf. It's huge."
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