ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – From parking and transit to the BioPark and Sunport, the city has lost money left and right during the pandemic. But one revenue stream is doing better than it did before the virus arrived.

Golfers filled Ladera Golf Course for the first round of the city’s men’s championship. Course director Bill Harvey says it’s not just special events that keep them busy. Over the past few months, they’ve seen a steady wave of golfers hitting the greens. “We’re taking tee times at 5:30 right now, 5:45 for nine holes. Very unusual. Our practice area has been flooded daily,” Harvey says.

With entertainment venues still shut down because of the public health order, “There’s not a lot else to do during this pandemic and I’m glad to see the golfers come out,” says golfer Christine Grover.

And it’s clear that the city’s golf courses are seeing more now, during the pandemic, then they did last year back in the days of normalcy. “The flood gates opened people wanted to get out the activity bug in everybody was overwhelming so people wanted to get out and do things,” Harvey says. According to Parks and Rec in May and June of this year, the city’s four courses saw more than 61,000 rounds of golf bringing in more than $1 million.

That’s 40% busier than the courses were in May and June of last year and an extra few hundred thousand dollars in revenue. “There is a lot more people playing which I think is great,” Grover says. Albuquerque’s golf courses were shut down for more than a month before they reopened in May. The extra revenue will make up for that lost month.