ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As many industries struggle during the pandemic one of the few that’s actually thriving because of it is golfing. This year’s numbers show New Mexicans are embracing the sport, one hole at a time.

“Our range has been full, our practice area has been full,” said Bill Harvey, the Golf Manager at Ladera Golf Course. Dozens of golfers practiced their swing, at Ladera Golf Course on Saturday morning, a scene Harvey says is becoming more common.

Harvey says he believes the sudden interest in golf, is because of the pandemic. “Right now it’s the one thing I think you can do that falls into the safe compliance for outdoor activity,” said Harvey. The City says all of their golf courses are flourishing. In May and June, Ladera sold more than 16,000 rounds of golf, up from just over 10,000 for the same time last year. “We’ve seen a lot of people who haven’t played golf before who are trying it, that’s been really encouraging,” said Harvey.

Arroyo Del Oso has sold more than 21,000 rounds in May and June, up 5,000 from the same time last year. Jourdan McNeal says he golfs a few times every week, and he’s noticed a difference. He says he has to plan his trip in advance. “It’s really hard to get a tee time now,” said McNeal. He says golf courses are handling the increase well, with a longer gap between tee times. “I like it better, you don’t see a lot of people, you’re not being rushed,” said McNeal.

Los Altos sold more than 15,000 rounds and Puerto Del Sol another 8,000. All City Golf Courses are now requiring golfers to wear masks.