PLAYERS UP: While Golf NSW reported most clubs on the Northern Rivers have seen an increase in member numbers, LWGC is up 16.7 per cent.
PLAYERS UP: While Golf NSW reported most clubs on the Northern Rivers have seen an increase in member numbers, LWGC is up 16.7 per cent.

Which golf clubs had an upswing in memberships this year?

COVID-19 stopped many sports in their tracks but one Northern Rivers club managed to attract nearly 17 per cent more members.

According to Golf NSW, while most clubs saw member numbers remain steady or rise slightly, Lismore Workers Golf Club membership jumped 16.7 per cent.

Golf NSW David Tease said the figures relate to clubs where public access is generally available and as a rule, you can "walk in and apply for membership".

LWGC manager Brad Mott and club pro Peter Jaeger are not surprised with the 16.7 per cent rise as they said they looked for ways to make the game more accessible as soon as COVID-19 lockdown struck.

While most other sports were in hiatus, golf was back, albeit in limited form in May.

"During the lockdown period a lot of local sports were cancelled so we saw people who might normally play team sports such as football or hockey take up golf instead," he said.

"Many seem to have caught the golf bug and we hope to retain them as members."

Mott said a great deal of credit has to go to Jaeger, as "he is most often the first port of call for people wanting to give the game a go."

Jaeger said it's been a pleasure seeing people develop from novices to becoming really keen players.

"Most of them are real sportsmen or women," he said.

"This was an opportunity foe the club to think outside the square and attract lots of younger sportspeople, we were open minded about ways to encourage them to join, such as with a direct-debit monthly membership rather than an annual lump sum."

Ballina Golf & Sports Club general manager Mark Whiting said they've also seen positive growth.

"We've seen an increase in the return of former members as well as those who were unable to play other sports," he said.

"Our competition rounds have increased 10 to 15 per cent and our course was played to capacity with what we could do during the restrictions."

Golf Club memberships

Byron Bay up 5.2 per cent

Coolangatta / Tweed Heads (remained steady)

LWGC up 17.6 per cent

Maclean up 2.3 per cent

Murwillumbah up 4.3 per cent

Ocean Shores (remained even)

Yamba up 10.4 per cent