B.C.’s public golf courses are thriving during pandemic

Busiest courses in the province recorded an average growth rate of 14.7% in 2020

With its natural advantage of outdoor green space, golf in British Columbia has thrived through pandemic restrictions that have limited business for so many other sports in the province.

Last year, B.C.’s golf courses recorded the highest growth in at least the past half-decade, according to data collected on Business in Vancouver’s Busiest Public Golf Courses in B.C. list (https://biv.com/lists).

The average rounds played grew 6.5% to 55,094 in 2020 from 51,711.2 in 2019. The increase was more than three times the 1.8% growth recorded in 2019 and more than six times the 1% increase in rounds played in 2018.

Last year’s improvement was driven mainly by larger courses ranked higher on BIV’s list, which grew at a higher rate than smaller companies lower on the list.

The average one-year growth rate in rounds played was 14.7%, compared with a median of just 4.4%. The average growth rate for the top 10 courses on the list was 15.3%, compared with 13% for the bottom 10.

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The company with the highest growth rate was No. 15 Sandpiper Resort, which nearly doubled its number of rounds played, expanding 87% to 43,000 rounds played in 2020 from 23,000 in 2019.

Sandpiper’s growth was such a standout among the 10 lowest-ranked golf courses on the list that, if removed, the average for the remaining nine courses would drop to 5.6% from 13%.

After Sandpiper Resort, the three busiest golf courses on the list had some of the highest one-year growth rates.

No. 2 Northview Golf & Country Club had the second-largest one-year growth on the list. Its rounds played increased 50.5% to 80,599 in 2020 from 53,559 in 2019.

No. 1 Swaneset Bay Resort & Country Club and No. 3 Hazelmere Golf & Country Club both recorded double-digit growth at 45.6% and 32.1%, respectively. •