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Area golf courses notice uptick in golfers since they’ve been allowed to reopen

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Driving Range at Pekin's Lick Creek Golf Course
Golfers at Metamora Fields Golf Club
Tal Squire
Golfers at Metamora Fields Golf Club

(HOI) -- It's been more than a month now since golf courses were able to open up. Through ever-changing restrictions, area courses in Pekin, Peoria, and Metamora say they're seeing tons of people grab their clubs and hit the tee box.

"Basically the last I'll say two to four weeks we've averaged anywhere between 120 to close to 200 players," said Cory Proehl, Pekin Park District Director of Golf.

"It's fun, I hope they don't close it again. You can't beat it," said Lick Creek Golfer, Tal Squire.

A full golf course has been a sight for sore eyes for many.

"The transition was pretty tough for us, because of the fact of you're obviously trying to watch your numbers and stuff. We were closed basically the end of March and the whole month of April," explained Proehl.

Ever since golf courses have been able to open in May, things have been like knocking home a birdie putt.

Matt Rogers says they've started seeing a lot of beginning golfers at Weaver Ridge and Metamora Fields since golf's return.

"I think golf kind of caught everyone's eye, when they were kind of stuck inside the house and they were looking for ideas to get outside and they can walk so many trails, but then it's kind of neat to do something while you're out walking," said Rogers, the Weaver Ridge and Metamora Fields Golf Courses General Manager.

And now golfers aren't limited to just walking the golf course, they can ride carts too.

"We walked this course and we got done, we was ready to sit down," continued Squire.

The rule is one per cart, unless you rode together to the course or live in the same house.

"We brought in additional carts to our fleet this year so that we could accommodate one per cart if need be on the busier days and so far it seems to be working out great and the courses have been packed," continued Rogers.

Proehl says at Lick Creek, they've been working on a carry out basis for food and drinks. Where people can pull up and order and they'll bring it out to them. Rogers says food is a big part of their business.

"Our business has several different arms to it. Each side seems to have different restrictions and guidelines we have to stay up to date on. Not having our banquet business, it's kind of difficult to get our restaurants back to full capacity and operating 7 days a week, like we would like. As the restrictions continue to loosen, I think we'll be able to get back to full operation," explained Rogers.

While some think this might be the new norm for golf courses, others are just glad they get to keep playing.

Friday also marked the one-year anniversary since Weaver Ridge Golf Club and Metamora Fields Golf Club have been under the same ownership.

Lick Creek Golf Course is back to having their junior program at the course now that they can use the driving range again.

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Holden Krusemark

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