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Golf courses see increased attendance since start of pandemic

Valparaiso's Creekside Park

One outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a renewed interest in golf. Valpo Parks Executive Director John Seibert says use of the two city-owned courses had been in a tailspin before COVID.

"We've gone from a consistent downward trend through 2019 to a remarkable change in '20 and '21, and we expect the same thing — we started '22 in the same way," Seibert told the city council Monday, adding that the change is being driven by young people.

Now, he's looking to make some investments to the city-owned courses. The parks department is seeking permission to spend $105,000 dollars in golf course revenues on some needed improvements, like lighting repairs, cart path resurfacing and clubhouse flooring. And if the trend continues for a few more years, Seibert says he may go back to the council requesting bigger upgrades. One idea is to expand the Creekside Golf Course from 12 to 18 holes.