A SPORTS club is seeing business boom after a resurgence in enthusiasm for sport.

Allendale Golf Club is seeing enthusiasm for golf boom following the easing of Covid restrictions.

Robin Down, Honorary Treasurer of the club for 20 years, said: "Once Covid eased, a great enthusiasm for golf re-emerged."

This has helped the club's finances improve. Over recent years, Robin said the club has done well due to course improvements and his own published golfing books, which have attracted interest. "It's gratifying to know it's helped to bring visitors to the area," he said.

Hexham Courant: GOLF: The ninth fairway at Allendale Golf course. Image: Robin DownGOLF: The ninth fairway at Allendale Golf course. Image: Robin Down

"For years we just got by. Any years in profit were marginal and years in the red too frequent. Several initiatives, including a wind turbine installation, registering as a Community Amateur Sports Club with HMRC, and minimising any long-term debt was sufficient to ensure the club's survival, but it was always a close run thing. Unique in the club's history, which dates from 1906, we now have some modest reserves," Robin said.

"Statistics from England Golf demonstrate a significant increase in participation - the number of rounds played in 2021 was 28 per cent up on 2019. At Allendale, that increase was 100 per cent - visitors playing the course have doubled in the same period."

The figures show no sign of abating, which he said is testament to the quality of the golfing experience at Allendale. 

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"Once someone is put off a golf course, they don't come back," he said. "You can lose a visitor in an instant and they may never return."

However, the course has the right ingredients to keep people returning. Along with being affordable, Robin said the empty fairways aren't intimidating for novice golfers and the course offers scenic views.

He also attributes the club's success to Neil Forsyth, a self-taught greenkeeper, and volunteer Ian Robinson.

Neil, the club's secretary and head greenkeeper, said: "I couldn't have learned the ropes without Ian's support."

"He's volunteered here for a long time and without him we wouldn't be in the position we are. We've got a great group of members here too. They're keen to see the golf course at its best and help out a lot when we need some more hands. Meanwhile our treasurer, Robin Down, has kept the whole club moving forward for the last 20 years," he added.