By Jennifer McLogan

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — They’re seeing more “green” across the country, and especially here in New York.

Revenue and play took off at municipal golf courses during the coronavirus pandemic. As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Wednesday, it has been a hole-in-one for the economy.

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Three buddies from Port Washington on pause from college courses have been spending their days on the golf course.

“Everything that’s going on in the world, it’s nice to be able to come out here and actually get out of the house for once,” Long Island student Williams Class said.

“We’re playing 18 today, and it costs $36 if you’re a resident,” student Finn Tatti added.

“Golf really just got, like, got a lot more popular after the pandemic started. I think it’s really nice to just get out with friends,” Michael Muff added.

Popular, indeed.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

On a chilly windy day, they tried their best to swing in winter coats. Parking lots were full, there were lines to check in and rules were enforced.

Golf during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a revenue bump for local governments.

“We’ve seen an additional $100,000 in income from these courses … so there is a silver lining in some aspect of this pandemic,” Hempstead Town Supervisor Donald Clavin said.

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Profits are being used to support debt service and bolster general funds for towns and villages.

“I think it’s more difficult to get a tee time,” Rockville Centre’s Neil Cleary said.

So Cleary hit the driving range.

Multiple Long Island municipal courses have seen a surge of up to 60% in rounds played, despite missing the entire month of April due to COVID restrictions and another week in August after Tropical Storm Isaias.

“We broke records on the total number of over 35,000 golfers in one year, and we are seeing revenue that has gone beyond $1.5 million,” Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Valley Stream friends Tom McNicholas and Paul Cangelosi said golf is their go-to sport during COVID.

“Golf, yes. It’s wide open and we’re safe,” Cangelosi said.

“As long as there’s no snow on the ground, we’ll be here,” McNicholas added.

Golf is the elixir for mind, body, and the bottom line.

The latest statistics show across the country, Americans played 13% more golf during the pandemic. In New York, those numbers rose above 20%.

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Jennifer McLogan