NORTH BAY -- Golf is one of the few sports people in Ontario can play under the provincial government's COVID-19 restrictions, and soaring membership at northern courses show how many people are taking advantage.

In North Bay, the North Bay Golf and Country Club has 600 members and manger Jeff Mancini said the course has a two- to three-year wait list for members wanting to join.

“We haven’t had a waiting list for six to seven years now, and then all of a sudden at the end of last year, golf's popularity spiked,” said Mancini.

“Now we have close to 90 people on our wait list.”

Mancini told CTV News the average member is about 55 years old, but said the game it growing in all age groups.

“We try and provide, as a facility something for all different sections,” he said. “Ladies, men, mixed, juniors. We have some people that are in the later categories, but we also have that spike in the younger categories. The 20-35 year olds are looking to play and pick up the sport, as well.”

Staff at Pinewood Park Golf Resort said they are in a similar situation. Manager Cary LaFontaine said the course has never had this many members.

“I’ve been here a few years, and it just keeps growing, probably up about per cent,” LaFontaine said.

“This is a smaller course. We have lots of seniors, so we like to push the younger to join, too, to join to build their game up.”

With restrictions in the province starting to loosen and more people getting vaccinated, both Mancini and Lafontaine said they think the game will only continue to grow.