Kirkby Lonsdale golf club is aiming to help the area bounce back as restrictions come down – and further push up its high membership.

The club has set up a range of ‘stay and play’ offers with local hotels.

The staycation packages include accommodation, meals, and rounds of golf at the picturesque club, which nestles in the Lune Valley between Casterton and Barbon.

Furthermore, the club has seen its membership increase and currently stands at about 380 members, including an active and growing group of lady members.

Club member Robin Ree said: “The idea is to attract golfers with their partners and families for ‘stay and play’ visits to the area.

“We are in South Lakeland and the Yorkshire Dales National Park and close to the Lake District.

“This is fabulous walking country and the town of Kirkby Lonsdale has such a lot to offer.”

Golf club secretary and manager David Towers said: “We enjoyed the best first week in April for five years – there is a real hunger for golf.

“We are also making contact with local schools to encourage their pupils to come along and are looking to organise an inter schools golf competition here later this year,” said vice-captain Graham Bywater.

The pandemic has caused a lot of difficulty for the club, suspending its income intermittently over a full year.

But the club has taken the opportunity during the lockdowns to refurbish the clubhouse.

The greenkeeping team has continued to work and has improved the playing surfaces.

Covers for four of the 10 driving range bays adjacent to the club have also been added.

The club runs various local charity initiatives. Lady captain Kate Hampshire has chosen Cumbria Wildlife Trust as her charity and, with help from members, has been able to put up bird boxes and plant wildflower seeds to increase the biodiversity around the course.

The clubhouse includes a bar and Fairways Restaurant, open to club members and the public. This is a popular stop-off point for groups of walkers enjoying the many local trails and can also be hired as a function room. Drinks and food can now be served outside on the terrace and the club is looking forward to when it can offer hospitality indoors.