By Rachel Wulff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The COVID-19 pandemic is changing people’s perception when it comes to one sport – with the stay-at-home order teeing up one industry up for success.

David Pacheco has only been playing golf for a year and a half, but he says it’s played a role in improving his health.

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“In the last 3 to 4 months I’ve lost 57 pounds,” he said.

Mondays, he’s at William Land Golf Course with his buddies.

“That’s the best part, you get to socialize and exercise,” he said.

When the number of activities decreased with the state shutdown last March, the number of people hitting the links increased.

“All of a sudden, the game exploded because there wasn’t a lot of other things for people to do,” said Ken Morton, Sr., who oversees four golf courses for the City of Sacramento.

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Rounds of golf are up 50 percent, Morton says.

“And now we’re operating at about a 30-40 percent increase in golf instruction as well,” Morton said.

He says he has struggled to keep enough staff to match the public’s interest – and keep up with the ever-changing health protocols.

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Even so, golf enthusiasts are grateful the coronavirus is driving people to get out in the fresh air and exercise.

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“I’m still not good but I’ve gotten better,” laughed Pacheco.