December play rises 8.3 percent compared with the same month in 2018, nudging the annual figure into a year-over-year increase for the 1st time since 2016, Golf Datatech reports
Rounds played in the U.S. increased in 2019 for the first time in three years, according to Golf Datatech’s National Golf Rounds Played Report. The number of rounds played across the country spiked 8.3 percent in December compared with the same month a year earlier, boosting the annual total to a 1.5-percent increase from 2018. Rounds played had fallen by 4.8 percent in 2018 compared with 2017, when they had dropped 2.7 percent from the previous year. The 0.6 percent uptick in 2016 followed a 1.8 percent increase in 2015. Since 2000, rounds played have dropped in 14 of the 20 years amid course closings and an overall shrinkage of the game in the U.S. In December, the national increase in rounds played was buoyed by milder weather across much of the U.S., with double-digit spikes in the nation’s midsection, from the Appalachians to the Rockies.