Keeping Score

February halts U.S. surge in rounds played

After pandemic spurs 13.9-percent rise in rounds played in 2020, golfers back off in February as play falls 4.7 percent for month

4.7: Percentage decline in rounds played in the U.S. in February, compared with the same month in 2020, according to industry data compiled by Golf Datatech in its monthly National Rounds Played Report. The decline halts, at least temporarily, an extraordinary increase in rounds played in 2020. Last year, U.S. course operators recorded a 13.9-percent increase in play compared with 2019, which industry experts attribute to the COVID-19 pandemic and an eagerness for American golfers to enjoy the relative safety of being outdoors. However, even with the decline in February, the year-to-date numbers are 7.8-percent higher than the first two months of 2020, before the pandemic began to shut down much of American society. Though the northern tier of the nation was in the winter offseason, play declined last month across most of the country where golf was in season. Georgia led the upside with a 26.4-percent jump in play, and Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada and Oregon also registered increases from February 2020.

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