Keeping Score

U.S. rounds of golf jump 45.3 percent in March, report says

Golf Datatech charts another big increase in rounds played, compared with March 2020, as golf industry extends its rebound

45.3: Percentage increase in number of rounds played in March, compared with the same month in 2020, according to research compiled by Golf Datatech in its monthly National Rounds Played Report. The growth reflects the rebound from the earliest effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the golf economy in the late winter and early spring of 2020. Many golf operations were forced to close last March as COVID-19 swept across the nation. Now, the U.S. golf industry and the wider economy at large have rebounded, and the March rounds-played numbers reflect that recovery. The data indicate a robust recovery in every area of the country, compared with the previous year, with double-digit gains across the U.S., regardless of trends in temperature and precipitation. The Great Lakes states of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin posted the most significant increase, at 134.9 percent, as modestly higher temperatures and lower precipitation supercharged the gains. The March numbers pushed the increase in rounds played for the first quarter of 2021 to a combined 24.3 percent compared with the first three months of 2020. February’s report represented a brief pause in the recovery, because the month was compared with the last 2020 month before the shutdown gripped the economy. Last year, despite the shutdown early in the year, U.S. golf courses reported a 13.9-percent increase in rounds played compared with 2019 as golfers sought the game’s relative safety of being outdoors and socially distancing from one another.

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