December rounds finished on a positive note in 2017, up 4.1% compared to the same period a year ago. Warmer temperatures and lower precipitation helped drive increases in the Pacific region and portions of the Mountain region. Unusually cool temperatures hindered rounds across the South and East.
Overall national rounds-played were down 2.7% for the year, which is consistent with average weather-related fluctuation of approximately 2% to 3%.
It’s estimated that December accounts for less than 5% of annual rounds overall so the modest uptick for the month wasn’t enough to propel annual rounds back into the black. The net is that the industry has given back the gains from the prior two years, which were up 1.8% and 0.6%, respectively – resulting in a relatively stable number of rounds played over the last several years.