Rounds of golf for August 2018 were down 1.6% compared to the same period a year ago, bringing the national year-to-date total to -2.7% (versus -2.9% through July).
The East North Central (which features golf-rich states such as Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois) and New England regions experienced significant increases in precipitation for the month. With almost twice as much rain during August than last year, rounds-played in those parts of the country were down -4.2% and -6.5%, respectively.
The Mid-Atlantic region consisting of New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey saw a 56% increase in precipitation resulting in rounds being down over 9% for the month. The decline for the month in the Mid-Atlantic brings the year-to-date total for the region to -8.2%, making it the only region where rounds are off more than 6% compared to last year.
Increases in rounds-played in the South Central and South Atlantic regions along with the Mountain region helped offset the decreases in the East North Central, Mid-Atlantic and New England regions.
Rounds in the Mountain region, spanning states from Arizona to Montana, were up 4.9% for the month, despite a 37% increase in precipitation. In fact, rounds in the Mountain region were up for the fifth consecutive month, bringing the year-to-date total for the region to +4.8%.
Rounds in the Pacific region held steady for the month and continue to outperform last year to the tune of +4.4%, year-over-year through August.
While September traditionally accounts for over 10% of annual rounds (making it one of the higher volume months), it will become increasingly challenging to make up ground unless there are meaningful gains in rounds-played in the coming months.