Rounds of golf for August 2019 were up 3.5% compared to the same period last year, an increase attributable in part to more favorable weather conditions than a year ago.
While the August increase brought the year-to-date rounds-played total up, it’s now flat compared to the first three quarters of 2018, which overall was a down year. The total rounds-played number dipped to 434 million last year after hovering around 460 million the previous five years, a decline caused in part by the third-wettest year for the continental U.S. dating back to 1895.
The Mid-Atlantic Region saw an 11.6% percent jump in rounds played in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania during August, the biggest of any region. New England was also up 8.5%, buoyed by Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, while the East North Central saw a 7.1% uptick in play. In Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana, rounds were up at least 7.5% over a year ago.
Among the eight geographic regions tracked in the report, only the South Central was significantly down for August, at -3.3%. It marked the sixth straight down month for the region, which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. In April, May, June and July, the region experienced even more precipitation than it did those months in 2018.
For the year, the South Central is down -4.7% and having the largest impact on the national numbers. The Pacific Region, home to California, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii, is the only other region that’s down more than two percent for the year, at -2.7%.
September typically accounts for just over 10% of annual rounds, making it one of the higher volume months in the calendar. After that, it will become increasingly challenging to gain ground unless there are meaningful gains in rounds-played during the final three months of the year.