National rounds-played were up 11.1% in January compared to a year ago, a positive start for 2020 that’s largely attributable to warmer-than-usual temperatures in all eight geographic regions tracked by the National Rounds Played Coalition.
The most noteworthy jumps, just like in January 2019, were in the New England (+57.2%) and Mid-Atlantic Regions (+70.9%) during what is the offseason for golf. Less snow than usual – precipitation was down 55% year-over-year in states like Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island – led to more playable days.
In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, rounds played were up more than 100% over a year ago thanks to an average temperature more than seven degrees warmer and 34% less precipitation.
Regional rounds were also up in the South Central (+18.4%) – most significantly in states like Texas and Oklahoma – as well as the South Atlantic (+13%, driven by Maryland’s gains) and Mountain regions (+9.8%, thanks largely to Colorado). In the Pacific, which was slightly up 4.3%, increased rounds in California offset significant declines in Washington and Oregon.
It’s important to note that January accounts for only about 3% of annual rounds nationally and, like other winter months, its impact on total annual rounds is relatively insignificant overall. As the season kicks into gear in many parts of the country in the coming months, the spring and summer months will set the tone for the rest of the year.
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