Rounds in June were up almost 14% nationally, a year-over-year increase of approximately 7 million to 8 million rounds given the high volume of play for the month. It’s an encouraging rebound for the industry after the loss of 20 million March and April rounds due to coronavirus-related course shutdowns and anxiety.
June play was up in every state in the continental U.S. and follows a 6% bump in May play. Continued strong momentum in July and August would offset the spring losses or perhaps surpass last year’s play despite the significant setback. Almost half of annual rounds are played from May through August.
In the above graphic, NGF’s annual rounds forecast with a “neutral” projection (which assumes the second half of 2020 is in line with 2019) now shows the industry finishing the year down just one percent, which is much more favorable than most expected two months ago.
A more optimistic projection, based on the second half outperforming 2019 by 5%, would have rounds exceed last year’s total by about 2%, which no one would have considered in mid-March. Of course, the second half could still under-perform due to weather or the virus.
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