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A Publication of the National Golf Foundation

Questions, Answers and Insights for Everyone Interested in the Business of Golf

Part of Golf’s Rebound: Better Weather

by National Golf Foundation

December 2020


After two years of record-setting precipitation that hampered rounds played numbers, the weather has cooperated (for the most part) in 2020, another of the key transient factors that’s helped fuel increases in play during the pandemic.

Given golf’s outdoor nature, play and the success of golf facilities is highly dependent on the weather. Per historical analysis from Weather Trends 360, 1 degree warmer temperature year-over-year results in a 0.76% increase in rounds, while an extra inch of rain YOY leads to a 2.2% average decrease in play.

The average U.S. temperature was 57 degrees this year entering November, more than two degrees above the historical average and the sixth-warmest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And every region in the country has seen warmer than average temperatures.

National precipitation totals are about one inch above average, but down from 2018 and 2019, which both ranked among the four wettest years in recorded history. Thus far, 2020 is among the top one-third of wettest years all-time, but as the above graphic indicates, weather has been more favorable in places where a lot of golf is played — particularly in parts of the Northeast and some of the Great Lakes states.


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The National Golf Foundation is a community of individuals and golf businesses committed to being the most well-informed advocates for the growth of the industry. With the world’s largest research team dedicated to golf, NGF provides members with the most accurate and objective insights on the game. We help golf businesses better understand their market and grow their businesses. The NGF is the only association for everyone in golf, and we advocate for growth by educating and connecting our members.