Golf’s on-course momentum from 2020 carried into 2021, with January rounds up 21.4% nationwide, according to Golf Datatech’s monthly report.
It’s important to note there can be greater inconsistency in comparing yearly results for a month like January, given that weather and seasonality have such a significant impact. January and December are typically the lowest volume months for play in any given year, each regularly accounting for less than 5% of annual rounds.
Before the pandemic hit in 2020, the golf year actually got off to a strong start, with favorable weather leading to an 11% increase in January rounds over 2019. Both January and February (+19%) of 2020 saw notable increases before coronavirus-related shutdowns led to the loss of 20 million spring rounds. Play surged from June through the end of the year, as the industry finished with 14% more rounds — an added 61 million in total — than in 2019.
While February has brought wintry weather in many parts of the U.S., January 2021 saw noteworthy year-over-year jumps in rounds throughout the Pacific (+24.8), New England (26.3%), Mid Atlantic (+28.6%), South Central (+44.2%) and West North Central (+59.9%) regions. However, all eight geographic regions experienced play increases over January 2020.
Play at public facilities was up almost 19%, while rounds at private courses were up 29%.