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A Publication of the National Golf Foundation

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

May 2021 National Rounds Played Report

by National Rounds Played Coalition

June 2021

Click image to see full May 2020 National Rounds Played Report


National rounds played for May 2021 were up an estimated 18% over a year ago, when golf operations were still limited due to the coronavirus in some parts of the country.

The May increase follows jumps of +45% in March and +81% in April. In 2020, the three-month stretch from March through saw the most significant virus-related impacts, with the loss of around 20 million spring rounds.

This year’s resurgence puts the industry at +33.6% year-to-date entering June.

In 2020, there were early indicators of golf’s bounce-back by mid-May, when 98% of facilities had resumed operations. But 12 states — among them California, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — still had restrictions on golf operations early in the month and a number of areas were also faced with safety limitations that included wider tee time intervals, two player groups instead of foursomes, walking-only provisions, and reduced guest play.

As a result, it was expected that May 2021 would show a fairly substantial increase in play. Of note, play at public courses was up 22.7% for the month compared to a modest 2.6% increase for private facilities. That’s in part because private play in May 2020 was +18% compared to +3% for daily fee and municipal courses.

Looking ahead, June’s rounds-played data will be the first real test of the sustainability of last summer’s surge.

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National Rounds Played Coalition

Golf Datatech spearheads the National Rounds Played Coalition, with assistance from the National Golf Foundation and the National Golf Course Owners Association.