Rounds played for September were down 8% nationwide compared to 2020, but continue to trend ahead of recent non-pandemic years.
Although play in recent months has trailed the torrid pace seen in the summer and fall of 2020, as expected, rounds are up 8.4% for the year entering the final quarter of 2021.
In 2020, September rounds in the U.S. had jumped more than 25% over the year prior – an increase of more than 10 million rounds. This September, play dipped in all but one of the eight geographic regions (the Pacific) in the monthly rounds played report that’s produced by Golf Datatech, which incorporates facility data gathered by NGF.
Among the biggest declines were in the Northeast, where windows of poor golf weather had an impact in New England (precipitation up 235% and rounds down 19%) and the Mid-Atlantic (precipitation up 116% and rounds down 12%). But this year’s “drops,” (-7% in August and -4% in July) had been anticipated given the unique increases seen in 2020 (+21% in August and +20% in July).
Entering Q4, the biggest year-over-year gains in play have been seen in the Pacific (+23%) and Mid-Atlantic (+11%), which stands to reason given that those areas were among those most impacted by golf operational shutdowns and restrictions. In 2020, approximately 20 million spring rounds were lost due to virus-related operational restrictions and anxiety.
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