Overall rounds of golf played in the United States in 2014 were down 1.4% when compared with 2013 numbers, according to PGA PerformanceTrak, a data collection and benchmarking service.
But there was some good news for the industry. Rounds played per days open were up nearly 1% over 2013. That number suggests that when weather conditions were acceptable, consumers played golf more often. Twenty-nine states and 36 of 70 major metropolitan markets experienced growth in rounds played per days open.
“While we are not in the business of predicting weather patterns, we felt it was necessary to establish a new metric to better reflect the true impact weather conditions have on days open, rounds played and ultimately facility revenue in the majority of markets,” PGA of America president Derek Sprague said in a statement. “When weather conditions are acceptable, consumers are playing golf and spending money on golf fees and merchandise … at a pace that is higher than 2013, which is certainly a positive trend for the golf industry.”
Through data maintained by the National Climate Data Center, 20 states had 2014 precipitation levels that were above normal, with the majority of impact occurring in the Northwest, Midwest and Northeast regions. To compound matters, many regions of the U.S. registered below average to much below average temperatures for the year, while the Northwest and Southwest regions had above average to record temperatures with California, Nevada and Arizona setting 120-year records for the warmest average temperatures.
According to PGA PerformanceTrak, the average fee for an 18-hole round of golf was $25.35 in 2014. In 2013 the average fee was $25.19.