With December’s data now in, we know that rounds played in 2022 finished 3.7% below the record setting prior year. Yet the overall volume of rounds continues to outpace pre-Covid levels, with 2022 running 15% above the average of the 2017-2019 period.
Weather continues to be the antagonist in this story. Average playable hours were down 6.5% overall last year, according to Pellucid. As of the end of October, NGF was forecasting rounds being down about 2% by year-end, assuming average weather in the final two months. Instead, playable hours were down 19% and 30% in November and December, respectively. Rounds followed suit, being down 10% and 26%. Ouch.
On the bright side (literally and figuratively), the weather over the summer months was comparable to 2021 and those were the same months when play was up. One interpretation: demand did not lessen as much as the weather worsened. (See Figure 1)
For more on rounds in 2022, members can click here to access NGF’s annual rounds played overview, which relies on the monthly rounds-played reports produced by Golf Datatech, to which we contribute data.
Thanks to those operators who continue to share their monthly rounds. It’s a terrific help in our ongoing efforts to track one of the industry’s most vital health metrics.
If you’re a course owner/operator who needs to enter January 2023 rounds or have never contributed your rounds numbers, it’s not too late. Visit www.roundsplayed.com, type in your golf course name, and enter the information requested. Information is confidential and reported in aggregate.