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August 2020 National Rounds Played Report

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Golf’s rounds rebound continues to be record-setting.

August rounds were up 20.6% nationally year-over-year, setting a new standard for the biggest increase in a peak season month since Golf Datatech began tracking rounds figures two decades ago. The previous record? A 19.7% jump in July 2020 rounds.

The lift represents approximately 10 million more rounds versus August of 2019.

Entering September, play was up 6.2% nationally over the same period a year ago. That’s a year-to-date swell of about 16 million added rounds. And this rebound comes after the industry lost about 20 million spring rounds due to coronavirus-related course shutdowns.

The surge continues to be widespread, too. For the second straight month, every state in the continental U.S. saw a play increase of at least 2% in August. Most were far higher, including jumps of 37% in Florida and 31% in Arizona, where oppressive heat and soaring temperatures clearly didn’t hold golfers back. Texas (which ranks fifth nationally with 844 golf courses) actually topped them both at +39%.

Led by Texas, the South Central region experienced a +35% increase in August rounds. All seven other geographic regions were up at least 16% for the month.

Looking ahead towards the final third of the calendar – golf’s typical taper period – there’s good reason to believe that the momentum will continue, given anecdotal reports from course operators, record equipment sales and continued spikes in online searches for the game’s ultimate consumable (golf balls).

September typically accounts for just under 11% of total annual rounds nationwide – even higher than in the spring – so another strong month would make it very possible the industry will see an 8% increase over last year’s 441 million rounds. For perspective, the last time we saw even a 5% Y.O.Y. increase was in 2012, thanks to an early-season heatwave.

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