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Fall Forward: Rounds played, sales are up in October

December 12, 2013

From the Dec. 11 edition of Golf Digest Stix:


Green scene: Golfers played more in October -- and spent more, too. Photo: Norbert Schafer

Although the cool, wet start to 2013 left the golf-course business playing a difficult game of catch-up, the last few months have brought relief. The number of rounds played in October was up 4.2 percent. That was the third month of gains in a row, according to PGA PerformanceTrak, which follows golf-course revenue.

Thirty-two states in its survey reported increased play in October. The higher play also boosted ancillary revenue. Merchandise sales improved 7.2 percent in October, and food and beverage was up 8.7 percent. Still, the picture isn't entirely bright. Only eight states -- Maine, Florida, Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Idaho and Hawaii -- are showing year-to-date rounds-played increases for 2013. Nationwide, the year-to-date figure for rounds played is the lowest since PerformanceTrak began its survey eight years ago.