Rounds played, maybe golf’s most important economic metric, showed a positive number for 2016, marking the second straight year that people were playing more golf.
The numbers, according to research firm Golf Datatech, stayed on the positive side despite rounds being well down this December compared to last December’s dry and relatively warm conditions in much of the country.
According to Golf Datatech, rounds for 2016 were up 0.6 percent following 2015’s 1.8-percent growth over 2014’s numbers, which were down 1.7 percent from 2013.
While December 2016 saw double-digit declines in rounds played at public and private courses, as well as 8-12-degree declines in monthly average temperatures in several regions of the country, those drops didn’t completely reverse the year’s good start. Rounds played were up 5.5 percent through March.
For the year, rounds played were up in five of the eight regions of the country with the New England region showing the largest gain at 5.2 percent, followed by the South Central a 2.9, the South Atlantic at 2.6 and the Mountain at 2.2. The largest annual decline came in the Pacific region at -1.6 percent.