Quarterly rounds totals down in UK

After a strong first half of the year, golf rounds fell in the United Kingdom in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the prior year, but it wasn’t all bad news.

Monthly, the year-to-date average is ahead of 2016 by 4 percent, according to a quarterly report from Sports Marketing Surveys, Inc. (SMS).

Two regions, the Midlands and Scotland, barely saw any decreases in play, with less than 1 percent change year over year for the third quarter. Meanwhile, the southern region had a small quarterly loss of 4 percent, but was still 3 percent ahead of the prior year.

Golfers may have stayed away from courses for a number of reasons, the report indicated.  

Weather was likely a big factor for the quarterly decline, with above-average rainfall in both July and August. September also had extreme weather thanks to Storm Aileen.

Additionally, SMS said two events could have impacted golfers: the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships were held in London in August, while the Wimbledon Tennis Championships ran slightly later this year, finishing in mid-July.

“As a sport played outside, it would be naïve of us to think that a strong Q1 and Q2 would automatically continue against the elements, and a particularly wet Q3, especially compared to 2016, has had a negative impact on rounds played,” said Richard Payne, director of sports accounts at SMS.

The first two quarters of 2017 saw increases in average golf rounds, especially in April, leading to a strong outlook for the entire year.

“With the year-to-date figure showing an increase compared to 2016, we should still remain positive about the rounds being played in 2017 and be optimistic of a strong end to the year.” 

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