Rounds show modest growth in 2014

Golf rounds played per days open increased by 1 percent in 2014 when compared to 2013 data, according to PGA PerformanceTrak, which collects data from more than 2,600 facilities.

Food & Beverage revenue increased by 4.1 percent this past year and total facility revenue increased by 1.4 percent. The average fee for an 18-hole round of golf marginally increased from $25.19 in 2013 to $25.35.

Initially the data showed a decrease in overall rounds played in the U.S. by 1.4 percent. It also reported 2014 as having the fewest days open in the past 9 years due to weather. However, new numbers show that when weather permits, consumers choose to play golf as reflected by the growth in rounds played per days open in 29 states.

Weather also played a role in the performance of golf fee revenue and golf merchandise revenue. Merchandise revenue per days open increased by 2.6 percent from 2013 to 2014 and fee revenue per days open increased 1.5 percent.

“While we are not in the business of predicting weather patterns, we felt it was necessary to establish a new metric to better reflect the true impact weather conditions have on days open, rounds played and ultimately facility revenue in the majority of markets,” PGA of America President Derek Sprague said. “When weather conditions are acceptable, consumers are playing golf and spending money on golf fees and merchandise at the facilities at a pace that is higher than 2013, which is certainly a positive trend for the golf industry.”

According to the National Climate Data Center, 20 states reported precipitation rates above normal in 2014, primarily in the Northwest, Midwest and Northeast regions.

PGA PerformanceTrak is a data collection and benchmarking service offered by the PGA of American in cooperation with the NGCOA.


Rounds played will be down 1.5-2% this year. If one is going to introduce a new metric such as "Rounds per PGA Professional-reported Facility Days Open", then that should be clearly stated (heckuva a headline though). Pellucid's rules-based accounting of weather (Golf Playable Hours) shows that '14 finished, at the national level, in a virtual dead heat (-0.1%) vs. '13 which means, by our calculation, the Utilization Rate (played rounds/capacity rounds which I think is what the PGA is trying capture) will fall marginally. This isn't a bad thing necessarily, we've suffered far more in previous years, but to headline a story with '14 rounds will be up and then introduce the new metric, which is suspect due to its self-reporting and vested interest in the outcome, is probably not the pinnacle of objective, fact-based and well-researched reporting. My two cents.

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