March rounds, up 3.4%, reverse February decline

Buoyed by strong showings in the North Central and New England areas, rounds played in the U.S. were up 3.4 percent in March of this year compared to March 2008, according to figures compiled by Golf Datatech, the National Golf Foundation and the PGA of America.
The March spike boosted the year-to-date increase 2.4 percent higher than last year’s first quarter pace.
Although a number of courses were still closed for the winter in the northern states from Montana to Maine, and there were spates of bad weather, there were enough playable days and willing golfers to register stout increases in the West North Central, East North Central, New England and Mid-Atlantic regions of the country.
The West North Central corridor from North Dakota to Kansas and Missouri was up nearly 46 percent in March; the East North Central region of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio was up a whopping 146.9 percent over the previous year’s March figures. New England was up 85 percent year-on-year, and the Mid-Atlantic region was up 17 percent.
The Pacific, South Central and South Atlantic regions, which account for more play this time of year, were down compared to last year, but not sufficiently to overcome their northern neighbors
Here are March 2009 and year-to-date rounds totals for selected metropolitan areas:
                                       March 2009     YTD 2009
Washington-Baltimore       -7.1%               -10.5%                       
Orlando                           -8.09%             -7.0%                       
Naples-Ft. Myers              -3.5%               -2.1%
Atlanta                            -11,6%             -10.1%
Myrtle Beach                    -11.6%             -9.7%
New York City                  +23.9%            +2.9%           
Chicago                           +142.5%          +129.5%           
Nashville                         +4.5%               +13.1%           
St. Louis                          +90.7%             +79.1%
Dallas/Ft. Worth               +5.5%               +16.7%           
Los Angeles                       -7.8%               -2.8%           
San Diego                         -6.6%               +2.7%
Phoenix                           +2.0%                -0.1%           
Las Vegas                         -4.8%                -2.5%           
Seattle                             -22.0%              -8.3%                                                           

Source: National Rounds Played Report 

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