2002: Superintendent News - March rounds drop, breaking 5-month trend

By Leah Miller

For the first time in five months, national rounds played for a monthlong period dropped compared with the same month last year, according to Golf Datatech LLC. March rounds were down 0.5 percent in a year-over-year monthly comparison, breaking a trend of increased rounds of play that began in November.

During the first three months of the year, however, rounds played have improved 2.8 percent compared with the same period a year ago, reflecting mild winter weather in January and February.

All but three of the nine U.S. regions showed declines in March, led by the East North Central region (Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan), which dropped 19 percent. The next worst-performing region was East South Central (Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama), which showed a 16.7 percent drop compared with March 2001.

Rounds played in the West South Central region (Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas) fell 8.9 percent; without the influence of Texas, which dropped 1.4 percent, the region showed a 19 percent drop-off. Similarly, California’s 0.6 percent improvement softened numbers turned in for the Pacific region (Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii and California), which reported a 3.6 percent drop in rounds played; without the influence of California, the region’s rounds declined 18.7 percent.

New England region (Maine, Vermont, Hew Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut), showed the biggest increase at 134.6 percent improvement over March 2001 – an increase that still may be skewed by last year’s inclement winter weather.

The Mid-Atlantic (New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey) was runner-up with a 73.5 percent improvement. Rounds played in the South Atlantic region (Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida) improved 6.2 percent.

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