U.S. rounds down 1.7 percent in July

Rounds played in the U.S. fell 1.7 percent in July, marking the fourth decline in the past five months.

During that stretch dating to March, rounds played only increased in June in year-over-year comparisons. For the year-to-date period, rounds played are down 3.7 percent.

At private courses, the number of rounds played declined 2 percent in July and is down 3.5 percent through the first seven months of 2011. Public-access play mirrors overall trends even more closely: Rounds played dropped 1.6 percent in July and declined 3.8 percent for the year-to-date period.

The National Golf Rounds Played Report is a collaborative effort published by industry research firm Golf Datatech LLC, National Golf Course Owners Association and PGA of America. More than 3,700 courses contributed data for the July report.

The following is a regional breakdown:

Region: July / Year-to-date:

• Pacific: 0.7 percent / -1.9 percent

(California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington)

• Mountain: -1.8 percent / -1.7 percent

(Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah)

• West North Central: -6.4 percent / -9.5 percent

(Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri)

• East North Central: -3.5 percent / -13.2 percent

(Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin)

• South Central: -0.3 percent / 2.9 percent

(Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas)

• South Atlantic: -0.1 percent / 3.9 percent

(Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia)

• Mid Atlantic: -1.5 percent / -10.1 percent

(New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania)

• New England: 3.0 percent / -5.7 percent

(Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont)

• United States: -1.7 percent / -3.7 percent

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