The daytime high temperature that day topped out at 54 degrees Fahrenheit, while the overnight low was 41. That's downright toasty for February in Michigan, and the effects trickled down to golf courses throughout the state where play for the month was up by 900 percent.
This year was a different story, with more seasonal low-high temperatures of 15 and 21 in February. The effects, again, were felt on the golf course as rounds played for the month fell off by 97 percent, nearly wiping out all of last Februarys gains. The dropoff symbolizes the cold, brutal reality hitting golf courses around the country, as rounds played in February dropped off by 6 percent nationwide compared with the same month in 2012, and year-to-date play is down by nearly 8 percent through the first two months of the year, according to Golf Datatechs National Golf Rounds Played Report. February was the third consecutive month in which year-over-year rounds played had dropped.
Michigan was the biggest loser in February followed closely by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where rounds were down by 92 percent, New York (88 percent), Pennsylvania (74 percent), New Jersey (72 percent), Illinois and West Virginia (65 percent each), Ohio (56 percent), and Delaware and Maryland (53 percent).
Most states that historically see cold winters took a hit in February, but two beat the trend. North and South Dakota saw the greatest increase in rounds played in February at 56 percent.
The report is a nationwide survey of 2,970 private and daily fee facilities.
With an 11.5 percent drop in play in February, private clubs saw less play than daily fee properties, where rounds were down by 4 percent. Year-to-date rounds at private clubs are down by 14.5 percent compared with a 5 percent slip at public access courses.
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