November was a good news, bad news sort of month for the golf business.
The bad news, according to Golf Datatech's National Rounds Played Report, was that year-over-year rounds played for the month were down 11 percent (10 percent at daily fee courses and 15 percent at private clubs), compared to November 2012.
The good news, according to Pellucid Corp., is that such losses so late in the golf season have little bearing on yearly totals.
Rounds played for the month were down in 39 states by as little as 1.2 percent in New York to as much as 53 percent in Iowa. For the year, play is down by 4.8 percent compared with the first 11 months of 2012.
According to the report, which does not track rounds in Alaska, play was up in 10 states, including gains of 4 percent in Utah and 25 percent in New Jersey.
The losses in November were predictable, according to Pellucid, given the early arrival of winter conditions in many states.
For example, in Chicago, which is no stranger to cold weather, average daily highs and lows throughout November, ran 3 degrees colder than the historic average, according to the National Weather Service. As a result, play was down in the city by 48 percent in November. Daily temperatures in St. Louis, where play was down by nearly 30 percent, also were 3 degrees below normal for the month.
According to Pellucid, golf playable hours, a measurement of the total number of daylight hours compared with factors that influence play such as precipitation, humidity, daylight variances, etc., were down by 14 percent in November.