SMS INC. has confirmed that golf has had a tough start to the new year, following on from a disappointing final quarter of 2015. The average number of rounds played has decreased by 7.5 per cent in the first quarter 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.
A very wet January resulted in all regions suffering a decrease, and the only region which saw an increase in February was the Midlands. March saw positive figures once again for the Midlands and an improved situation in Scotland where rounds played for the month were at the highest level for the last four years. Unfortunately the South and the North continued to experience decreases compared to 2015.
The Scottish region fared the best overall for the quarter with a 7 per cent increase year on year driven by the strong March figures. The South endured the biggest year on year decrease in rounds played. All months were down compared to 2015, resulting in a quarterly deficit of 17 per cent year on year.
This quarter saw unsettled weather from Storms Gertrude, Henry, Imogen and Katie, which have all had a negative effect on the number of rounds played. As well as this, The Six Nations, which is played throughout February and March and which saw England win their first Grand Slam since 2003, will likely have kept people occupied and away from the golf course over the weekends.
Richard Payne, Senior Manager of Sports Accounts at SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. commented: “When you consider the weather we have had over the last few months, it’s no surprise that the numbers of rounds played are down on the same period last year. I’m looking forward to seeing how these numbers develop through the year, taking into consideration Danny Willett’s fantastic win at The Masters, and the run up to a monumental summer of golf”.