The NGF says rounds are up 7.4% through September and "nearly every state experienced a gain versus 2011," noting increased consumer confidence for the improvements.
Not so bullish was there assessment of domestic golf course construction. American golf architects, don't read this:
U.S. golf course openings remain at historic lows and that should continue for the foreseeable future. No surprise there, considering the supply and demand imbalance that exists. Golf course closures will be about the same as last year as well. The gradual market correction is expected to continue with net reduction of supply helping us inch gradually closer to equilibrium.
Golf course transaction activity has increased in 2012 as distressed properties are being purchased by opportunistic entrepreneurs, many of whom continue to operate the golf courses, rather than re-develop them. The lack of available credit, low commercial space occupancy rates and large volumes of available residential inventory make “higher and better use” opportunities pretty rare.