Unseasonably Warm Temperatures Give Golf Courses Late-Year Boost

Golf courses around the Northeast and the Midwest are experiencing something this December that they haven’t had to deal with in years: people playing golf on them. Usually, as the winter holidays approach, courses in the Eastern Time Zone transform into ghost towns, frequented only by kids wielding snow sleds.

However, given the unseasonably warm temperatures that most of the United States is experiencing this December, golfers are finding excuses to ditch the office and get a few more rounds in, according to The Wall Street Journal

Will McIntosh, senior vice president for business development for the Golf Channel, which also owns the tee-time booking service GolfNow, said the number of late-year golf games has been as stunning as a hole-in-one. Last December, GolfNow booked 4,500 tee times throughout the entire Northeast and Midwest. This December, it has already booked 39,000 in those regions.

“We had to staff up in customer service to support the call volume,” he said.

At Jester Park Golf Course in Granger, Iowa, golfers played 590 rounds during the first 10 days of December compared with eight last year. At New Berlin Hills Golf Course in Wisconsin, there were 1,780 rounds played between Nov. 1 and Dec. 10, compared with 460 during that same period in 2014.

The examples of increases in rounds played in December over past years are impressive, which as the story states means “found money” for courses who routinely shut their doors in the winter months.  

With forecasts still expected to top out above 60 degrees over the next week, normally snow-locked golfers will get the unusual opportunity to try out some of their new holiday golf gear months ahead of schedule.