Weather Affects Golf Rounds in Minnesota in 2022

December 23, 2022
By Warren P Ryan


EDINA, Minn. (Dec. 23, 2022) – On behalf of its allied golf associations and its member golf clubs across the state, the Minnesota Golf Association has completed an annual facility rounds study to more accurately track golf participation in the state.   

For the first time in four consecutive years of golf participation growth, golf facilities across all categories in Minnesota report a decrease in golf rounds over the previous year, by an average of 5.4 percent. Unfavorable weather, and not an absolute decline in golfer participation, is considered the most influential factor.   

For 2022, the decrease in average rounds over the previous record year correlates highly with fewer playable weather days. According to Mike Malone, owner and operator of the Ridges at Sand Creek, playable weather days at the 18-hole public daily fee course in Jordan, Minn., were down 8.8 percent from 2021.  

The MGA surveyed 358 golf facilities around the state, with 106 facilities reporting rounds over the last four years in the following categories: municipal, (43.0 percent reporting); private, (55.8 percent); public daily fee, (31.3 percent); and resort, (40.9 percent). † 

“As we discovered during the pandemic, golf was one of the few sports or activities that all Minnesotans could safely participate in throughout the summer,” said Tom Ryan, MGA executive director and COO, adding, “even though rounds played were down this year compared to last, they are very close to 2020 numbers. This is an indicator that interest and enthusiasm in the game remains very high.” 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Daily Fee 

 
 
 
 

2019 

 
 
 
 

2020 

 
 
 
 

2021 

 
 
 
 

2022 

 
 
 
 

Avg. Rounds/Facility 

 
 

19660 

 
 

25904 

 
 

25648 

 
 

24802 

 
 
 
 

% Change YOY 

 
 

0.1% 

 
 

31.8% 

 
 

-1.0% 

 
 

-3.3% 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

Municipal   

 
 

2019 

 
 

2020 

 
 

2021 

 
 

2022 

 
 
 
 

Avg. Rounds/Facility 

 
 

26430 

 
 

33376 

 
 

34672 

 
 

33257 

 
 
 
 

% Change YOY 

 
 

2.8% 

 
 

26.3% 

 
 

3.9% 

 
 

-4.1% 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

Private 

 
 

2019 

 
 

2020 

 
 

2021 

 
 

2022 

 
 
 
 

Avg. Rounds/Facility 

 
 

16388 

 
 

22991 

 
 

25057 

 
 

23040 

 
 
 
 

% Change YOY 

 
 

-6.9% 

 
 

40.3% 

 
 

9.0% 

 
 

-8.0% 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

Resort 

 
 

2019 

 
 

2020 

 
 

2021 

 
 

2022 

 
 
 
 

Avg. Rounds/Facility 

 
 

15830 

 
 

17558 

 
 

19764 

 
 

18403 

 
 
 
 

% Change YOY 

 
 

1.6% 

 
 

10.9% 

 
 

12.6% 

 
 

-6.9% 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

All Facilities 

 
 

2019 

 
 

2020 

 
 

2021 

 
 

2022 

 
 
 
 

Avg. Rounds/Facility 

 
 

21026 

 
 

27152 

 
 

28354 

 
 

26811 

 
 
 
 

% Change YOY 

 
 

0.2% 

 
 

29.1% 

 
 

4.4% 

 
 

-5.4% 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

Short Courses 

 
 

2019 

 
 

2020 

 
 

2021 

 
 

2022 

 
 
 
 

Avg. Rounds/Facility  

 
 

18244 

 
 

24710 

 
 

25704 

 
 

24199 

 
 
 
 

% Change YOY 

 
 

3.1% 

 
 

35.4% 

 
 

4.0% 

 
 

-5.9% 

 

MGA members – approximately 83,000 golfers who play at public and private golf clubs around the state – posted about 101,000 fewer rounds in 2022, down 6.2 percent from 2021. While wetter-than-normal weather in April and May attributed to the slow start of the season, MGA members posted more rounds in the summer months than the same period last year, up nearly 3.9 percent for June, July and August of 2022. Likewise, MGA membership overall saw a slight increase over the previous year, up 0.5 percent. †† 

“This year’s numbers during the heart of the season are an indicator that playing golf continues to check all the boxes: it’s played outdoors, and represents both a physically and mentally healthful activity that thousands of kids and their families can participate in together,” explained Ryan.  

† 106 MGA golf facilities reported rounds for 2022, 8 percent more facilities reporting data in 2021.  

††  There are 83,340 youth and adult MGA members for the period ending Oct. 31, 2022; MGA members posted 909,689 rounds for June, July and August of 2022, up 3.89 percent over the same period in 2021. The MGA score posting season for handicap purposes begins April 1 and runs through October.     



                                                                                    ### 

Warren P Ryan

W.P. Ryan is the MGA’s communications director and editor of Minnesota Golfer magazine. Prior to his communications career, he has worked at several golf clubs in Florida, Maryland and Minnesota "guarding the Titleists" and teaching the game to junior golfers. 

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