Study Examines Impact of Climate Change on Golf Industry

WeatherBill Inc. has published a study analyzing historical weather data to determine changes and trends in annual "golf playable days." The study concludes that U.S. golf playable days are increasing in 95 cities, primarily due to higher average temperatures.

The study also identifies increasingly rainy trends in the Northeast and Southeast, drier Southwest and West regions, and increasingly uncertain weather in 33 cities.

"The average number of Golf Playable Days across the U.S. is 268 a year," said David Friedberg, CEO of WeatherBill. "In the West and South, given the extended season, the average golf course can expect 297 playable days a year vs. the 226 days in the Northeast and Midwest." The study includes a reference table showing the range of GPD in 195 cities as well as the 30-year trend in both GPD and weather certainty. The guide serves as a useful financial planning tool for golf course owners and managers.

"Warming temperature trends during January, February, and March were the most impressive weather change we observed," Friedberg said. "Half the cities in our study showed significant increases in temperature, particularly in the Southeast and Southwest.

"Rainfall changes were more widespread across the year and across cities, with about one-third of the nation showing a change in rainfall trend in any given quarter. Raleigh, N.C., Miami, Fla., and Portland, Ore., showed a very challenging combination of more rain and more variability, which makes revenue planning for the weather-sensitive golf business more difficult."

The free study can be downloaded at