Weather's impact on Golf Attendance

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Sunday, 17 January 2010
Exhibit Hall B2 (GWCC)
John Parkinson, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL; and G. Matson

Golf courses are located all across the United States. According to the National Golf Foundation, about 26 million Americans play golf. There is no exception to this passion for the game at Canton Country Club, located in Canton, IL. The number of golf rounds played at Canton Country Club varies day by day. Why is this? Is the number of golfers per day completely random or is there an external force that could influence this number? How about the weather? Most would assume that the weather would play a role in the number of players, but to what extent? More specifically, how do specific weather elements such as temperature, wind speed and seasonal shifts effect the number of players?

If we can understand the correlation between the number of golfers who play at Canton Country Club on a particular day with specific weather conditions at the golf course on that day, we can estimate the number of golfers who would play if given those conditions. This information is very valuable to the management team at Canton Country Club. If they know how many golfers will play on a given day based on weather conditions, they can plan on how many staff members it will take to serve the golfers, how much food needs to be prepared to sell to golfers and how many golf carts must be gassed and ready to be sent out.

We have focused this particular study only to Canton Country Club in Canton, IL (an 18 hole, par 71 golf course.) The Pro Shop keeps track of the number of rounds that are played on the course every day. We have obtained this daily data ranging from March 2005 through August 2008. Certain dates had the potential to skew our data, so we made sure to omit days in which outings, tournaments, or other special golfing events occurred. We have compared the remaining data against the corresponding average temperature, maximum temperature, minimum temperature, visibility, average sustained wind speed, maximum sustained wind speed and wind gusts.