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Golf hasn’t gotten many breaks lately. The headline grab has been rounds played are down over a year ago, regardless of what year is in question it seems any more. While its likely a case of closing the barn door after the horse has already left, not everything is what it seems and there are some reasons to be cautiously optimistic.

Rounds played represents a critical area for the game and the businesses that support it. However, other segments that dovetail off of play appear to be holding up better than many might suspect.

Food and beverage revenues (+8.7%) along with merchandise sales (7.2%) in October outpaced funds collected for green fees (+2.4%), according to PGA PerformanceTrak. Rounds played for the month were up 4.2% from a year ago, which suggests on the surface that green fees were lower than a year ago.

On a year-to-date basis through October, median green fee revenue is lower by 2.7% versus 2012, while merchandise was up 2.5% and food and beverage +2.6%. For headline grabbers, the take away might be that October marked the third month in a row with rounds played up this year, according to the monthly report, which is product in cooperation with the National Golf Course Owners Association.