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Rounds up 7.7 percent through August, industry group says

Golf may finally be recovering from the Great Recession.
Through August, rounds are up 7.7 percent across the country, according to the National Golf Foundation (NGF). The news is even better for public courses, which are up 8.7 percent in 2012.
By region, the biggest jumps have come out of the Mid-Atlantic, which is up 12.2 percent, and the Upper Midwest, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. That region has seen a 14.4 percent boost in rounds played.
What's more, metropolitan areas in Ohio and Michigan -- two areas hit as hard as anywhere by the downturn -- are rallying more than most. Rounds played in Detroit are up 22.8 percent; in Cincinnati, numbers are up 21.2 percent.
But it's not all good news for the golf business. The newsletter also reports that private club memberships continue to fall, although the NGF believes that number may be bottoming out. What's more, according to the foundation, 59 percent of golfers who dropped memberships in the midst of the recession say they'd like to join again in the future. Note to members: Get your quiet rounds in while you can.

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by Kevin Cunningham