February 10, 2014

January Golf Weather Impact: Continuation Of 2013

January was an ominous start weather-wise to the new year as Golf Playable Hours (GPH) came in at -24% vs. Year Ago (YA) at the national level. For the Year-to-Period (YtD), the GPH comparative measure is the same (only have 1 month of results, just checking to see if you’re paying attention). On the positive side of the ledger, the YtD regional positive/negative breadth ratio showed the unfavorable weather to be relatively narrowly distributed registering at 1.5:1 with 12 regions having favorable weather against 8 regions with unfavorable weather (0 regions finished in the neutral zone of +/- 2%, the remaining 25 regions are out of season). Looking at YtD weather impact performance by day-of-week, weekend weather was slightly less favorable than weekdays. Pellucid’s call for the 2014 full-year comparative GPH for Total US and the 45 regions is part of our State of the Industry presentation which is available for sale. Also, the monthly update to that forecast at the national level and the breakdown of weather impact by day-of-week are available to Pellucid Publications Members (who also receive the State of the Industry) via the Client Login section at the Pellucid website (go to www.pellucidcorp.com for information or to subscribe).Looking back on December rounds played as reported by Golf Datatech to calculate the facility % Utilization Rate (UR), the rounds demand deficit (-9%) was shallower than weather performance (-28%) resulting in a UR level for the month of 65% which significantly beat the benchmark 2012 year-end value (big finish!). For the YtD period the measure finished the year slightly up with a rounds decline rate (-5%) slightly beating the weather decline rate (-6%) producing a UR of 52% (net, we held utilization, not bad).

Jim Koppenhaver comments, “To say that weather was unpredictable and not in our favor opening 2014 would be an understatement. While much of the weather that grabbed national headlines was happening in out-of-season geographies for golf (i.e. the upper Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast), the “backstory” was that January wasn’t very kind either for geographies that we care about. The 2013 results say two things: 1. We kept pace with weather and didn’t slip any further in Utilization and 2. As an industry we’re exerting no control over our own fate; as weather goes, so goes golf. For the year, only 5 of our 45 regions saw favorable weather, most of them in the Pacific NW (which didn’t get the benefit of the 2012 “dividend” so that explains part of it). For January, it was a tale of two coasts with the Pacific having decidedly better weather and the Atlantic having measurably worse.”

On the Revenue side, according to the December PGA PerformanceTrak numbers, All Facility Median Total Revenue finished ’13 basically flat vs. ’12 (+0.3%). Golf Fee Revenue for the year slid 3% which means we saw a slight increase in rate (2% comparing this number to the 5% rounds decline). For the YtD period, the key metrics of Total and GF Revenue-per-Round (RevpAR) were both slightly up (so the revenue production of our “factories” outpaced what weather gave us). These values and the % change vs. last year are also available in the monthly Pellucid Publications member reports.

A broader and more detailed scorecard of the monthly key industry metrics can be found in Pellucid’s free digital magazine, The Pellucid Perspective. To register to get the current and future editions, go to http://www.pellucidcorp.com/news/elist, fill in the information and you will be registered for the next edition on 2/17/14.

Intelligent, curious and courageous industry stakeholders wanting the detailed metrics and monthly updates on weather impact at the national, regional and market level as well as utilization and the full year forecast numbers can subscribe to the Pellucid Publications Membership (Outside the Ropes monthly newsletter, 2013 State of the Industry (just released), 2012 Industry Golf Consumer Franchise Scorecard, Monthly Market-Level Weather Impact, 2012 Top 25 US Golf Markets reports) for $495 annually. For individual facility owner/operators who need facility-level history, current year results by month and day-of-week and full year forecast data, Pellucid/Edgehill’s self-serve, web-delivered, real-time weather impact service product, Cognilogic, is your answer. It’s available for $240 for the year-end report and 12 month tracking or $120 for a single year-end report. For more information, contact Stuart Lindsay of Edgehill Golf Advisors (edgehillgolf@msn.com). You can now order either of the above information services via Pellucid’s online store at http://www.pellucidcorp.com/purchase-reports/online-store.

Pellucid’s 11th annual 2013 State of the Industry review and discussion was successfully held during the PGA Merchandise Show last month to a total audience numbering just under 300. Both sessions were also broadcast via the web (we even had a few of the webcast participants typing in comments and feedback on the screen in Orlando during the presentation) to an audience of just under 100 who couldn’t be there in person. Pellucid also successfully webcast the recording of those sessions to roughly 100 registered viewers during last week’s GIS on Wednesday and Thursday at high noon in the midst of the Trade Show activities. To see what you missed, order the report and get access to the video included; roughly 500 people (many of them veteran attendees/listeners of 5+ years) can’t be wrong!

Jim Koppenhaver, President, Pellucid Corp.