August 12, 2013

July Golf Weather Impact

-Press Release, Buffalo Grove, Ill.

July marked the first month to beat the 2012 results as Golf Playable Hours (GPH) came in at +4% vs. Year Ago (YA) at the national level. For the Year-to-Period (YtD), the GPH comparative measure continued to improve but remains in double-digit negative territory at -10%. Interestingly, the YtD regional breadth ratio decayed slightly even in the face of the better weather registering 1:5 with 7 regions having favorable weather against 32 regions with unfavorable weather (6 regions are in the neutral zone of +/- 2%). Looking at YtD weather impact performance by day-of-week, the unfavorable weather continues to be slightly more concentrated in weekdays vs. weekends (which is a slightly positive mitigating factor for golf). For the full-year forecast, our July update improved by almost a point which suggests that 2013 is on track to basically give back all of 2012’s weather favorability. The values for the above two metrics, the GPH results by individual day-of-the-week, the monthly timeseries for the entire year as well as market-level Utilization Rates are available to Pellucid Publications Members via the Client Login section at the Pellucid website (go to for information or to subscribe).Looking back on June rounds played, as reported by Golf Datatech, to calculate the facility % Utilization Rate (UR), rounds demand (-4%) failed to match the neutral weather performance (-1%) resulting in a UR level for the month of 50% which is 1 point below the benchmark 2012 year-end value of 51%. For the YtD period the measure is basically flat with a rounds decline rate (-14%) basically matching vs. the weather decline rate (-13%) producing a UR of 51% or off 1 point vs. 2012 year-end.

Jim Koppenhaver comments, “It was 6 months in coming but mathematically the probability of every month’s weather in 2013 underperforming vs. 2012 was low and July finally delivered the anticipated break in the trend. The Great Lakes, Great Plains and Northeast were the primary drivers of the weather favorability which is fortunate because the key regions of Great Lakes and the Northeast have borne the brunt of the unfavorable results YtD compared to last year’s (abnormally great) weather. That said, most of the key markets in those regions are still down 10-25% for the year even with the favorable results but we’ll take a lifeline, even if it may turn out to only be one month’s worth. Given the volume of rounds played in July as well, it’s a nice boost to the annual weighted average vs. getting some positive news in September and beyond. If previous patterns hold up, we should see a rounds demand gain for the month in the 2-6% range which would be a welcome break on the revenue pressure most facilities have been facing due to the less favorable weather year-to-year thusfar (remember though, those who attended the State of the Industry or bought the report, we warned you back in January to plan off the multi-year average figures). Like the die-hard and eternally optimistic Cubs fans though, a win is still a win and we’ll chalk up July ’13 with a “W” as it relates to weather performance.”

On the revenue side via the June YtD PGA PerformanceTrak numbers, they’re reporting flat Median Total Revenue and -1% for the Median Golf Fee Revenue component (both in line with the 1% rounds decline). Comparing their YtD GF Revenue and Rounds Played metrics produces a +3% change on GF rate-per-played-round. Pellucid calculations combining our GPH measure and their GF Revenue measure produces the Revenue per Available Round (RevpAR, or the revenue efficiency of our “factories”) metric is 5% above last year’s value.

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, fill in the information and you will be registered for the next edition on 8/15/13.

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, 2012 State of the Industry, 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 ( You can now order either of the above information services via Pellucid’s online store at

Jim Koppenhaver, President, Pellucid Corp.