June hung on by the slimmest of margins to make it 4 consecutive favorable months as Golf Playable Hours (GPH) came in at +0.7% vs. Year Ago (YA) at the national level. For the Year-to-Period (YtD), the GPH comparative measure inched closer to dead even, now registering -0.3% compared to 2013 (which was not a weather season to remember). The YtD regional positive/negative breadth ratio remains positive at 2.0:1 with 24 regions having favorable weather against 12 regions with unfavorable weather (9 regions finished in the neutral zone of +/- 2%). Looking at YtD weather impact performance by day-of-week, the other encouraging indicator is that weekends are showing a slight gain in GPH being offset by a slight deficit in weekdays. June’s results didn’t significantly improve the year-end weather impact forecast which is still calling for a worse weather year than 2013 at the national level (so much for NGF’s published opinion that “2014 can’t be worse than 2013”). We’re now also tracking the YtD GPH vs. the 10-yr average (gives a better absolute indicator than “down vs. a poor previous year” or “up against a stellar previous year”) and that’s also tracking well below norm. Pellucid’s call for the 2014 full-year comparative GPH for Total US, the comparison to the 10-yr average and the day-of-week breakdowns are available to Pellucid Publications Members via the Client Login section at the Pellucid website (go to pellucidcorp.com for information or to subscribe, we’ll send you a sample of the 2014 Q1 actual results to review).
Looking back on May rounds played as reported by Golf Datatech/NGF to calculate the facility % Utilization Rate (UR), we see the flat rounds demand results (+1%) trailing the weather performance (+3%) resulting in a drop in the UR level for the month vs. the 2013 year end benchmark. For the YtD period we see the slight rounds demand decline now slightly trailing the marginal GPH decline which produces a 1 point drop in the UR for that timeframe. The supporting figures are also contained in the Pellucid Publications Membership monthly report.
Jim Koppenhaver comments, “June weather was a month where both the optimists and pessimists can have their own interpretation and the facts will support either one. The optimists can cite the fact that we needed to have at least a neutral month vs. last year to give us a chance at rounds generation. The pessimists can cite the fact that basically flat weather compared to a lackluster year ago and still well trailing the 10-yr average isn’t what we needed in June, which contributes 10-12% of the annual rounds number. We’ll have to hold our breath and see whether the industry was able to “make (demand) hay” with that June weather but, were I a betting man, I’d say we’ll see rounds for the month come in +/-2% vs. YA when the results come out. That’s not the rebound from last year’s tepid results that most of our clients were looking for this season but it may be what we have to deal with. The other concerning statistic is that the previous favorable Utilization Rate breadth has swung the opposite direction with more markets underperforming weather than beating it. In that national composite however, we are seeing several of our major markets register Utilization Rate gains; most notably, Phoenix (+7 points), Atlanta (+3 points) and Dallas/Ft Worth (+2 points). They’re proving that rounds demand doesn’t have to follow weather but, unfortunately, at the national level, that’s the current trend and challenge.”
On the Revenue side, according to the May PGA PerformanceTrak numbers, All Facility Median Total Revenue for the YtD period marginally up vs. ’13 (+1%) with Golf Fee Revenue registering flat (0%). Comparing the GF Revenue to the Rounds played for the same YtD period vs. YA shows an improvement of 2% in Rate per Played Round. For the YtD period, the key metric of Golf Fee Revenue-per-Available Round (RevpAR) was basically flat vs. YA based on the comparison between the GF Revenue and GPH value changes. These values and the % change vs. last year are also available in the monthly Pellucid Publications Membership report.
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 pellucidcorp.com/news/elist, fill in the information and you will be registered for the next edition on 7/15/14.
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 either a) Subscribe to the National Weather Impact Analysis Tracking service ($199, 12 reports annually, $299 if you want market-level and Utilization Rates) or b) Subscribe to the Pellucid Publications Membership (Outside the Ropes monthly newsletter, 2013 State of the Industry, 2013 Industry Golf Consumer Franchise Scorecard, National Weather Impact Analysis Tracking, 2013 Top 25 US Golf Markets reports, Golf Participant Base Projection analysis) 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 (email@example.com). You can now order any of the above information services via Pellucid’s online store at pellucidcorp.com/purchase-reports/online-store.