May made it 3 consecutive favorable months as Golf Playable Hours (GPH) came in at +3% 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 -1% compared to 2013 (which, remember, was not a Spring to remember). The YtD regional positive/negative breadth ratio continues to be positive though registering at 1.8:1 with 22 regions having favorable weather against 12 regions with unfavorable weather (11 regions finished in the neutral zone of +/- 2% and, following Pellucid’s methodology, all regions are now in-season). Looking at YtD weather impact performance by day-of-week, another slightly encouraging sign is that the negative weather results are exclusively concentrated in weekdays vs. weekends. May’s results didn’t significantly improve the year-end weather impact forecast which is still calling for a worse weather year than 2014 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 annual forecast 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 we’re tracking well below that norm as well. Pellucid’s call for the 2014 full-year comparative GPH for Total US, the comparison to the 10-yr norm 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). As an added incentive, all registrants to the Pellucid website in June will receive a free sample of the National/Regional/Markets Weather Impact Analysis report for the 1st quarter of 2014.
Looking back on April rounds played as reported by Golf Datatech/NGF to calculate the facility % Utilization Rate (UR), we see the rounds demand deficit (-2%) trailed the weather performance (+2%) resulting in a drop in the UR level for the month vs. the 2013 year end benchmark. For the YtD period we see rounds demand decline now exactly matching the GPH decline which produces a net no change in the UR for that timeframe. The supporting figures are also contained in the Pellucid Publications Membership monthly report.
Jim Koppenhaver comments, “May was a mixed bag with a slight disappointment that rounds demand didn’t respond more favorably to the slightly better weather. That said, the positive regional breadth indicates that more geographies to date have had better comparable weather than not (the fact that it’s not reflected in the sum means the poorer weather has been experienced in our more productive geographies since the results are weighted by annual rounds contribution). The other positive factor is that, on the whole nationally, we’ve actually had favorability to last year in GPH in the weekend timeperiod which should be strengthening the revenue results as well as providing a slight tailwind to rounds performance. Outside of that, pretty much what you see is what you get and, despite protests from the industry association cheerleaders to the contrary which are pervasive these days, we’re stuck in neutral as an industry and Mother Nature isn’t necessarily helping us (yes, you can quote me on that).”
On the Revenue side, according to the April PGA PerformanceTrak numbers, All Facility Median Total Revenue for the month was basically flat vs. ’13 (+0%). Golf Fee Revenue for the month registered a slight decline (-2%) which means rate per played round flattened out vs. YA (0%, comparing this number to their -2% rounds decline). For the YtD period, the key metric of Golf Fee Revenue-per-Available Round (RevpAR) was up vs. YA based the smaller decline in GF Revenue vs. the slightly larger GPH decline. 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 6/16/14.
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 ($299, 12 reports annually) or b) Subscribe to the Pellucid Publications Membership (Outside the Ropes monthly newsletter, 2013 State of the Industry (just released), 2013 Industry Golf Consumer Franchise Scorecard, National Weather Impact Analysis Tracking, 2013 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 (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.