At the national level, November experienced a sharp dip vs. the same month last year as Playable Hours (GPH) registered down 16% vs. Year Ago (YA) at the national level. That outcome pulled the previously statistically-flat Year-to-Period (YtD) results down to -1% vs. YA. The YtD regional positive/negative breadth ratio slipped slightly but remains positive at 2:1 with 18 regions having favorable weather against 9 regions with unfavorable weather (18 regions finished in the neutral zone of +/- 2%). Looking at YtD weather impact performance by day-of-week, both weekends and weekdays are showing similar 1% declines (which means our weekend weather in November was worse than weekdays). Looking to the year-end forecast for GPH, the November projection continued to improve slightly vs. 2013 but it’s still showing that weather will underperform both a marginal ’13 and the 10-year average come December 31st. 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 Weather Impact Tracking report purchasers or Pellucid Publications Members via the Client Login section at the Pellucid website (go to pellucidcorp.com for information or to subscribe and we’ll send you a sample of the 2014 1st half actual results to review).
Looking back at October rounds played as reported by Golf Datatech/NGF to calculate the facility % Utilization Rate (UR), we had a modest uptick in rounds demand results (+1%) which matched the month’s previously-reported weather performance (+1%) resulting in no change in Utilization vs. the 2013 year-end benchmark. For the YtD period, rounds similarly continued to slightly trail the flat GPH measure as they remain in negative territory (-2%) vs. neutral weather which also yields lower Utilization for the full year (i.e. we continue to lag basically neutral weather conditions). The supporting figures are also contained in the Weather Impact Tracking report or Pellucid Publications Membership monthly update.
Jim Koppenhaver comments, “Compiling the underlying numbers by Pellucid’s 45 weather-based geographies, November was a sea of red with only 13 geographies showing either neutral or positive conditions and, among the declining regions, the vast majority saw double-digit declines. One has to take the latter with a slight grain of salt in that many northern geographies are working off small base sizes but, when you add up all those relatively small absolute weather hours declines across the entire upper Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast geographies, it put a dent in our national figures. The fact that in one month, against a 10-month base, we dropped a full percentage point, that’s a significant weather hit we took late in the year. I would expect that rounds played for November (when released in early January) are going to show a 10%+ drop vs. YA. We’ve always complained that great weather in the 2nd half of the year doesn’t get fully “rewarded” with rounds; let’s hope that poor weather doesn’t get unduly punished in demand. As I’ve repeatedly said, the national picture is a “mosaic” of the performance of many regions/markets. The one bright spot in this year’s weather is that we’ve seen favorable breadth. Unfortunately the positive weather has occurred in our lower rounds production geographies.”
A broader and more detailed scorecard of the monthly key industry metrics, including the Revenue and Rate figures, 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 12/15/14.
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) 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can now order any of the above information services via Pellucid’s online store at pellucidcorp.com/purchase-reports/online-store.