At the national level, September played to a draw vs. the same month last year as Playable Hours (GPH) came in dead even % vs. Year Ago (YA) at the national level (-0.3% for those of you out there who count decimal points). That outcome extended into the Year-to-Period (YtD) results as the GPH comparative measure vs. also 0% vs. YA (even closer for our decimal counters, -0.1%). The YtD regional positive/negative breadth ratio remains positive at 3:1 with 19 regions having favorable weather against 7 regions with unfavorable weather (19 regions finished in the neutral zone of +/- 2%). Looking at YtD weather impact performance by day-of-week, weekends are now basically even with YA with weekdays showing a negligible decline. Looking to the year-end forecast for GPH, the September’s projection continues 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 31. 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.comfor information or to subscribe and we’ll send you a sample of the 2014 Q1 actual results to review).
Looking back on August rounds played as reported by Golf Datatech/NGF to calculate the facility % Utilization Rate (UR), we had an decrease in rounds demand results (-3%) which lagged the slightly negative weather performance (-1%) resulting in a decrease 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’re underperforming net of weather). The supporting figures are also contained in the Weather Impact Tracking report or Pellucid Publications Membership monthly update.
Jim Koppenhaver comments, “I’m not sure that I’ve seen such consistency and “flatness” in weather performance in the time we’ve been tracking weather. While there are obviously numerous differences vs. ’13 at the market level with ups and downs, when you roll all that up at the national level, September as a month and 2014 as a year is unusually and remarkably just like 2013. By quarter the year has come in a little differently than ’13 (Q1 was down almost 9% while Q2 bounced back up 2% and Q3 was basically flat), we’ve pretty much got this year what we had last year. The challenge ahead will be fighting football season without any significant help from weather if our forecast holds true and September’s rounds results next month will tell the tale of whether the NFL’s recent PR “fumble” will translate into any meaningful number of fans abandoning the TV for the links in Sep-Oct. The one encouraging figure for the month is the positive breadth in GPH across the regions meaning we’re having some amount of positive “comps” but, unfortunately, they’re not occurring in the key golf geographies (that’s how you get Utilization declines in the face of positive breadth). At the market-level for Utilization (also included in the Weather Impact Tracking or Pellucid Publications Membership), we see encouraging, positive performance in the key golf markets of Atlanta, Columbus OH, Greensboro, Hartford and Naples due to various combinations of rounds and weather favorabilities.”
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 10/15/14.
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.