October 8, 2013

Pellucid Corp. Releases September Golf Weather Impact Report

September finished the Q3 trifecta of positive (but not spectacular) weather as Golf Playable Hours (GPH) came in at +2% vs. Year Ago (YA) at the national level. For the Year-to-Period (YtD), the GPH comparative measure continued to improve but remains in negative territory at -7%. Interestingly, the YtD regional breadth ratio deteriorated slightly registering at 1:5 with 6 regions having favorable weather against 30 regions with unfavorable weather (9 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 (unfortunately the best comparative weather day this season has been Mondays, go figure). For the full-year forecast, our August update suggests we’ve made up as much ground as we’re going to for the year. The values for the above two metrics, the GPH results by 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 www.pellucidcorp.com for information or to subscribe).

Looking back on August rounds played as reported by Golf Datatech to calculate the facility % Utilization Rate (UR), rounds demand (+3%) slightly outpaced the positive weather performance (+2%) resulting in a UR level for the month of 52% which is 1 point better than the benchmark 2012 year-end value. For the YtD period the measure remained slightly up with a rounds decline rate (-6%) slightly beating the weather decline rate (-8%) producing a UR of 52% or up 1 point vs. 2012 year-end.

Jim Koppenhaver comments, “A couple of encouraging things are happening here in analyzing the September and Q3 weather figures and the August rounds response. On the weather front, we needed a positive quarter for the health of the average operator after a brutal 1st half, both in the absolute (vs. the long-term averages) and relative to a very strong 2012. This also provided credence to the Pellucid 2013 annual forecast of Golf Playable Hours back in January at the PGA Show when we indicated that weather would not be down double-digits by year end. During the first half of the year when we were registering 10%+ declines in GPH, several people were questioning the mathematical possibility of seeing a meaningful recovery in the 2nd half; these results suggest that our storyline for the year may still be on the money. The other encouraging sign is that rounds have responded with positive year-on-year increases in the 3rd quarter behind the slightly better weather. It would have been a major red flag had we come out of the 1st half with declining rounds demand we perceived to be weather-driven and then not posted some increases behind the inevitably better weather in July, August and September. This lends more credence to Stuart Lindsay’s continued assertion that, “Golf is more weather-elastic than price-elastic.”

On the revenue side via the August YtD PGA PerformanceTrak numbers, they’re reporting Median Total Revenue off 1% and Median Golf Fee (GF) Revenue off 4%. Comparing their YtD GF Revenue (-4%) and Rounds Played (-6%) metrics produces a +2% change on GF rate-per-played-round. Pellucid calculations combining our GPH measure and their GF Revenue measure also produces a positive change in Revenue-per-Available Round (RevpAR, or the revenue efficiency of our “factories”). The actual RevpAR value and the percent change are also available to Pellucid Publications members on a monthly basis at the national level.

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 tohttp://www.pellucidcorp.com/news/elist, fill in the information and you will be registered for the next edition on 10/15/13.

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 (edgehillgolf@msn.com). You can now order either of the above information services via Pellucid’s online store at http://www.pellucidcorp.com/purchase-reports/online-store

Jim Koppenhaver, President, Pellucid Corp.