April continued the positive results registered in March 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 improved by several percentage points but remains in negative territory at -3% vs. the same period last year. The YtD regional positive/negative breadth ratio swung to a positive registering at 1.6:1 with 25 regions having favorable weather against 16 regions with unfavorable weather (4 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, the negative weather results were all now registered in weekdays vs. weekends (a continuing silver lining). April’s results unfortunately 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”). Pellucid’s call for the 2014 full-year comparative GPH for Total US and the 45 regions is part of our State of the Industry presentation which is available for sale. Also, the monthly update to that forecast at the national level and the breakdown of weather impact by day-of-week are available to Pellucid Publications Members (who also receive the State of the Industry) via the Client Login section at the Pellucid website (go to pellucidcorp.com for information or to subscribe).
Looking back on March rounds played as reported by Golf Datatech/NGF to calculate the facility % Utilization Rate (UR), we see the rounds demand deficit (-5%) 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 declines shallower than the GPH decline which produces a gain in the UR for that timeframe. The supporting figures are also contained in the Pellucid Publications Membership monthly report.
Jim Koppenhaver comments, “We were optimistically encouraged in the first 2 months that rounds demand was showing relative strength to poor weather but the March results give us pause as the weather turned slightly favorable and rounds demand did not respond accordingly. April will be a key measure in that we got a 2nd consecutive month of comparatively positive weather and that the regional weather breadth swung to a positive ratio so we need to see positive rounds demand “comps” lest we start to slightly panic. We’ve had several inquiries regarding whether the positive comparative weather results are above or below the long-term average so, beginning next month, we’ll also start tracking the current year GPH against the 10-yr norm to see if the weather favorability is “real” (i.e. beating both year-ago and the long-term average) or if it just offers emotional encouragement by beating an unusually low benchmark.”
On the Revenue side, according to the March PGA PerformanceTrak numbers, All Facility Median Total Revenue for the month was off slightly vs. ’13 (-1%). Golf Fee Revenue for the month also registered a decline (-2%) which means rate continued to show slight improvement (+2%, comparing this number to their -4% rounds decline). For the YtD period, the key metrics of Total and Golf Fee Revenue-per-Round (RevpAR) were both up vs. YA based on the flat revenue performance vs. the single-digits decline in GPH. 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 5/15/14.
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 subscribe to the Pellucid Publications Membership (Outside the Ropes monthly newsletter, 2013 State of the Industry (just released), 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can now order either of the above information services via Pellucid’s online store at pellucidcorp.com/purchase-reports/online-store.
Pellucid’s 11th annual 2013 State of the Industry review and discussion was successfully held during the PGA Merchandise Show last month to a total audience numbering just under 300. Both sessions were also broadcast via the web (we even had a few of the webcast participants typing in comments and feedback on the screen in Orlando during the presentation) to an audience of just under 100 who couldn’t be there in person. Pellucid also successfully webcast the recording of those sessions to roughly 100 registered viewers during last week’s GIS on Wednesday and Thursday at high noon in the midst of the Trade Show activities. To see what you missed, order the report and get access to the video included; roughly 500 people (many of them veteran attendees/listeners of 5+ years) can’t be wrong!