July posted a solid but unspectacular gain to extend the positive comparative trend vs. ’13 to 5 consecutive months as Golf Playable Hours (GPH) came in at +1% vs. Year Ago (YA) at the national level. For the Year-to-Period (YtD), the GPH comparative measure for the first time this year matched or exceeded 2013, now statistically flat (remember however that last year was not a weather season to remember). The YtD regional positive/negative breadth ratio remains positive at 2.0:1 with 19 regions having favorable weather against 9 regions with unfavorable weather (17 regions finished in the neutral zone of +/- 2%). Looking at YtD weather impact performance by day-of-week, weekends are showing a slight gain in GPH with weekdays being basically flat. July’s results didn’t significantly improve the year-end weather impact forecast which is still calling for a worse weather year than 2013 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 YtD 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 that’s also tracking well below norm. 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 Pellucid Publications Members via the Client Login section at the Pellucid website (go to pellucidcorp.com for information or to subscribe, we’ll send you a sample of the 2014 Q1 actual results to review).
Looking back on June rounds played as reported by Golf Datatech/NGF to calculate the facility % Utilization Rate (UR), we had a decrease in rounds demand results (-3%) despite marginally better weather performance (+1%) resulting in a drop in the UR level vs. the 2013 year end benchmark. For the YtD period we see a similar pattern with the 2% decline in rounds demand happening in spite of basically neutral weather which results in a decline in Utilization. The supporting figures are also contained in the Pellucid Publications Membership monthly report.
Jim Koppenhaver comments, “July weather tends to moderate somewhat for much of the US because the disqualifying factors shift from temperature and precipitation to primarily precipitation (except in the “hot spots” where we do have upper thresholds for both absolute and relative temperatures which exempt hours from being playable). Given the lack of precipitation in the West and other parts of the country this year, I had anticipated the GPH number to be much higher than 2013 but, as is often the case, the episodic information that gets reported in the national news doesn’t necessarily reflect the national picture. We’ve had some of the Pellucid associates and clients attribute a portion of the sluggish rounds demand to the World Cup matches and that’s obviously possible but I’d probably peg that impact at less than 0.5% of rounds at the national level given the US’s mid-elimination rounds departure and the relatively low participation rate of the Hispanic community which is the largest spectator contingent for the Cup. Regardless, what we do know is the continuing softness in rounds in 2013 isn’t a result of weather and we’re still struggling with how to generate increased demand at the same time that we’re fighting a 1M participant drop in ’13 so it continues to be tough sledding for the industry on the macro health indicators.”
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 8/15/14.
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.