April 10, 2014

Pellucid Corp. Reports March’s Golf Weather Impact

March broke the brutal 2-month punishment by Mother Nature 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 -9% vs. the same period last year. The YtD regional positive/negative breadth ratio continued its negative reading by registering at 1:1.2 with 5 regions having favorable weather against 10 regions with unfavorable weather (5 in-season regions finished in the neutral zone of +/- 2%, the remaining 25 regions are out-of-season). Looking at YtD weather impact performance by day-of-week, the negative weather results were significantly more concentrated in weekdays vs. weekends (small blessing). The one blemish in March’s results is that the full-year weather impact forecast deteriorated vs. February’s call returning to an even lower number than the original forecast in January. 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 www.pellucidcorp.com for information or to subscribe).

Looking back on February rounds played as reported by Golf Datatech/NGF to calculate the facility % Utilization Rate (UR), we see the rounds demand deficit (-5%) once again “beat” the weather performance (-11%) resulting in a gain in the UR level for the month vs. the 2013 year end benchmark. For the YtD period we see a similar pattern with rounds demand declines not as steep as the GPH decline also producing a gain in the UR. The supporting figures are also contained in the Pellucid Publications Membership monthly report.

Jim Koppenhaver comments, “While the weather favorability in March wasn’t world-beating and was much smaller than the double-digit monthly declines we saw in January and February, more of the geography is exposed to golf in March than in Jan-Feb so a little bit of positive trend can go a long way. The bright spots (bad pun) continue to be the Southwest and the California coast while the South Atlantic Coast, Texas and Florida continue to struggle weather-wise through 2 months. The other encouraging news is that, at the major market level, Utilization Rate is generally favorable which means that even though the weather results aren’t positive year-on-year, the rounds demand is not following that trend linearly. This should help as weather rebounds that we’re not digging out of as deep a hole as we could be if rounds tracked straightline to weather.”

On the Revenue side, according to the February PGA PerformanceTrak numbers, All Facility Median Total Revenue for the month was up slightly vs. ’13 (+1%). Golf Fee Revenue for the month also registered a slight gain (+1%) which means we continue to see rate strengthening (+4%, comparing this number to their -5% 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 slightly positive revenue performance vs. the double-digit 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 http://www.pellucidcorp.com/news/elist, fill in the information and you will be registered for the next edition on 4/15/14.

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 (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.

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!

Jim Koppenhaver, President, Pellucid Corp.