Last Update :12/19/2017

December Perspective, USGA Reality Check?


Dear Golf Industry Professional:
First, we'd like to wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays for those of diverse faiths and nationalities as well as best wishes for fulfillment and success (in that order) in the upcoming New Year.  Count your blessings, accept adversity and plan for success because, from where we sit, the current business climate and political/world situation isn't going to just bestow it upon us!

As southern and coastal climes move into their peak seasons and the north goes into planning and preventive maintenance mode, there's still industry news around operations, marketing and, of course, our governing bodies are never at rest.  Speaking of the USGA, Our lead story this month by Publisher Jim Koppenhaver asks for a "reality check" on the recent developments and media announcement by the Far Hills boys (and girls) that the distance of the golf ball "is affecting all golfers and affecting them in a bad way. All it’s doing is increasing the cost of the game."  That's Mike Davis' direct quote in a Wall Street Journal article on 19 November in effect launching their intent to study reduced-distance golf ball technologies.  Jim couples that with two previous USGA decisions to politely suggest that they're increasingly losing touch with the reality of the average, non-competitive golfer and actions that would help the industry stem the current decline trend:

In addition, the December issue covers the following topics in our own inimitable style for the benefit of our loyal readers (critics also always welcome, bring facts please):

  • Contributing Editor Stuart Lindsay goes quantitative on us this month with the interesting findings on the macro trend in supply turnover analyzing the current drawdown in light of history back to the 1960s and how this time is different.  Contrary to some industry association assertions that the supply drawdown is primarily impacting, older, lower quality facilities, he outlines the facts which suggest older facilities are actually faring better in their survival rate and the median age of closures since 2006 is actually shorter than the pre-2006 period.  New doesn't necessarily mean improved it seems.
  • Editor-in-Chief Jim Dunlap covers the story of a private club in Indian Wells CA that's staged a comeback in an unusual manner.  Instead of assessing they solicited for financial help from the member base and proved that, at least in this instance, the carrot worked better than the stick.  While we're not sure how, on the back end when folks sell their memberships, members will reckon with the fact that some folks contributed to improve the health of the club and resale value vs. those who didn't but it appears that the philanthropical folks are willing to share that benefit with the non-contributing members (just in time for the Christmas spirit).
  • Plus the monthly Industry Scorecard (the only integrated scorecard of multi-source performance indicators) including weather impact for the November month (down double digits again) and Year-to-Date (slightly off at the end of 11 months), October Utilization (up; rounds down, weather down more).  We also chart the monthly timeseries for the year of Golf Playable Hours and Utilization while our Market Focus continues with the profile of Atlanta GA as this month’s Market Focus which registers as the 19th healthiest of the Top 25 US Golf Markets in our annual ranking.

We recognize and thank our continuing sponsors; KemperSports, Troon Golf, Bayer CropScience and EZLinks Golf.  Speaking of proactive planning for '18, might we suggest, to additional industry stakeholders not in the above list who want to increase their brand exposure and be associated monthly with intelligent discussion on key issues, considering joining our merry little band through our most popular 12-month sponsorship program (offered at an improved value relative to our entry-level six month sponsorship rate)?  Twelve-month sponsors also receive all Pellucid industry-standard reports (State of the Industry, Outside the Ropes, Monthly Weather Impact Tracking (Nat'l, Reg'l, Markets), Top 25 US Golf Markets Scorecard and National Golf Consumer Franchise Health Scorecard). Sponsorship provides monthly exposure to approximately 30K industry leaders and followers and associates your brand with Pellucid’s effort to expand intelligent thinking on today's most challenging industry issues.  For more "opportunistic" spenders, we might suggest one of our smaller-bite "Ad Partner" programs for those who may not be able to make a 6 or 12-month commitment (as short as 3 months are now available) or who may not need a half page or more exposure (quarter pages now available).  If you're interested in knowing more about sponsorship opportunities or are interested in a preview of our ad partner options, contact Editor-in-Chief Jim Dunlap (760-212-3714,

If you know of associates who would benefit from the topics and insights covered in this issue, feel free to forward this email and encourage them to register on the Pellucid website  ( to join the conversation, discussion and debate.

As always, you can review and order any of Pellucid's range of reports and services  We also want to bring to your attention Pellucid's recently- announced participation in the next generation golf course database, the Internet Golf Course Database (IGDB) with partners Apparation LLC, Never-Search and  For more information on this comprehensive database, updated quarterly and refreshed completely every 12 months (all 15K+ US courses),  From the numbers and details of how our industry's consumer base is changing at the national level to our individual facility-level services including weather impact (Cognilogic) and market analysis (Golf Local Market Analysis), we'll keep you one step ahead of the competition in this continuing challenging industry landscape.

© 2017 Pellucid Corp |

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