Dear Golf Industry Professional:
It's mid-April and unfortunately, those of us in the northern climes are still awaiting the arrival of spring with unseasonably cool temperatures and daily shifts in weather patterns that haven't been favorable to weekends either. The Masters is behind us dashing the Tiger renaissance hopes and giving way to the storyline of why the majority of Augusta patrons weren't "rooting for" Patrick Reed (meantime, he likely is thinking much more about the green jacket now in his possession than this media talking heads debate). But that's on the media/entertainment side of golf; let's return to the world we live in which is the operational health of golf facilities and base of golfers we serve and who enjoy the sport as participants, not spectators.
One can't begin to talk about the industry in 2018 without acknowledging that Mother Nature has queued up for us a particularly ugly start through 3 months at the national level. As outlined in the By-the-Numbers section, two of the primary numbers we follow of Played and Available Rounds are off 7% through February and off 21% through March respectively. The silver lining is the cardinal metric of Utilization which shows that we're holding our own at 62%, up 10 points vs. YE '17. As we literally "weather the storm," Contributing Editor Stuart Lindsay uncovers and reports on potentially one evolving catalyst that may contribute meaningfully in increasing involvement among existing golfers (particularly those in the Casual group who are most at risk for defecting). Embarking on his 2nd road trip in as many months to check out new "virtual and digital" technology being heralded as the savior of the golf industry, he went to check out a certified FlightScope installation and instructor. In short, he came away impressed, informed and actually buying something (those of you who know Stuart understand the difficulty of that trifecta!). He thinks there's legs in some of the digital technology and its application to the average golfer and benefit to the industry, click here to get the details:
In addition, the April issue covers the following topics, none of which you'll find in any other industry trade publication, guaranteed:
- Editor-in-Chief Jim Dunlap explores a tip he received from industry colleague and Pellucid supporter Craig Kessler (Director of Governmental Affairs for Southern California Golf Association) regarding a legal case that's making its way through the state's courts regarding the constitutional legality of age-based pricing. It's a head-scratcher to me given how prevalent various age-based discounts are in the US economy but some enterprising individual in California (where else?) has decided to take on Tinder (dating app for those of you like me who haven't been in the dating market for 25+ years and aren't digitally-native) for charging younger people less to use their app. Before we write it off, Craig and Jim warn that we need to pay attention to the potential impact on golf as the court battle heads to its 3rd court in the Golden State with a split decision thus far
- Publisher Jim Koppenhaver draws another of his parallels between golf and general industry in exploring how the Swiss watch industry is wrestling with the different perspectives of Gen Next as it relates to $1,000+ Swiss timepieces and what we might learn from LMVH's 68 year-old watch division President, Jean-Claude Biver's approach to bridge the gap between prestige accessory and Millennials' worldviews
- Plus the monthly Industry Scorecard (the only integrated scorecard of multi-source performance indicators) including the March weather impact results (down again) and the February YtD Utilization (way up, again a result of rounds declining less than weather). We also chart the monthly timeseries for the year of Golf Playable Hours and Utilization while our Market Focus continues with the profile of Cincinnati OH 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. For all those service providers and suppliers to the golf industry out there with the latest-and-greatest to offer to the industry thought-leaders who read our monthly publication, might we suggest 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, email@example.com).
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 (http://www.pellucidcorp.com/news/elist) to join the conversation, discussion and debate.
We also want to bring to your attention Pellucid's next generation golf course database, the Internet Golf Course Database (IGDB) with partners Apparation LLC, Never-Search and GolfCourseRanking.com. We've just completed a manual review of thousands of facilities against the industry's legacy facility database provider and found hundreds of discrepancies in the existence of facilities (they're missing quite a few of the Learning & Practice facilities across the US & they're still carrying 100+ closed facilities), address errors and facility name errors. While no database will ever be 100% accurate, we were surprised at the quantity and range of inconsistencies as well as the fact that most of the major tee time providers and recommendation sites (like GolfAdvisor) are propagating these phantom facilities and errors 5-10 fold for people doing Google searches online. Talk about an "echo chamber"... For more information on our comprehensive database, updated quarterly and refreshed completely every 12 months (all 15K+ US courses), contact firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, you can review and order any of Pellucid's range of reports and services atwww.pellucidcorp.com. 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.