May’s results basically sucked, any way you want to look at it, either vs. Year Ago (YA) or the 10-yr Avg., take your pick. Golf Playable Hours (GPH) registered a 7% decline compared to the same month last year. That basically erased the entire first fourth months' favorability resetting the Year-to-Date (YtD) figure to +2%. YtD regional GPH breadth also reset to neutral at 1:1 with 17 favorable regions countered by 21 unfavorable regions (with 7 in the neutral zone of +/- 2% with all 45 regions now "in season" based on Pellucid's weather-based rules). Looking at weather impact performance by day-of-week for the YtD period, it's all over the board both by weekparts (weekday vs. weekend) and dayparts (Mon-Sun) with Saturday being the "biggest loser" (ouch). The lone encouraging figure is that the Year-End (YE) forecast held its own vs. the April reading (our subscribers know this number, everyone else will have to either guess or order one of our weather impact reports/services (see link below) to put you “in the know”).
Played Rounds data for April published by Golf Datatech registered up following our previously-reported GPH gain but the upward movement trailed the weather favorability which yields a 2nd straight drop in the key Utilization metric. That drop compounded the YtD Utilization unfavorability so, once again, our ability to generate demand even matching weather continues to lag (Played Rounds down vs. Available Rounds flat). As always, beneath this national picture, there are winners and losers in both Played Rounds and Utilization Rates among the 61 key Markets (including Pellucid's designated Top 25 markets) and this next-level-detail of results is also available to Pellucid Publications members and Geographic Weather Impact report subscribers.
Jim Koppenhaver comments, "Though I'm by nature a realist vs. optimist, even the optimist's side of me can't find much happiness here. The May number for last year was a very beatable figure (it moderately lagged the 10-yr average) but Mother Nature didn't even deliver clearance over her '18 low bar. I predict (with fairly high confidence) that the May rounds numbers are going to be red and ugly at the national level based on the headwind we had to fight for the month. The April figures for rounds offer some encouragement on the surface (+7%) but when Pellucid brings the reality check of GPH and Utilization, we significantly lagged the gift that weather provided us for the month. In fairness, we've seen over the years that rounds will rarely follow the positive GPH elevator to the top floor but the demand figure lagged positive weather by under half so we didn't even get to the mezzanine level for May. Among Pellucid's Top 25 US Golf Markets for the YtD period, Philly and St. Louis are the leading gainers in Utilization while Minneapolis and Chicago vie for the leading laggard title. Again, if you want to know which of our Top 25 Golf Markets posted Utilization gains, how much and what the diagnostics are behind those gains, just go to our website and get on the Monthly Weather Impact subscription or sign up for Cognilogic (facility-level access via the web)."
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 www.pellucidcorp.com/news/elist, fill in the information and you'll be registered for the next edition on 6/15/19.
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 have two subscription options:
· Subscribe to the Geographic Weather Impact Analysis Tracking service ($299, 12 reports annually at national, 45 weather regions and 61 key markets levels) or
· Subscribe to the Pellucid Publications Membership ($495 annually includes Outside the Ropes monthly newsletter, 2018 State of the Industry (Commentary report and Jim audio/video recording of quantitative results just released!), 2017 Industry Golf Consumer Franchise Scorecard, Geographic Weather Impact Analysis tracking and the Top 25 US Golf Markets Scorecard (update just released, some market movement in spots 5-25)