January Golf Weather Impact:
Back in the Green, Bigtime
January brought yet another Mother Nature whipsaw after a December decline of 36% with the opening month of 2017 featuring a 31% gain in Golf Playable Hours (GPH) at the national level vs. Year Ago (YA). Given that it's our first month, that's also the Year-to-Date (YtD) figure to start the year (nice). Regional breadth was balanced at 1:1 with 11 regions with favorable weather "comps" and 11 unfavorable (the out-of-season or neutral zone regions of +/- 2% represented the remaining 23 regions). Looking at YtD weather impact performance by day-of-week, weather favorability was concentrated in weekdays vs. weekends. Pellucid subscribers have access each month to our forecast for '17 year-end GPH for Total US, the comparison to the 10-year average, the regional breadth details and the day-of-week breakdowns via the Geographic Weather Impact Tracking report or Pellucid Publications suite through the Client Login section at the Pellucid website. Cognilogic facility weather impact subscribers also know these figures for their individual facility (go to www.pellucidcorp.com to subscribe or for more information and in exchange we’ll send you a sample of the '16 1st half actual results to review).
Rounds demand data for December as published by Golf Datatech revealed an expected double-digit decline (previously reported GPH were down double digits) posting -11% vs. YA which slightly dented the YtD favorability but we still ended up (marginally, <1%) on the positive side compared to '15. Comparing that result to Pellucid's previously-reported GPH results, we had a 2nd straight month of Utilization gain, albeit due to the fact that rounds declines were shallower than the GPH decline. For the YtD period at the national level, Utilization finished in a draw with fractional rounds gains outpacing basically flat weather. Utilization figures for the month at the National and 61 key Markets (including Pellucid's designated Top 25 markets) level are also available to Pellucid Publications members and Geographic Weather Impact report subscribers.
Jim Koppenhaver comments, "January was a good start to the weather variable with the 12-month season markets getting a nice "dividend" to work with. The key factor on that national scene was the extensive rainfall in California which also triggered some unusual snowpack runoff and we see that in the GPH results for both the Bay area and Southern California figures. On the map, the Southeast and key Florida markets fared well while the Phoenix area was generally flat and the West Coast was a sea of red figures for the month so it definitely depended where you were located east vs. west for the month. Looking back at December Utilization, while rounds were down they weren't as far down as we had feared given the magnitude of weather unfavorability so we outperformed weather which is the Holy Grail of increasing Utilization (our operational expertise and demand creation vs. just following the weather). At the 61 market level focusing on our Top 25 markets for YtD Utilization, we see Pittsburgh and Boston as the top performers in Utilization gains while Tampa and Orlando finished the year in the basement. The market breadth across the 61 market universe swung positive for the year at 2:1 but the majority of markets (38) finished "Utilization neutral." As we outline and detail in the '16 State of the Industry presentation, basically flat Utilization for another year (which we'll let our readers determine whether that's "half full" or "half empty")."
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 2/15/17.
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