August's weather impact continued to trade in a fairly narrow range vs. an underwhelming '18 "comp" as Golf Playable Hours (GPH) were down 2% for the 2nd consecutive month. That also maintains the flat Year-to-Date (YtD) results at -0.1%. YtD regional GPH breadth swung to unfavorable at 1:2 with 11 favorable regions countered by 23 unfavorable regions (with 13 in the neutral zone of +/- 2%). Looking at weather impact performance by day-of-week for the YtD period, both weekparts (weekday vs. weekend) are essentially flat and that flatness also extends to the dayparts (Mon-Sun) with Wednesday's being the lone standout (down). The Year-End (YE) forecast continues to provide encouragement that the remaining months of the year will provide favorability and a slight "tailwind" (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 know how much of a tailwind).
Played Rounds data for July published by Golf Datatech were also once again fractionally down (i.e. -0.1%) producing a modest Utilization gain for the month of <1 point (we'll take it though). For the YtD period, rounds are off marginally against mathematically flat weather producing a fractional Utilization decline through July. 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, "August is traditionally a fairly stable and predictable month for weather variance at the national level so, while it was disappointing that we didn't see positive movement, the results are consistent with the historical pattern. What is disappointing is that we're playing against a very poor '18 weather-wise so we should be seeing more favorable "comps" vs. an abnormally low base last year. Basically what we're getting is a carbon copy of a non-stellar weather year. At the market level, we're seeing Utilization "winners" in Minneapolis, Seattle, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh all posting >2 point gains YtD. The biggest losers in YtD Utilization at the market level are concentrated in CA (Orange County & San Francisco) and TX (Dallas & Houston). I'm beginning to question our year-end forecast which is still showing we'll be up >2% but, with 8 months in the books and basically flat YtD, that means we're going to have to show meaningfully better weather in the closing 4 months (and it will primarily only benefit the southern and coastal regions). We'll continue trust the forecast and our math but it's going to be a sprint at this point.
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 unlimited annual access via the Cognilogic web portal or $120 for a single year-end report. For more information, contact Stuart Lindsay of Edgehill Golf Advisors.