September weather finished similar to August's results as Golf Playable Hours (GPH) fell 2.3% compared to the same month Year-Ago (YA). That slightly negative result marginally eroded the Year-to-Date (YtD) favorability which continues to sit at +1%. Subscribe to either the Pellucid Publications Membership or the Geographic Weather Impact report to receive the 45 regional breakdowns, the 61 markets figures, the day-of-week weather impact and the Year-End National GPH forecast figure as well as our full commentary on the results every month.
Played Rounds for August published by Golf Datatech posted a 3rd consecutive month of double-digit gains (wow!). August rounds were +21% and that edges out July for "best month" honors and makes it two consecutive months of 20%+ growth in "comps". The combination of slightly declining weather and the 20%+ rounds improvement produced a 12 point Utilization gain, surging to ~65% for the month. That also carries the YtD Utilization comparison into solidly positive territory (+3 pts) vs. YA.
Jim Koppenhaver comments, "The hits just keep on comin'! I can't tell you how refreshing it is as an industry analyst for nearly 2 decades to see and be able to report on some positive news with some longevity to it. To all those back in the early 2000s decade who accused Pellucid of being "industry cynics", hopefully our coverage of 2020 has proven that we simply seek to quantify and interpret the set of facts given to us in the data we collect and reports produced from it. The even more encouraging news, which only we can quantify and provide, is that the rounds surge is completely due to increased interest vs. favorable weather (the '12 scenario where we saw a 5% increase in rounds solely attributed to a 6% increase in GPH). So, while the NGF and others opine in their observations about the favorability (most have chosen to say that we've gotten some assistance from favorable weather), that's correct for 16 regions but, for 12 others we've actually produced these rounds results in spite of GPH declines of >2%. On to October and seeing whether the September rounds numbers persist or start coming back down to earth!