January's weather impact turned in a 3rd consecutive month of gains as Golf Playable Hours (GPH) were up 21% (wow!). With only one month reporting, that also represents the Year-to-Date (YtD) result. YtD regional GPH breadth starts the year at 5:1 with 14 favorable regions well outnumbering the 3 unfavorable regions (with none in the neutral zone of +/- 2% and the remaining 28 regions out-of-season). Looking at weather impact performance by day-of-week for the YtD period, both weekparts (weekday vs. weekend) showed gains but with expected variance across the individual days (Mon-Sun). The Year-End (YE) forecast is currently calling for +9% vs. Year-Ago (YA) and, were we to achieve that, it would represent a +5% comparison to the 10-year average normal (encouraging but don't bet the farm yet).
Played Rounds for December published by Golf Datatech showed a healthy 8% gain which matched the positive GPH results, producing flat Utilization. For the YtD period, rounds finished the year modestly up (+1.5%) which resulted in a fractional gain in Utilization (not a great weather year vs. the 10-yr norm, we'll take it). 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) as outlined in your monthly Excel report.
Jim Koppenhaver comments, "January's weather gains were healthy and widespread as evidenced in the 5:1 favorable breadth spread noted above. Looking back at December, the rounds gains reported at the 61 market level by Golf Datatech showed similar widespread gains as further encouragement. For the year, we registered our 2nd consecutive Utilization gain (fractional, but positive) with the modest rounds gain beating the basically flat weather "comp." Beneath that, at the market level, we saw positive breadth in Utilization of 6:1 (18 up vs. 3 down) but with the majority of markets (40) in the neutral zone of +/- 2 points. Speaking of market performance, among Pellucid's Top 25 US Golf Markets, Minneapolis and Washington DC ended up as the leading Utilization gainers for the year while only Orange County CA finished the year in the red (due to a 7% decline in rounds). This represents a solid, if unspectacular, finish to '19 and the strong January '20 GPH results should bode well for a positive January for rounds."