By now, hopefully the vast majority of our readers (and the general media alike) "get" the undeniable storyline of golf supply change in the US: 1) It's contracting, but still too slowly for the industry's good 2) Transactions are also happening but at uneven pace and at historically below-average values and 3) There are fewer emotional buyer situations trying to "rescue" existing courses for the sake of community, fond memories, protect green space etc. in the face of the mounting, quantitative (and financial) reality of supply and demand imbalance. Interestingly, in the latter of the above points, muni's continue to be the predominate parties in emotional buys overpaying, believing they can turn around significant negative financials or just protecting the green space until they can figure out a more civic-palatable Plan B (and, in some cases, all three).
Alas, I digress. With the continuing evolution of our Internet Golf Course Database (IGDB) and the information we're collecting to populate the Comings & Goings section of the monthly Pellucid Perspective, we're getting a clearer picture on the size and shape of changes in the golf course universe in the US. In this issue, I'm going to look at the optics for the Jan-Jun '19 period and offer the following observations:
  • Activities and general trends we're seeing - General observations and trends we're seeing spanning Opens, Re-openings, Closures, Transactions and Re-positionings (Public->Private or vice versa, change in holes up/down etc.).
  • Breaking down the H1 closures - Profiling the closures by facility age, Pellucid type, geographic markets and ownership (muni vs. private-funded). Spoiler alert, they don't fit the NGF storyline of "We're losing older, 9 hole courses so the quality of supply is improving; it's all good!"
  • What does the future hold in light of this point-in-time snapshot? We're making progress but there's still considerable pain to be navigated on current course. I'm not saying that it's doomsday but you can't make informed decisions with a bogus diagnosis (that has a catchy ring to it...)