October's weather impact flipped to negative, after a modest September gain, as Golf Playable Hours (GPH) were down 3%. That also flips the Year-to-Date (YtD) figure back into fractional negative territory at -0.1%. YtD regional GPH breadth continues to be unfavorable at 1:2 with 10 favorable regions countered by 22 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) continue essentially flat but with some variance evident when we go to the next level of detail which is dayparts (Mon-Sun). The Year-End (YE) forecast is finally recognizing the reality of math and took a significant downward adjustment this month which means that our January SoI proclamation that '19 GPH had to show a significant "bounce" from '18 will likely prove to be false (ouch).
Played Rounds for September published by Golf Datatech hit the daily double with rounds demand up 5% which also handily beat the GPH results and produced the "unicorn" of Rounds up, Utilization up! For the YtD period, rounds are now slightly up beating basically flat weather through 9 months. 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, "My January confidence that we'd have to get a 3-5% rounds demand bounce in '19 after historically poor weather in '18 was shaken as we didn't see much favorability coming through the key summer months but I was betting we'd get a major Fall break at the national level which did not materialize. The good news is that it appears rounds demand is making modest headway against this unfavorable backdrop which is the whole purpose of measuring Utilization. We've had 2 consecutive months of positive Utilization which suggests, while we continue to generally follow weather, rounds demand isn't a "slave" to it. At the market level, we're seeing Utilization "winners" in Minneapolis, Philly and Pittsburgh all posting >3 point gains YtD while the biggest losers are concentrated in Houston and Orange County both being down >2 pts on the flip side. To last month's question of whether technology would trump intuition in forecasting the finish to the year, intuition wins this round."
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.
You can order any of the above information services via Pellucid's Online Store.