Golf’s Spring 2020 Season: COVID’s “Arrested Development” Impact
Greetings subscribers and periodic readers from the friendly confines of the NW Chicago Suburbs where we’re in Day 42 of shelter-in-place courtesy of IL Governor Dan Pritzker with another 36 on tap based on current rumors (anticipating loosened restrictions on 5/31). The good news is that, like most everything else here in the Midwest, we’re going to follow our more solvent and progressive neighbors (WI and MN) into “golf OK-land” effective 5/1 although we really haven’t figured out how we’re going to implement that and what may be deemed OK/not OK by local officials and law enforcement. From my (selfish) perspective, much of my golf in ’19 was solo walking rounds at twilight on weekends so I’m good to go as soon as they lift the restrictions!
For those of you who are also Pellucid Perspective readers, you may recall that I attempted in the April issue to quantify the ’20 rounds impact of COVID at both the national and northern markets’ level assuming that there would be no or limited golf until 7/1. In this issue, with the aid of the daily Golf Business Solutions’ (GBS) Golf Industry Report (GIR, acronym heaven here) figures, I’m going to attempt to paint a picture of what’s happening across their reporting universe in summary and by some of the major markets that they’re reporting (comparing some all-year to seasonal markets and south (less constrained) vs. north (more or severely constrained):
• At the “all markets universe” level, we went from a 300K Year-to-Date (YtD) surplus in ’20 vs. same period ’19 when the reporting opened on 3/26 (+14%) to a 53K YtD deficit roughly one month later (week ending 4/24 report). That reflected similarly favorable YtD weather; the good weather continued, rounds production…not so much
• I’ll profile the market-level “winners”, those maintaining velocity among the all-year geographies (Sacramento) or those accelerating velocity among the seasonal varieties (Washington DC) and…
• I’ll profile the current “losers” in the COVID lottery; decelerating velocity markets among the all-year geographies (Miami, West Palm, Palm Springs) and markets that are dead-in-the-water among seasonal markets (Chicago)
• I’ll also look at what happens when we introduce the weather variable to a select number of markets (Chicago, Washington DC) and how/if that changes the picture of accelerating vs. decelerating performance in those geographies
Before we get into the analysis and insights, I have to pause and say that there have been several entities and organizations which have provided valuable and timely information on geographic restrictions (GCSAA, NGF, GBS), percentage of facilities open by regions/states/markets (NGF, GBS), rounds comparisons and timeseries (GBS) and consumer surveys on sentiment and comfort level playing in our new reality (NGF). As an analyst, I always appreciate good, frequent, multi-sourced data and we’ll apply our thinking in this article to the GBS daily data that we’ve been compiling and creating new measures for.
For our subscribers, read on to get the full story and our always-entertaining take on what the numbers are telling us. For our Executive Summary recipients, you can get the rest of the story one of three ways (all can be previewed and purchased at Pellucid’s website www.pellucidcorp.com):
1. Subscribe to the Pellucid Publications Membership for $495/yr. Annual subscribers get access to all Pellucid publications (Outside the Ropes monthly digital newsletter, annual State of the Industry report portfolio (PowerPoint presentation, PDF commentary report, access to Orlando video of presentation), monthly Geographic Weather Impact Tracking (US, 45 regions, 61 markets), Top 25 US Golf Markets Ranking Scorecard (25+ dimensions and ranking for largest 25 markets) and the National Consumer Franchise Health Scorecard (expanded data and tables underlying this issue’s summary figures)
2. Subscribe to OtR, 12 monthly issues for $130/yr with a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied at any time during your subscription. Subscribers also get access to the historical archive of past issues (50+) via the members-only section of the Pellucid website.