San Diego Continues Reign as Healthiest US Golf Market but “Top 5” Challengers Show Shifts
If there’s anything approaching a “sure bet” in the golf industry analysis game, it’s the fact that San Diego will perennially and convincingly be at the top of the Markets Health ranking. Pellucid’s Year-End (YE) 2019 analysis of the healthiest of the Top 25 largest golf markets is the latest chapter in San Diego’s success story although there were several “advancers” and “decliners” in the balance of the Top 5 healthiest markets which we’ll outline in this issue.
We previously published the Top 25 in ’18 for the YE ’17 period so the changes outlined in this update span the years of ’18 and ’19 along the key measures of golfers, rounds, supply, pricing and weather variance and mark our 7th version since the ’05 inaugural ranking. Over the years we’ve added measures and made refinements to the metrics but many of the core metrics have stood the test of time and give us the ability to measure change over time for each of the 25 markets. In this issue we’ll cover highlights of the report with the intent of teasing some meaningful number of you to eventually purchase it either as part of the comprehensive Pellucid Publications Membership (PPM) or as a stand-alone report (our PPM subscribers have already had the data for ~6 weeks and are a step ahead of you):
- How did we arrive at the universe of the Top 25 markets and, within that universe, what are the “component measures” of a market’s health as it relates to golf? (Population dynamics, number of golfers, annual rounds demand, supply level (powered by the enhanced Internet Golf Course Database (IGDB)) and mix, golf playable hours/capacity rounds)
- What “composite metrics” are particularly useful in comparing one market to another? (Population size/change, Play Rate (annual rounds per capita), Golfers-per-supply, Supply/Demand Equilibrium, Utilization Rate (weather-adjusted throughput) and estimated Revenue-per-Available Round (RevpAR, weather-adjusted revenue generation))
- The summary table of the Top 25 markets ranking, the distribution of their 7 composite metrics (above/average/below) vs. the US average, relative movement vs. Pellucid’s last scorecard/ranking (up/down/similar) and commentary
San Diego remains atop our list as the healthiest of the major US Golf Markets a healthy 80 points higher in the composite score vs. #2 Denver (which displaced Los Angeles as the perennial runner-up to San Diego). Among the Top 5, there were 2 ascendant markets cracking that elite echelon and 2 markets which dropped into the exemplary 6-10 ranking slots from the Elite 5. While this may not be empirical truth of the healthiest market in the country, given that no one else in the industry has a quantifiable approach and methodology to challenge our scorecard, this is as good as it gets for those wanting to understand market health in the absolute or relative to other US markets.
For our subscribers, read on for the details and math behind our updated scoring and ranking. 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