The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - 6

MARKET
DYNAMICS

Navigating the COVID Whitewater:
Where's Performance Tracking & Market
Benchmarking When You Need Them?
By Jim Koppenhaver

6 THE PELLUCID PERSPECTIVE

PHOTO BY LUCAS LUDWIG / UNSPLASH

F

or the past 15+ years, colleague Stuart
Lindsay and I have argued long and consistently that the golf industry's lack of
demand tracking (from local up to national) and
inability to provide guidance on comparative
performance at market level (think Smith Travel
in hospitality and the STAR reports) is a glaring
weakness and contributes to our overall industry
malaise. In the past, the primary argument for
demand tracking and benchmarking was to outline if markets were declining at a faster-thannational rate or if local facilities were "losing
less" than their rate of market decline. Now we
face the unusual (happy) situation where there's
a run on rounds and some associated puts &
calls on revenue and expenses so now the lack of
these tracking systems (or participation by facilities) fails us in answering the question of "Am I
getting my fair share of the rounds dividend and
are my revenue gains in line with the market?"
We're hopeful that perhaps one of the byproducts of living through the COVID era may be
to drive a critical mass of golf operations stakeholders to "lean into" participating with Pellucid
to bring performance tracking and comparative
benchmark reporting to at least 25 markets in
the '21 golf season.
A little history on our "wilderness journey" (it
hasn't been 40 yrs like the Israelites but sure has
felt like it) as an industry on this front. When
I entered the golf industry as an aspiring information services and analysis provider in 2000,
I was able to network my way to Randy Smith
(the "S" in STAR) for a conversation. I outlined
my plan to collect, organize and distribute basic information similar to STAR and his reply
was (paraphrasing, it was 20 years ago) "Good
luck, it's too fragmented, golf 's small business owners don't understand or use information and they can't (or won't) pay for
it. If you can overcome those hurdles, we may be able to help
you in the future to build it out if you can get to critical mass."
What he left off the obstacles list was 1) You'll have to compete with various industry associations 2) You'll have to figure
out weather impact 3) The management companies may not be
early adopters 4) The PoS providers won't necessarily cooperate
(we couldn't have seen back then that there would be so much

churn which complicates the cooperation equation) and 5) The
industry is entering a 20 year period of decline which will be a
revenue and rounds existential challenge to the average course
owner/operator. Other than that, my idea was brilliant!
Fast forward 20 years and Pellucid (with Stuart's sage
and valuable help) has overcome all the technical challenges
presented by benchmarking that are unique to our industry
(weather impact being a key example). What is lacking now
is cooperation, participation and just "industry collective will"
OCTOBER 2020



The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020

TOC
Pandemic creates an unusual, upward pricing dilemma
How high is up? Based on current information, no one really knows
Are we currently selling golf below cost (yes); why?
September GPH slight down, current dynamics will absorb that
Aug Utilization again up double-digits, weather not a factor in current surge!
Pittsburgh #24 in new ranking, aided by better-than-average supply-demand balance
16 Activities; Transacts & For Sales comprise bulk of activity
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - Pandemic creates an unusual, upward pricing dilemma
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - 5
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - How high is up? Based on current information, no one really knows
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - 7
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - 8
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - 9
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - Are we currently selling golf below cost (yes); why?
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - 11
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - September GPH slight down, current dynamics will absorb that
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - Aug Utilization again up double-digits, weather not a factor in current surge!
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - 15
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - Pittsburgh #24 in new ranking, aided by better-than-average supply-demand balance
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - 17
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - 16 Activities; Transacts & For Sales comprise bulk of activity
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2020 - 19
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