The monthly industry metric, which uses a revenue set point whereby there are the same number of courses earning above as there are taking in below that set-point dollar figure, showed a 3.1 percent drop in median course intake in May 2009 compared to May 2008. But the rate of decline may be slowing: April’s drop was 5.9 percent, and for March it was 8 percent. Of course, seasonal advances in play in some regions may account for some of the springtime activity.
In May, at-course merchandise sales took the biggest hit, down nearly 13 percent versus a year before. Both the food & beverage and greens fees categories were down a little more than 4 percent. So while play is nearly flat versus last year, it looks like golf consumers may be curtailing their incremental buying before and after the round.
For the first five months of 2009, median total revenue was down 4.6 percent versus May 2008.