We opened early this year on April 23 and some courses in the area were open a week before us.
Everybody was pumped. We got the range open, people were out hitting golf balls and then, things just started to unravel and clubs in the Calgary area are feeling it. To be closed this time of year is unheard of, but that’s been the case recently.
After our early opening, we got hit with two batches of snow in April and May and each time we were closed three or four days. We didn’t get quite the accumulation that some people did, but it was only 1 C.
We got our men’s Open off and it was cold, but they went and suffered through chilly, chilly weather and we haven’t made it to seasonal temperatures that often. After those two bouts of being shut down, we finally thought we could get going and then, the rain started.
We have days when we would have 260 to 300 rounds in a day and what we are getting is about 110 tough guys grinding it out. Their feeling is that if we don’t play in this, we’re not going to be able to play much and you start to get used to hearing that opinion.
We only had 12 guys at our last men’s night the other day go out and slosh around and we would usually have about 120.
Of course, constant inclement weather affects us in several ways.
First of all, your members who have paid to play are not getting that opportunity. Secondly, you’re spending a lot of time juggling your events and programs, trying to reschedule.
Of course, the numbers are affected. As I write this, we were down 1,100 rounds and it looked like we could hit 1,400 by the end of last week. That’s compared to last year, which wasn’t a banner season. May and into June this year are the worst we’ve seen in the last 15 years.
The other way it affects your numbers is that spring is selling time for golf equipment. We were fortunate enough to get our demo day done, but there are a lot of people who didn’t in this area. That has an impact, as well.
It’s pretty tough to make up that lost time. You’ve got to sit down, look at it and change your forecasts, but you have to mix reality with a positive attitude. It is going to get nice, you can’t lose sight of that, but things will really pick up when that comes and it’s going to be very busy.
If we’re going to try and jam 33,000 rounds into a year, we’re going to have to do it in a short period of time and the golf course can only take so many people.
Climate change is a fact of life these days. We seem to be getting weaker springs and stronger falls. Now, September is one of our better months and typically, we get that, but once you get into the fall, the days get shorter and it all comes down to how many people can you put out there?
We don’t have that number yet, but the general answer is as many as possible.