Taking the Guesswork out of Pace of Play Management

Tagmarshal understand that every golfer has experienced the frustrations of slow play. Likewise, every course manager has struggled with how to best optimise the flow of golfers across their property. There’s the familiar balance that must be struck between giving guests the freedom to enjoy their round, and politely nudging slower golfers to get back on pace.

Yet for all that a smooth pace means for revenue and the guest experience, measurement of player speed has never quite been given the analytical perspective it deserves. At a time when the sports industry is seeing mass adoption of advanced statistics to inform decision making, the untapped pace of play space seems ripe for innovation. Recently, top destination golf courses have started to turn the tide with data-driven solutions.

Tagmarshal-Erin-Hills-screen-201706Ballybunion and Trump Doonbeg have both taken steps to better understand pace of play thanks to Tagmarshal, a technology company whose flagship product predicts bottlenecks and other speed obstacles before they occur. As the first two golf destinations in Europe to utilise Tagmarshal, Ballybunion and Trump Doonbeg management uses small GPS tags that are either clipped to golfers’ bags or installed in carts to track all group movement through any connected device. One simple-to-use live course map delivers detailed information about times in relation to set goals, daily trends and weather variables, allowing staff to preemptively address the most critical golfer experience challenges.

In North America, some of the most recognised courses – Whistling Straits, Kiawah Island, Valhalla and more – have already been using the system to their advantage. Recent U.S. Open host Erin Hills made waves as an early adopter of the technology. Before the golf world could turn their attention to the venue, Head Golf Professional Jim Lombardo, PGA, and his team optimised the pace of play, directly helping Erin Hills increase revenue.

“The Tagmarshal management system has enabled us to effectively implement our pace of play policy, assisting us in reducing playtime, which allowed us to add an additional tee time for extra capacity.” – Jim Lombardo, PGA Head Professional at Erin Hills

Extra capacity is a marquee benefit to improving pace measurement, but public and resort courses are not the only clientele in need of more data-driven solutions. Tagmarshal’s portfolio also includes top-tier private courses like East Lake (the Players Championship host) and Friar’s Head (a U.S. top-20 course). More important to these clubs than individual round speed, is the additional features that can serve as valuable experiential benefits.

Member-only clubs can use Tagmarshal to create profiles for each of their golfers. Thanks to integration with EZLinks and other tee sheet providers, management can quickly pull up a member’s play speed statistics. With this data in hand, clubs can upsell and incentivise, rewarding their faster players with earlier tee times, or offering a customised instruction package based on a member’s slower holes. Best of all, Tagmarshal’s unobtrusiveness and its replacement of frequent marshal interactions makes it ideal for delivering a pure golf experience.

Other features offer a glimpse into the future of player tracking. Tagmarshal’s built-in weather forecast data allows management to segment their pace reading by hours of sunlight, level of wind and other variables as well as looking at historic data in weather context. With the StartMaster module management can also track and imrprove starter accuracy, a key pace factor.

The Tagmarshal system begins at just GBP390/month and is a match for walking as well as cart courses. Given the monetary value of rounds played, member fees, reputation and other elements impacted by a healthy pace of play, the return on investment is evident almost instantly.

This article was written by Tagmarshal. For more information, visit tagmarshal.com.


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