5 QUESTIONS WITH MATT BARKSDALE AT PINEHURST
Get to know Matt Barksdale, PGA Head Professional at Pinehurst Resort, one of the most celebrated courses in the world having hosted more championships than any other club in the USA, and site of the 2024 US Open.
How long have you been in the golf industry? Give us a quick snapshot of your career experiences and some of the highlights over the past few years.
I’ve been in the industry for nearly 15 years. I was at Pebble Beach for about 6 years, followed by a small club in Augusta GA called Champions Retreat for about a year and a half, and I have been at Pinehurst for about 4 years now.
The 2010 US Open was a great experience as well as the 2017 USGA Four-Ball Championship. The AT&T’s at Pebble were always a lot of fun being part of. All the championships at Pinehurst are highlights, from the North South Championship to the US Kids World Championship – it’s really neat to see the future of our game competing at such a high level so early in their careers!
Who was your golf hero growing up and why?
Arnold Palmer – he always spoke to everyone and always seemed to enjoy what he was doing and really appreciated the fans.
Why did your course decided to invest in golf course intelligence and, since it’s installation, what has the technology successfully influenced?
Tagmarshal gives all areas of the operation a full understanding of how the golf course is running at any particular moment. When pace of play is reasonable and individuals are not having to wait on every shot it makes the round much more enjoyable and gives the golfer the ability to get into a rhythm.
We want all golfers to enjoy themselves on the course and to help that, all golfers going out to play need to be self-aware and assist in the effort of a reasonable pace of play.
With Tagmarshal, the golf staff has full coverage of the entire golf course at a glance. We are able to keep our staff accountable, maintain concrete and accurate records, and assure our guests that we are tracking and monitoring pace of play regularly. We have been able to identify trouble holes and evaluate course set-up to decrease timing on those trouble holes. For us we do not really look at it as a revenue generator, but an experience enhancer.
What, in your opinion, are the most important on-course success factors for a golf course?
Course condition, pace of play, customer service, refreshments.
What are the key objectives for your golf course for the next 12-months and how will golf course intelligence assist in achieving these objectives?
We want to provide a US Open experience for all of our members and guests every time. Maintaining a reasonable pace-of-play is part of creating a great golf experience and with on course intelligence it only gives us more opportunity to be successful.
Tagmarshal is a golf course intelligence and pace-of-play management solution that turns pace into an asset. The system uses small “tags” clipped onto golf bags or installed on carts which transmit geolocation data. Industry-leading algorithms identify risk groups with accurate, objective support to alleviate pace challenges before they arise. Public, private and resort courses using Tagmarshal realize substantial returns on investments through improved on-course experiences achieved with less staff as well as increases in daily rounds. Impactful and easy-to-use data analytics, weather data integration and geo-fencing complete the offering.