Adopting pace of play management technology for a traditional game

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Technology has become part of everything do in our lives on a daily basis. It is an unstoppable force that not even golf, with its rich history and a strong sense of tradition, could avoid. It has had a significant impact on the golf industry in the last decade or so, with most advances seen in clothing, clubs, balls, carts, tee sheet management and more.

Exhibitions such as the PGA Merchandise Show are a platform for companies to showcase their golf-related products to the who’s who of the industry, including Directors of Golf, PGA Professionals, pro-shop owners and more, and are the very drivers that lure various players in the industry to be a part of this journey of technological advancement.

Golf course operators are constantly searching for ways to improve every aspect of their facilities, particularly field management. Field management is a critical factor in member satisfaction and achieving a return on investment. 

Industry-leading technologies like Tagmarshal’s golf course intelligence platform encompasses a host of features to give golf operators informed decisions, optimize and proactively manage the field by preemptively addressing the most critical golfer experience challenges and by providing non-confrontational support.

Here are 5 reasons why adopting pace of play management technology can pay off:

1. Control the flow and pace to provide a better experience for members and guests

With Tagmarshal’s first-to-market, leading technological innovation, you can eliminate the guessing factor to optimize the field for an added on-course experience. The pace of play management system enables golf clubs to effectively implement its pace of play policy, assisting in reducing playtime, which can allow operators to add additional tee times for extra capacity.

The key lies with accessibility to accurate and actionable data that translates into informed decisions, ultimately accelerating field flow for an even better on-course experience. 

2. Real-time, intuitive data provides the information necessary to be proactive

Access to up-to-the-minute, real-time data and industry-leading algorithms to identify risk groups empowers on-course staff and management to provide accurate, objective support to alleviate any pace challenges before they emerge. 

This reduces average round times and materially improves the pace experience. Added features such as the geofence module give staff and golfers the knowledge and awareness of any breaches and ensure players stay on-course which is key to effectively maintaining a well-managed field flow.

3. Technology empowers on-course staff when providing support – turning marshal’s into experience managers

Every staff member plays a significant role in ensuring operations run smoothly when it comes to pace of play, field flow and, on-course interaction. It is, thus, crucially important to establish a well-trained team to handle issues that arise, such as poor pace of play and flow challenges, in an adaptive and positive manner. The system empowers managers and staff to set the pace and seamlessly manage expectations in a positive, non-confrontational manner, backed by intuitive data and analytics. 

In a situation where an on-course issue arises, the wealth of data allows the staff to handle them immediately, offering members assistance, and follow up upon the completion of the round, all of which ensures an exceptional experience.

4. Use accurate information on which groups to support, rather than spending unproductive time looking for problems 

Too often golf clubs are left having to make critical operational decisions based on assumptions and uninformed guesswork. Too frequently the connection between on-time tee-off, pace and flow management and, of course, on-course staff trying to push players, negatively affects a player’s experience, can take up a lot of time and often has a negative impact on the course’s overall reputation.

Tagmarshal gives golf operators access to real-time pace-of-play analytics and data-driven golf intelligence. At the click of a button, the on-course staff receives automated notifications and alerts, to manage the flow of the field effectively and to react quickly when they need to.

5. Whether you actively manage from the pro shop or empower on-course staff, positive on-course interactions with guests and members pay off and technology helps to do it better 

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a common key metric in many industries that measures the customer’s loyalty to a product or service as well as their willingness to return and refer. Essentially, it looks to answer the question of how likely is it that a customer would recommend your company/brand to a friend or colleague.

The USGA conducted a “player experience” research which demonstrated that there is a correlation between feeling welcome, the flow of play, having met and interacted with on-course staff and the likelihood(%) of visiting the restaurant and the resulting NPS of the overall experience.

The industry’s objective should then be to use flow and time of play and the general on-course experience as a game-changing, high NPS score strategy to enhance the player experience and create loyalty, repeat play and boost revenue opportunities.

In essence, golf’s willingness to evolve in this technological age will determine its future. While tradition is part of the undoubted character and charm of the game, golf has shown that it can adopt change successfully. The switch from wooden to metal clubs, the seemingly overnight switch from metal spikes to soft spikes, introductions like shot tracer in golf broadcasting are some examples. 

The players of the future are the key stakeholders who will shape the game. These players demand flexibility, fun, top tier customer service, accessibility, inclusivity and for the game to fit with their available spend budgets, and importantly pace and flow experience and time budgets.

About Tagmarshal

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.