Augusta Abuzz as The Tiger Roar Returns
Augusta National was buzzing on Sunday after Tiger Woods, aged 43, secured his 5th Masters title and 15th Major victory in his rejuvenated career. Top Tour players congratulated him as he donned the green jacket for the 5th time.
The victory at Augusta places Tiger back on track to chase down Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 Major wins, a feat which Nicklaus achieved at the age of 46.
Woods’ resurgence has been deemed as one of the greatest comeback in sports history. From every corner of Augusta National, golf fans young and old descended on the 18th hole, chanting Tiger’s name, in a celebration of the return of the Tiger’s Roar.
Tiger’s win will surely be a source of inspiration to inspire a new generation of golfers. It would be no surprise to see an increase in participation by a young and diverse group of golfers, which means a great deal for the industry.
Players putting with the pin in
Many would have tuned in to The Masters as their first tournament of the year, wondering why players were leaving the flagstick in while putting. In an effort to speed up the game, the USGA has stated in Rule 13.2a(2) that, “There will no longer be a penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits a flagstick left in the hole.” Despite this amendment, players still have the option to remove the flagstick or have someone remove it after the ball has been struck.
Leaving the pin in has its advantages: it can provide accuracy with an additional object of focus improving the depth perception. Secondly, if the ball is going too fast, the flagstick can serve as an object to slow down the momentum increasing the likelihood of the ball going into the hole.
Tour pros such as Bryson DeChambeau and Adam Scott are huge fans of leaving the flagstick in. The general trend among most players on Tour is to leave the flagstick in from a distance, remove it when they are closer to the hole.
Bernhard Langer put on the clock on Day 2
Two-time Masters champion, Bernhard Langer, experienced some annoyance and dissatisfaction after being given a warning and put on the clock in the second round.
On the 3rd hole, he was approached by a rules official who warned him for slow play. This, however, did not affect his performance for the rest of the round, shooting 72 to earn his spot in the third round at age 61.
Langer later said to the media that he was somewhat annoyed at being put on the clock as he felt that the groups ahead were the main perpetrators for slow pace of play, saying:
“Yeah, we waited eight minutes on the tee shot on 2 and then we [waited] four minutes on the second shot on 2. That’s 12 minutes. So no wonder we’re 10 minutes behind, all right?”
Pace of play is a plague that has affected the Tour for years, and this year it’s certainly gained a lot of traction in the media and among Tour players, many of whom have been vocal about it.
Slow play can create bottlenecks and hold up play, aspects which can without a doubt kill a player’s momentum in a round of golf. A frustrated player is a sight no club manager wants to see, especially when 74% of players say that pace of play is critical to the enjoyment of their round, according to research conducted by the USGA.
Pace of play management then becomes a prominent solution for golf facilities. With golf management software such as Tagmarshal available in the market golf facilities can now control on-course operations, pace of play and field flow for increased player loyalty and revenue.
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.