PGA Magazine: Collecting Data Helps Improve Pace of Play at Westchester Country Club

Collecting Data Helps Improve Pace of Play

Courtesy of PGA Magazine, originally published here on pages 47 and 49

PGA Magazine interview with Ben Hoffhine, PGA Director of Golf at Westchester Country Club | Rye, New York.

Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York, is a busy place in the summer. PGADirector of Golf Ben Hoffhine says the 45-hole private club logs more than 50,000 rounds a year, sometimes doing up to 450 rounds in a single day. Pace of play is important to keep members and their guests happy.

Hoffhine, who is in his second year at the club,has turned to Tagmarshal to monitor pace of play. Hoffhine said a trial run with the tracking product in the fall of 2017 identified problem areas and will help the club improve pace of play in 2018.

Tagmarshal uses small “tags” clipped onto golf bags or installed on golf cars that transmit geo-location data back to the clubhouse. Algorithms identify groups having trouble keeping up, as well as trouble spots on the course that slow down regularly.

A recent USGA survey showed 74 percent of players believe appropriate speed is critical to enjoyment of their rounds. Westchester joins other well-known courses such as Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island (South Carolina) Golf Resort, Wisconsin’s Whistling Straits and Erin Hills, East Lake in Georgia and Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky in adopting Tagmarshal to help alleviate slow play.

Hoffhine says Tagmarshal’s ability to track walkers was critical for Westchester. Walking golfers who take caddies must mix with groups riding in golf cars throughout the day.

“Tagmarshal has told us about a couple of problem spots,” Hoffhine says. “It can tell you where your rangers should be after collecting data for a number of rounds. There are two spots, one on the front and one on the back, where we now station rangers to keep an eye on things. The other thing we found out was how much the halfway houses slowed the round, so we can now educate the members not to sit down and have a four-course meal.”

Hoffhine says the goal for this season is to keep pace of play under four hours for tee times before 8 a.m. and 4:05 for rounds the rest of the day, down from 4:10 last year.

“The data told us that our pace of play wasn’t bad,” Hoffhine says. “We have a ranger program, but instead of looking for problems, when you have the data in front of you, you can be much more efficient.”


Tagmarshal, the market leader in on-course optimization technology, provides courses with full, real-time operational oversight and reporting, giving golf operators the tools to manage pace and flow of play effectively, resulting in enhanced player experiences, increased efficiency through automation, and additional revenue generation.

Tagmarshal’s technology has collected over 1 billion data points from more than 50 million rounds of golf and has relationships with in excess of 500 partners, including Hazeltine, Whistling Straits, Baltusrol, Fieldstone, Bandon Dunes, Serenoa and Erin Hills.

Tagmarshal partners with several golf management groups, private, daily fee, public and resort courses, including 35 of the Top 100 US courses, as well as many $30-$50 green fee courses, which are seeing excellent results using the system.