A Quick 9 with Don Mackay – Muskoka Highlands

Muskoka Highlands is one of the sought after golf courses in the Muskoka Municipality, offering quality yet affordable golf. The golf course is guaranteed to challenge golfers of all abilities, while maintaining a fun and fast round. The best part about golfing at Muskoka Highlands is it is the only facility that allows golfers to bring their dog so you’ll never have to play alone.

In this edition of our Quick 9 series, we chat with one of the key members of the team behind the success at Muskoka Highlands, Don MacKay who is the Owner. Don tells us a little about himself and how they are using on-course optimization to drive operational success at Muskoka.

1. Has golf always been your first love? What other sports/team are you a fan of?

As a youngster in Canada, hockey was my first sport. But the summer sport became golf as we had a small Par 3 course in Lively Ontario that we used to play 54 holes almost every weekday when I was between 9 and 14.

2. What is your favorite/greatest round of golf experience?

We are a family of 5 golfers – so we have many great family rounds on our course, and others where possible. I did travel to Scotland when our eldest was playing pro basketball in England. We played about 5 rounds in 7 days with him, his godfather, and a good friend also from Muskoka over there teaching. The memories are still floating around that trip.

3. What is your dream golf destination? Why?

I am a golf minimalist – the more natural the better. So I would love to take my family to Scotland to play not only the big names, but some of the country courses you might see driving around.

4. Where does Pace of Play rank as an industry priority? Top 3?

Pace of play is likely the number one complaint we might receive when we are full of players. Everyone thinks they can play faster, or that play is too slow. For the 10% core golfer, conditions will be ahead of that – as they also know that busy days can be slower.

5. Why has your course decided to invest in Tagmarshal?

We have a 600-yard course with a hilltop in the middle of the course from where we can see most holes. We are also a very public course, and we attract beginners in our mix. Before we saw TM, we were considering cameras. Once we saw TM, we realized it was like having intelligent cameras everywhere on the course. We can see where every tag is – and more importantly – we get real-time data on every tag that shows who is delaying and who is not. It points us to problem spots without us having to discern the problem from the hilltop.

6. What are the top benefits of incorporating Tagmarshal into your daily operations?

TM is our eyes in the sky – we see the flow of the course. It gives us instant data that we can use for that slower golfer, and to chat with the player who thinks the pace is slow but does not realize they are on time-par for the course. It brings an intelligent view of our course from open to close, every day.

7. Describe Tagmarshal in three words.

Great course monitor, giving us eyes on the course to where everyone is.

8. Who’s the slowest and fastest player on Tour?

I don’t follow the tour to the extent you might think, as I’m more concerned about the public player, so I will leave this to the more informed on the tour data 🙂

9. If you could be a caddie on Tour, whose caddie would you like to be and why?

I would have to caddie for a player that has fun while out there. Matt Kuchar always has a smile or Adam Scott. These are the 2 that come to mind.


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.