The North Berwick Golf Club, at North Berwick, is the 13th oldest golf club in the world, founded in 1832, boasting breathtaking views of the Firth of Forth and islands of Bass Rock.
Its iconic West Links course is a true championship links course, having the hosted Final Qualifying for The Open Championship and both Gentlemen and Ladies Amateur Championships. An excellent test of golf awaits you.
In this edition of our Quick 9 series, we catch up with Stuart Martin who is the Golf Operations Manager at North Berwick. He shares his daily routine, favourite sport and more.
1. How would you describe your morning routine to kickstart your day?
Wake up with the birds, let my French Bulldog pup out whilst I make a coffee, quick walk then it’s in to the club to get the operation in full flow.
2. Has golf always been your first love? What other sports/team are you a fan of?
Golf has been a love from a young age however, football (soccer) is my other sporting love which I played to a relatively high level before choosing golf as a career. My one and only team is Celtic.
3. What is your favorite/greatest round of golf experience?
I have so many to decide between. I played Loch Lomond (my dream course growing up) for the first time in a competition at the age of 14 with my Papa caddying was amazing. I then went on to work at Loch Lomond for many years. Then I also have my first time playing at Cypress Point, and wow, the fog lifting in the sunrise when we were on the 1st tee and then standing on 16th tee was pretty special.
4. Where does Pace and Flow of Play rank as an industry priority? Top 3?
Definitely Top 3. Good pace and flow of play makes every golfer’s experience all the more enjoyable and stress-free. It also allows them ample time to enjoy the other aspects of the club without being in a rush to get somewhere else.
5. Why has your course decided to invest in Tagmarshal?
As we have a figure of 8 course layout we have a number of pinch points where golfers could be held up by waiting on people putting out or teeing off on other holes. Add into the mix outside influencers such as weather and walkers enjoying the coastline we’re on, it all makes for potential problems.
Before Tagmarshal, our course marshals would simply drive around different groups and check on their progress but not necessarily always reaching the right group at the right time.
Tagmarshal not only assists the club in ensuring a good pace & flow but also enables us to manage the daily journey of our staff to ensure that the best levels of service are delivered to our members, their guests and our visitors.
6. What are the top benefits of incorporating Tagmarshal into your daily operations?
It’s providing the club’s staff with evidential proof on player rounds which aids them with their duties. The data collection and analytics have given me further insight into how effective our tee time profiling is and how the course setup has and can affect the pace & flow.
The staff are able to deal with situations regarding pace and flow efficiently (in a friendly manner) with the data given. As a result of Tagmarshal’s integration into our club’s operation, more staff time can be spent providing additional levels of customer service in other areas of the operation. Investing in Tagmarshal at the start of the pandemic has also been a fantastic tool in allowing us to ensure social distancing measures were being adhered to.
7. Since the implementation of the Tagmarshal system, how have your customers responded to the on-course experience?
At first, it was met by some with some skepticism however, once they realized that the devices were there to enhance their experience rather than track them in a negative manner, they have all really embraced it. Tagmarshal and pace of play are now certainly the topic of many of our member and customer conversations.
8. What is your dream golf destination? Why?
North Berwick of course! 😉 When the sun is shining on the East coast of Scotland there really is no place better than being by the ocean on the links.
9. If you could be a caddie on Tour, whose caddie would you like to be and why?
Oh wow, this is a tough one! My two golfing icons growing up have been Seve and Tiger. BUT…I guess Seve would maybe just pip my decision though. Imagine the shots you could learn and the different places on a golf course he would have you calculating yardages from!
Tagmarshal has tracked over 10 million rounds of golf. Real-time data collected by the system using small “tags” clipped onto golf bags, installed in buggies or offered on handheld or cart-installed proprietary 2Way screen devices, transmits information to on-course staff or personnel in the pro shop identifying groups that are out of position before issues arise. Player assistants can then support in a proactive, objective, non-confrontational manner resulting in improved player experience, consistent round times and player time freed up to enjoy on-site food and beverage items as well as opportunities for additional tee sheet capacity.
More than 30 of the top 100 US courses partner with Tagmarshal including over 300 leading courses globally.