By Jason Lusk
Whistling Straits is not an old golf course. Built by Pete Dye in 1997, the Straits Course ranks No. 8 in the United States on Golfweek’s Best rankings of Modern Courses and has hosted three PGA Championships. This September, the course will be the site of the Ryder Cup.
Its relatively young age doesn’t mean things haven’t changed at the Wisconsin resort. Especially when it comes to technology. Perfect example: GPS allows any of the golf staff to know where every player and caddie is on the course and to head off potential slow-play problems before they begin. The Tagmarshal GPS system helps Whistling Straits stay ahead of its business.
Mike O’Reilly started at the Destination Kohler resort in 1996 as a caddie at Blackwolf Run, and he is now the Golf Operations Manager for all four of the resort’s tracks plus the new Baths par-3 course. On all sides of the business, he has seen how technology has changed the game.
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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.