“Why Pace of Play is so important to Golf.” by Jay Golden, PGA

Golf has seen a resurgence as a result of the pandemic. Golf courses are crowded with new players joining golfers who have played the game for years. One thing they have in common — avoiding a five hour plus round. Each wants to play at a comfortable pace, nor do they want to be admonished for causing slow play. Course operators, too, wish to provide golfers with a good experience and want to build loyalty and know they will return to the course time and again.

To this end, the USGA conducted some groundbreaking research to unpack what really matters to golfers and shapes how much they enjoy their round of golf. Results found that 82% of players believe “Course Conditioning is a crucial enjoyment factor” while 74% of golfers believe that “Pace/Flow/Time is a crucial enjoyment factor.”

It is obvious that if the course is well maintained and a pleasure to play, and you are able to play at a good pace without needing to stop and wait for slow groups ahead, you will have that good experience. The need to ensure optimal pace and field flow is amplified during this pandemic particularly when safe distances are to be maintained.

In order to achieve a proper pace and flow, forward thinking courses have embraced optimization technology to assist them in effectively and efficiently manage on-course operations, including pace and field flow. Tagmarshal, the global leader in golf course intelligence software, uses a GPS based system to track and monitor movement on the course. It provides real-time data alerting the pro shop staff to where there are potential or existing bottlenecks. Player assistants can then, in a nonthreatening and positive way, help the group to improve their pace of play.

PGA professionals and course operators are responsible for maximizing not only player satisfaction with how the facility treats them from the moment they enter the grounds, but also revenue growth for the course, pro shop and food and beverage operations. They now have key metrics to track progress, manage, optimize and report on performance with ease. The system allows them to measure time on a specific hole, fairway or green as well as wait times on the tee box.

Tagmarshal technology has collected over 1 billion data points from over 15 million rounds of golf. It has partnered with more than 300 private clubs, daily fee and resort facilities worldwide including 30 of the Top 100 US courses. Many Florida facilities utilize Tagmarshal including Naples area courses such as Forest Glen CC, Calusa Pines GC, Naples Grande, as well as Banyan, Gulf Harbor and Sandridge, and Bradenton’s Legacy GC, and Serenoa GC in Sarasota.

As the pandemic recedes and normalcy returns, it is critical, and imperative, that golfers continue to enjoy their round as technology improves on-course pace of play and field flow conditions in a non-intrusive and efficient way. Technology has made an impact on golf and for the better. If your favorite course or club does not utilize such a system, you might suggest that they investigate the benefits.

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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.