Forbes: Tagmarshal Joins With Four Major PGA Sections To Alleviate Slow Play In Golf

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Tagmarshal continues expanding its reach to defeat slow play in golf.

The company, a leader in golf course intelligence and pace-of-play management, has partnered with four prominent PGA sections to introduce the product at tournaments over the next two years.

The North Florida, South Florida, Carolinas and Metropolitan (NYC area) PGA sections will use the software at major section tournaments and Tagmarshal will conduct workshops and webinars to provide education and training to each section’s members.

In theory, Tagmarshal was conceived in 2014 when CEO Bodo Sieber’s business partner ran into a three-group logjam on the 15th hole at a destination course while on a golf vacation. Unhappy with the response from the course management and possessing the tech knowledge to conceive the software, the business partners produced a first-generation software that was introduced at the PGA Merchandise Show in 2015.

Tagmarshal, an Irish company with a U.S. base in Atlanta, uses small “tags” clipped onto golf bags, installed on carts or offered on handheld devices, which transmit geo-location data. The software identifies the ‘turtles’ – risk groups whose slow play can interfere with the experience of golfers on the course. It also can focus on certain holes, or trouble spots on the course, such as a reachable par-5 followed by a difficult par-3 or a particularly penal par-4 defended by out-of-bounds stakes or penalty areas (formerly known as hazards). Public, private and resort courses alike have improved pace-of-play and customer experience, using Tagmarshal to generate more efficient rounds with less staff interference.

Kiawah Island Resort, Pinehurst, Erin Hills, Carnoustie, East Lake, Westchester, Cypress Point, Bandon Dunes, Calusa Pines and Quaker Ridge are among the courses to implement the Tagmarshal system.

“They’re trying to provide the best possible playing experience,” Sieber said.

“And obviously the more revenue-geared ones among them are trying to couple that optimizing revenue and our system can help them with both. That’s why we’re finding traction. But the middle of the market is where we have most of our customers, the $40 – $50 daily fee and semi-private courses.”

A golf course’s investment ranges from $500 – $1500 per month, depending on the package they desire from Tagmarshal.

Tagmarshal’s growth and partnership with significant sections of the PGA professionals who manage and teach the game coincides with the USGA emphasizing pace-of-play when it overhauled the rules of golf in January. Those who quit golf often point to the time commitment required as a reason for putting the clubs in the closet for good. According to Tagmarshal’s data, pace-of-play is more important to golfers than course design or clubhouse amenities. The USGA explained its reasons for emphasizing pace-of-play as such:

  • Setting expectations for both beginners and experienced players on what types of behavior are considered prompt play, including the maximum amount of time it should normally take to make a stroke, and
  • Encouraging players to play faster by confirming that it is proper to play out of turn in stroke play when it is safe and responsible to do so (that is, to play “ready golf”).

The Carolinas PGA is one of the largest sections in the nation, with more than 2,000 professional members. The history of the Metropolitan dates to the origin of the PGA in 2016 and includes some of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious clubs. North Florida and South Florida are, obviously, home to year-round golf, offering an array of public, private and resort courses. Each may have a slightly different objective but they share a distaste for earning the reputation as a haven of slow play.

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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 75 million rounds of golf and has relationships with in excess of 600 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 40 of the Top 100 US courses, as well as many $40-$60 green fee courses, which are seeing excellent results using the system.