Forward-thinking operators are increasingly turning to golf cart GPS systems to better manage their on-course operations.
As the interest in golf continues to rise, these courses are embracing technological solutions to optimize operations, as well as capitalize on the opportunity to attract new players.
In 2022, for the first time, the growth in off-course golf (real club, real ball, full-swing driving range or simulator-related) was higher than the growth of on-course golf. The technology being developed enhances the appeal of the sport to potential new players, who already use technology in so many other areas of their lives.
Tagmarshal, the industry leader in golf course GPS systems, is often referred to as the Google Maps or Waze of on-course management. It provides teams with the data they need to make better decisions so that they can enhance the player experience, increase efficiency through automation and generate additional revenue.
The most effective place to start for courses wanting to use golf cart GPS systems to improve the player experience is pace of play.
Monitoring Tagmarshal’s Live Map, which relies on data from golf cart GPS systems to show where each group is on the course, means that operators are always up to date with the status of play and will proactively spot pace-related issues before they negatively affect the field.
Accessible at any time via PC, laptop, tablet and mobile phone, different color icons are used to show each group’s pace in relation to the desired round goal time. Ranging from green for on pace to magenta for a group that is holding up players and causing a delay, player assistants can focus their efforts accordingly.
The size of the tags will also change as the powerful Tagmarshal algorithm analyzes course flow based on more than 10 dynamically calculated factors, with a bigger tag meaning that the need for an intervention is more urgent.
“Tagmarshal has been such a game changer for us. We have 360-degree coverage of our golf course and we can see what the pace of play is with a glance at a screen.”
Matt Barksdale, PGA
Head Golf Professional, Pinehurst Resort
Building out extensive player profiles gives courses the opportunity to offer personalized ‘white glove’ service to players, as well as assigning appropriate tee times based on their historical pace of play.
Tagmarshal has a long list of tee sheet integration partners and intuitive golf cart GPS systems that combine your tee sheet data with GPS technology to automatically assign the tracking device in use to the player names in that group, as they enter the trigger zone entry point at their first tee.
With the data now tied to specific rounds and player names, courses have a complete record of the exact tee-off time, geofence breaches, on-course interactions and more, to inform any post-round conversations.
If a player comes in with a complaint about a round they felt was slow, courses are able to immediately pull up a full record of that round via the Track Map to have a neutral, fact-based discussion, which will always be appreciated by players.
The integration with Golf Genius, the worldwide leader in tournament management solutions, gives courses that utilize both Tagmarshal and Golf Genius direct access to Golf Genius live scoring and leaderboards. With GPS location tracking prompting players to enter their scores after the completion of each hole, leaderboards displayed on the 2Way screens are always up to date, bringing the excitement and fun of tournament play to courses.
Tagmarshal’s 2Way devices allow for direct messaging between players and staff. This means that players can request assistance, call for a drinks cart, or simply reach out with a query at any time.
“The data and real-time view of the course is a huge bonus and our average round time is now below our goal time. The member benefit and value add are plain to see.”
Pat Doyle, PGA
Head Golf Professional, The Quarry
The rise of golf cart GPS systems has all but eliminated the need for player assistants to drive aimlessly around a course in order to effectively monitor field flow.
Using the Live Map, you can save time by monitoring field flow on the go and one person can now fulfill what were previously multiple roles. The 2Way messaging capabilities also mean that prompts can be sent to groups requesting that they get back into position before an in-person intervention is required.
Based on the precise data gathered by Tagmarshal’s golf cart GPS systems, geofences can be drawn and toggled on and off for certain days of the week, or weather conditions, for example. Players will be notified as soon as they breach a geofence, saving teams valuable labor hours that would have been spent patrolling the course.
The benefits of effective geofencing are multifold, including the fact that better turf protection means less work for maintenance teams, as well as cost savings in areas like fertilizer use and irrigation, making courses more sustainable.
The Heatmap Visualization feature shows all collected geolocation data by carts and walkers that the system has tracked during a selected time frame, highlighting areas of the course that have received a high volume of traffic for more precise turf management strategies.
The maintenance team can also use the Live Map to spot gaps in the field during rounds so that work can be carried out without adversely impacting the player experience.
“We have reduced our labor expense on the golf course, increased our round capacity, and realized many operational efficiencies utilizing Tagmarshal.”
Mike O’Reilly, PGA
Head Golf Professional, Whistling Straits
Automating what are usually time-consuming tasks is also a massive efficiency gain. Teams can set up automated pace alerts that are triggered when a group falls out of position by a specified timeframe, so that these groups can be monitored for proactive pace management.
Being able to complete F&B orders from the 2Way devices enhances the player experience, increases revenue and also allows teams to operate more efficiently. As an order is finalized, it is fed through to the kitchen staff, who can ensure it’s ready as soon as the group arrives.
Finally, courses can set up automated messages to send at a specific time each day, letting players know what time they must finish their rounds by, where they must park their carts, and other important information. Should inclement weather affect play, players can also be advised as to where they can take shelter or be told that they must return to the clubhouse.
“We can be more effective with the staff we have, and be more proactive and intentional. The value we get out of our payroll is now that much greater.”
General Manager, Tierra Rejada Golf Course
Optimizing a tee sheet, based on data gathered by golf cart GPS systems, is a great way to generate additional revenue.
Tagmarshal’s Analytics Hub is a game-changing set of tools and data insights that make managing a course easier and more effective, bringing together the data gathered across Tagmarshal’s set of features into one central, simplified hub.
Showing data sets for days of the week, times of the day and other variables, the Analytics Hub is key to helping courses
identify areas where gap intervals can be tightened to create additional tee sheet capacity without affecting the player experience.
On many courses, 20% of tee times generate around 50% of revenue. Adding a single tee time between 8am and 11am daily by tightening your gap intervals, for example, you’ll be able to add around 6% in green fee revenue to your bottom line. In addition, getting more players through the course also leads to
ancillary revenue in areas like F&B and the pro shop, with destination resort courses benefiting further from hotel stays.
The same is true for an improved pace of play, with golfers now having additional time to spend at your facility, leading to revenue gains and driving repeat play through positive word of mouth.
“The data has allowed us to optimize tee sheet capacity and improve flow – enhancing the guest experience and increasing golf revenue by 25%.”
Chip Hierlihy, PGA
General Manager, Fieldstone Golf Club
Erin Hills also saw tremendous revenue growth using Tagmarshal, generating an additional $700 000 in green fees revenue in a single year.
Golf cart GPS systems also enable courses to effectively implement dynamic pricing. Players will be willing to pay a higher price when they know that the pace and flow of play will be consistent, so courses can adjust round prices as the demand changes in real-time.
Many of Tagmarshal’s course partners use the 2Way screens for advertising, greatly reducing the cost of the devices. This can be managed by the courses themselves, or Tagmarshal Media can handle the process on their behalf.
As player movements around the course are tracked in real-time, adverts can be
served at strategic points to an engaged audience. Courses are able to approve which adverts are shown, and can also use the advertising capabilities of the system to promote their own events and pro shop specials.
“This technology will make you money and we’re a perfect example of that. We have the data now and revenue is up.”
Director of Operations, Premier Golf
The technology available to course managers is continually improving, making it more pivotal than ever to ensure that operations are optimized to provide the best player experience possible, while also increasing efficiency and boosting the bottom line.
As the sport seeks to continue its upward growth trajectory, the openness of the off-course golf audience to technology as part of their experience, and their expectation that this extends into the on-course environment, is clear.
Over the past decade, golf has embraced technology in ways that would previously have seemed impossible, and courses that don’t embrace this changing landscape risk being left behind.
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 30 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.