Head golf professionals and course managers have long argued that there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete the tasks associated with running a successful golf operation.
As the sport’s popularity continues to grow and the demand for rounds increases, inflationary pressures and shortages in the supply chain have had a sizeable impact on wages and general operating costs. Coupled with the increased difficulty of finding quality staff for open positions and then retaining them, many teams are trying to do more, with fewer resources available.
Faced with these pressures, courses are turning to technology to give their teams the tools they need to operate more efficiently, automate time-consuming tasks and achieve success.
Here are 5 ways that your team can use technology to save valuable hours, optimizing the resources at your disposal to ensure your players have the most memorable experience possible.
TARGETED PACE MANAGEMENT
Gone are the days of aimlessly patrolling the field, looking for playing groups who have fallen out of position. Golf cart GPS tracking technology gives teams real-time updates of where each group is on the course, identifying those that are out of position and causing delays. Targeted interventions save time and improve course flow, along with reducing the number of marshals needed.
Use the data that industry-leading systems gather to make these interventions fact-based, neutral discussions and to help develop realistic pace of play policies to communicate to your players.
PRO TIP: Set your marshals daily or weekly goals for positive on-course interactions. This will reframe them as player assistants over time, tasked with enhancing the golfing experience rather than just policing pace of play issues.
INCREASED LABOR EFFICIENCY
Technology has enabled one person to fulfill what were once multiple roles. For example, a team member can now monitor the course’s pace of play from the clubhouse or pro shop while carrying out other tasks, or on the move via mobile phone, only stepping in to assist when a potential problem arises.
This saves labor hours and salary costs, freeing up resources that you can direct toward delivering an exceptional player experience that will set your course apart from the rest.
PRO TIP: Tagmarshal’s Live Map provides a real-time, birds-eye view of where each group is on the course. Have this visible on TV screens in the clubhouse or pro shop to encourage players to self-manage their pace, further increasing resource optimization.
Harnessing the power of technology to automate what were once time-consuming tasks is quickly becoming the norm.
Rather than having staff running mental or pen-and-paper calculations on each group’s time to schedule, embrace industry-leading golf cart tracking technology that compiles this data automatically. Not only is it far more accurate and immediately accessible, but it may also shine a light on areas where efficiencies can be uncovered at your course, like gap time interval management and hole setups.
Many labor-intensive, day-to-day tasks, such as protecting sensitive areas of the turf via geofencing or assigning tee sheets, can be automated with the right technology in play.
PRO TIP: Investing the time upfront to set up automation processes wherever possible will pay dividends down the line, both in labor and cost saving, as well as increasing the amount of data the technology you use can gather.
ADVANCE FOOD AND BEVERAGE ORDERS
Bottlenecks around the halfway house are a surefire way to create pace and flow issues across the back nine.
Your kitchen staff can then plan ahead and be more efficient, saving labor hours and increasing the amount of time players have to spend at the pro shop and 19th hole at the end of their rounds.
PRO TIP: On courses with Tagmarshal’s 2Way screens, automated alerts can be configured to trigger at certain locations. When a group enters the fairway on the 8th hole, for example, set up a message to appear notifying players that they can place their orders via the screen.
IMPROVED GEOFENCING TURF PROTECTION
Course conditioning remains the biggest expense associated with running a club, so resource optimization is crucial.
With golf cart GPS tracking, once a geofence is designed and activated, automatic notifications can be set up to alert players as they enter a restricted area, saving your team hours that would previously have been spent patrolling the course. You also have recorded data of exactly where and when breaches occur, ensuring players can be held accountable and driving compliance.
Your team is able to see where playing groups are at any time on the course, identifying gaps in the field to safely complete maintenance during the day, rather than after hours, without adversely impacting the player experience.
PRO TIP: Hard-stopping carts with a kill switch is a proven cause of complaints and negative post-round sentiment. Tagmarshal’s system is set up to alert players when they breach a geofence, allowing them to self-correct. It also records the data so players can be held accountable during and after a round.
Given the difficulties of hiring and retaining qualified staff in the current labor market and the increasing costs associated with doing so, it’s imperative that opportunities to maximize efficiencies are embraced.
Courses that use technology for resource optimization, automating tasks and increasing efficiency to save their team labor hours, are best placed to deal with these challenges.
When that same technology is proven to enhance the golfing experience and identify opportunities to generate additional revenue, it becomes a win-win for both courses and players.
Tagmarshal’s industry-leading technology provides courses with full, real-time operational oversight and reporting, giving golf operators the tools to enhance the player experience, improve efficiency through automation and generate additional revenue.
Tagmarshal partners with more than 35 of the Top 100 courses, over 500 private, daily fee and resort courses, as well as golf management groups, and many $30 to $50 green fee courses.