Tagmarshal Has The Answer
Talk about right place, right time. As the age old issue of slow play has suddenly burst into the public consciousness through challenges by high profile professionals like Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy, the world’s tournament organizers appear to be ready to do something about it. Good for them but many golf courses frequented by recreational golfers are already implementing solutions through course management system provider Tagmarshal.
While Koepka and McIlroy have shined the light on fellow touring pros including the glacial J. B. Holmes and the eternally cerebral Bryson DeChambeau, slow play there only affects those playing for someone else’s money. Slow play more directly and drastically affects golf course owners, operators and everyday golfers much more.
Golf fans and keyboard warriors can pontificate all they want about the pace of play at professional tournaments but it is those in the golf course industry, with skin in the game, who have the most to lose from the effects of slow play.
According to a survey conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA) in 2014 over 75% of the respondents strongly agreed that pace of play is critical to their enjoyment of playing golf. Not only is it affecting their enjoyment, but over 10% say it is causing them to play less golf, which is a huge red revenue flag for facility operators.
Tagmarshal to the Rescue
While the game’s ruling bodies pay lip service to the problem and muddle along with ineffective solutions, Tagmarshal, a software business that originated in South Africa and expanded to Ireland and the United States, has implemented real, actionable and proven strategies to tackle the issue.
Billing itself as “a business to business technology that optimizes field efficiencies and turns pace-of-play into an asset for a better golf experience as well as additional revenue,” Tagmarshal has signed up some of the highest profile golf facilities in the world. Familiar names include Carnoustie, Ballybunion, National Golf Links, Kiawah Island, Pebble Beach, and East Lake Country Club.
Tom Cox, Vice President of Sales for North America, asks a simple question of golf courses- “What are you doing to increase customer satisfaction?” he says. “We are offering a service to clubs that can make you money by improving the customer experience. We can increase the number of rounds, improve pace of play, player attitudes and spending at food and beverage and the pro shop,” he explains. “People have more time to have a beer, hang around, and spend time shopping as well as having had a great experience playing their round.”
In just one example, at Pebble Beach, they were able to shave 14 minutes off an average round in just six months of using Tagmarshal’s systems which translates to at least one more tee time per day. At Pebble‘s $550 per golfer that is an additional $2,200 per day.
How It Works
There are two basic systems available from Tagmarshal– a one way and a two way. In a one way small transmitters are attached to golf bags of walkers, caddies or carts and their locations are transmitted by GPS to Tagmarshals cloud servers and that information is sent to computers in the pro shop, tablets used by marshals and even mobile phones so play can be monitored by the golf staff in real time. With the two way system, notices can be sent back out to pick up the pace, for weather announcements or food and beverage information.
All that information is tabulated and available in reports that can identify historically slow players, bottlenecks and cart and foot traffic that the superintendent can use to alter traffic and preserve turf conditions.
“The system is phenomenal. The data is fantastic, extremely insightful and valuable. Plus the value it adds on due diligence and management reporting. The service and support has been great too, couldn’t ask for better. I really can’t see any course out there not using it.”
Head Golf Professional
National Golf Links of America
“Tagmarshal’s 2 Way system has modernized the golf operation here at East Lake. We can now monitor pace of play for every group on the golf course in real time and have a way to directly communicate with them via the 2 Way device. Tagmarshal has been the most popular addition to our operation amongst our members and guests because of the direct result it has on their experience. I would recommend Tagmarshal to any course looking to streamline their operation and improve golfer experience.”
Drew Dunn, PGA
Head Golf Professional
East Lake Golf Club
Working in Florida
Tagmarshal is also beginning to make inroads here in Florida. By partnering with the North Florida PGA Section and the South Florida PGA Section, member clubs are beginning to take advantage of the benefits.
Kevin Paschall, North Florida PGA Section VP and managing partner at Serenoa and Legacy Golf Clubs in the Sarasota area, explains his interest, “Initially we looked into Tagarshal to see if there was help for pace of play in season’ he said. “We had five hour rounds which were a deterrent. People didn’t want to come back.“
The result? “It’s been a huge success.” he said. “It is proactive and not reactive. The ranger and starter have iPads that show where everyone is; it’s tangible. They can show the group where they are in relation to others and have a conversation. Players are more accepting; they can see it and it registers.”
The goal of in-season pace-of-play was certainly achieved. “Our times were kept within 4:16 even with doing 220 rounds a day,” said Paschall.
For anyone who has played golf in season in Florida, a 4 hour 16 minute round is phenomenal and would be welcomed in many places. If your club needs to pick up the pace contact Tagmarshal at tagmarshal.com.