Pace of play is currently the hot topic on the professional Tours – but improving it and, consequently, enhancing the golfer experience, is key to individual golf clubs and their players.
That’s just one reason why the presence of Tagmarshal’s managing director Stephen Knoop at next week’s Golf Club Managers Association (GCMA) biennial conference – to be held at De Vere Cotswold Water Park, from November 10-12 – should prove of great interest to attendees.
Knoop, whose name will be familiar to fans of Irish rugby union from his time as a prop forward with Connacht and Leinster, is now leading the company’s growth in Europe, as its golf course management system increases revenue and optimises player experience at a number of world-renowned clubs.
Improving pace of play is just one part of the benefits of the market-leading, golf course intelligence software provided by Tagmarshal, whose system is in use at more than 250 courses across the globe, including 25 of the US Top 100, such as the 2017 US Open host Erin Hills, US Open host Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, the TOUR championship host East Lake Golf Club, and 2020 Ryder Cup host Whistling Straits, to name but a few.
In the UK and Europe, Tagmarshal is also in use, optimising on-course operations at prestigious venues such as Open Championship course Carnoustie, Ballybunion – a world top-20 course – The Grove, near London, highly regarded Iberian venues, such as West Cliffs, Club de Golf Alcanada and Sotogrande, and a large number of mid-range clubs, both private and pay-to-play.
In addition to improving the player experience through pace of play management, partners also benefit from optimised on-course efficiency, resulting in cost savings as well as generating additional revenue.
Tagmarshal’s industry-leading algorithms display real-time alerts for clubhouse staff and marshals to pre-emptively address golfers falling behind the required pace of play. Data transmission is provided from a small GPS device clipped to golfers’ bags or installed on buggies.
The real-time data, from these devices, feeds back to the marshals or to the pro shop and golf office. It allows course staff to efficiently identify groups that are out of position, and intervene in a proactive, non-confrontational manner. This results in a balanced course flow, improved player experience, consistent round times and player time freed up to spend on food and beverage, and in the pro shop.
Data shows partner courses are routinely able to shave off between 14 and 24 minutes from an average round, in just six months, using Tagmarshal’s systems – the equivalent of one more tee-time per day.
This ensures a well-balanced on-course experience, and optimised player satisfaction in what is a key factor in golfer enjoyment. At Erin Hills, an improvement of 17 minutes per round resulted in new customers and $140,000 in additional green-fee revenue last season – a figure sure to be of interest to managers and number crunchers at the GCMA conference.
Knoop said: “Tagmarshal partnered with the GCMA a few years back and this is a great opportunity for me to meet with members and like-minded individuals to discuss the merits of a data-driven course management system.
“Pace of play is the hot topic currently, but course flow – the term we prefer to use – is but one element of our software, which affords complete operational oversight with actionable data. The evidence that it works is not anecdotal – the results are in the data itself.
“Soon, all golf course operations will be managed in this way and the early adopters are already reaping the benefits. I’m looking forward to engaging with operators who’d like to learn more, not just about Tagmarshal, but about how data will increasingly drive the management of golf in the future.”
GCMA Conference https://www.gcma.org.uk/diary/conference/
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