Is Pace a Problem for All Courses?

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By Dr. Lou Riccio

Pace of play may not pose a problem for some courses, not because it is under control, but because the venue offers other, very appealing qualities. Consider a great resort course or a major championship venue. Such courses can charge high fees and still bring in lots of patrons. What do golfers expect at those courses? Why do they choose to pay such high fees when there are nearby courses that charge as little as one tenth as much?


First, they want to play where the greats play (or have played) for either a once in a lifetime experience, or just to have some bragging rights. (What? Golfers like to brag and tell tall tales, you say?) Second they want a beautiful course, in perfect condition. Third they want great scenery or special/unique landscape formations.


Those are the critical factors that create the golfing experience as players see it for that type of course. Players on those courses are NOT concerned with the difficulty of the course. At such a course, there is probably no correlation between course difficulty and player skill level of the players who choose to play there.  Players are most likely not concerned with the pace either. They are not there to get the round over with quickly.


Pace is not the important factor in making the decision to play such a course. Most golfers on such courses would be happy to take 5 and one half hours to play since the extra time means more time spent enjoying the view and enjoying the fresh outdoors. Many are on vacation and not in a hurry to finish. And for the experience, price is not an issue as well.


But if your course is not one of those, pace is likely an issue. Golfers have to decide whether to play or not, and where to play. Many golfers pick a course to play by location and skill level matching. Other considerations include a combination of course condition and price (value for the price.) Those are important, but pace is certainly part of the equation as well.


How important is pace? Although it is hard to pinpoint precisely, its importance is not zero.  Golfers are faced with the problem that if they want to play, can they fit it in? What kind of pace experience do they expect at a specific course? How long will the round take? Are there long waits to hit shots?


Pace of play is likely a significant factor in the two decisions: to play or not to play, and where to play. For private clubs, the first is more important, to play or not to play. For public and daily fee players, it is both whether to play and where to play. If a course owner or manager doesn’t believe that to be true, they just might soon be managing a new real estate development rather than a golf course.

Visit FAIRWAYiQ to find out how we can help your course better manage Pace-of-Play

Silicon Valley Golf Clubs sign up for FAIRWAYiQ

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The momentum continues to build, as FAIRWAYiQ signs two Silicon Valley golf clubs.  La Rinconada Country Club (Los Gatos, CA) and Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club (Menlo Park, CA) have independently moved to the FAIRWAYiQ platform, to help drive efficiency across their Golf & Maintenance operations.

 

Why FAIRWAYiQ?

With an emphasis on Pace of Play, Enhancing the Player Experience, and Improving Course Maintenance Vehicle Management; both clubs have turned to FAIRWAYiQ’s unique industry leading technology.

 

Industry Leading Technology

Unlike all other asset tracking competitors in the golf industry, FAIRWAYiQ doesn’t use cellular networking. Many golf clubs have experienced the painful limitations with cellular coverage, cost and power consumption. At conception in 2015, FAIRWAYiQ recognized these limitations, and went about building the 1st LoRa based real-time Asset Tracking and Predictive Maintenance platform. In 2017 LoRa is now recognized as the global standard network for the Internet of Things, and FAIRWAYiQ’s technology has already captivated the golf industry, with customers across North America, including major pilots with golfs leading brands & businesses.

 

Learn More

If your club is looking for easy set-up, low cost, 100% coverage and real-time connectivity with the industries most advanced algorithms, analytics and application platform, then check-out FAIRWAYiQ.com

 

What is LoRa: http://www.semtech.com/wireless-rf/internet-of-things/what-is-lora/

FAIRWAYiQ - How It Works: https://www.fairwayiq.com/how-it-works/

Pace of Play Management Series: "Factory Physics and Pace of Play"

Pace of Play Management Series:  "Factory Physics and Pace of Play"

This post is the second in a series on the science of pace of play management.  Through his extensive research, Dr. Lou Riccio, FAIRWAYiQ's chief analytics officer, has developed actionable pace of play management techniques that are outlined in his "Pace of Play Bible." These proven techniques are based upon science and are the results of years of research - they are not hunches or guesses.  

Pace of Play Management Series: "The Problem Defined"

Pace of Play Management Series: "The Problem Defined"

This post is the first in a series on the science of pace of play management.  Through his extensive research, Dr. Lou Riccio, FAIRWAYiQ's chief analytics officer, has developed actionable pace of play management techniques that are outlined in his "Pace of Play Bible." These proven techniques are based upon science and are the results of years of research - they are not hunches or guesses.  

Some of the techniques that will be discussed in future posts can be implemented immediately and others will require more work. 

Our introductory topic in this series on pace of play management is "The Problem Defined".  

Data-Driven Driving: How One Company Is Bringing The Science Of Process Optimization To The Golf Course

Data-Driven Driving: How One Company Is Bringing The Science Of Process Optimization To The Golf Course

Our Objective – Solve the No.1 problem Superintendents face every day.  Managing the productivity of staff & equipment.  For grounds departments, staff & equipment costs account for 40-60% of their overall budget.  We repeatedly hear Superintendents tell us it’s impossible to oversee all their staff, as they just can’t be ‘everywhere at once’.  When Super’s tried to find solutions, and even implement systems, to help make their staff & equipment more efficient, their assistants ended-up spending dozens of hours each week entering information into software programs, that didn’t work properly.  It’s a huge problem. No one had created a task tracker system to efficiently track the productivity of staff & equipment.

Improving the Player Experience

Improving the Player Experience

The data captured from the Smart-Tag is run through the FAIRWAYiQ proprietary algorithms, which then surface live & predictive efficiency driving insights to course operators. This industry changing information enables operators to better understand their course, and where necessary make data driven decisions to improve utilization.

Bringing Data Analytics to the Golf Course

Bringing Data Analytics to the Golf Course

Data is collected from the Smart-Tags and run through our proprietary algorithms, which then surfaces efficiency driving insights to the course operators.  All this is done in real-time, and presented as analytics through our application, that’s based on an air-traffic-control view of the course. When there’s an issue that needs to be dealt with, operations staff are automatically alerted, and given recommended actions to solve the problem.   One example here is pace of play management.

Why should Superintendents track their staff & equipment?

Why should Superintendents track their staff & equipment?

A staff member can then be automatically dispatched, through our task tracker system, to complete the task and be made aware of the time remaining before the next group of golfers, encroaches on the area where they’re working. Our golf course management solution automatically benchmarks the time it takes to complete activities, like mowing fairways, rolling greens or cutting the rough, and compare those benchmarks against actual staff performance. 

A Modern Solution for a Traditional Game

A Modern Solution for a Traditional Game

Currently course operators have a limited understanding of what is happening beyond line-of-sight, and resort to driving around the golf course, hoping to correctly discover course flow issues. Very little data is being used to manage operations, and even that data is often inaccurate. Golf course operators don’t want to be reactive when it comes to servicing customers, because players naturally expect an enjoyable experience. This has all led to years of unsuccessful industry focus on pace of play management, which unfortunately has only had a detrimental impact on the game.