Will the new shot clock format be the actual cause of improvement to the game of golf?

The Shot Clock Masters was marked as the first tournament in professional golf to use a shot clock on every stroke, with the intent of showcasing golf played at a more faster pace.

How it worked was if a player was the first to play an approach shot, chip or putt into a green, they were given 50 seconds. The players that followed were given 40 seconds to play their shots. Players were given 40 seconds to tee off on par 4s and par 5s. If they failed to play a stroke at the allotted time they would be given a penalty stroke.

But the question on everyone’ss mind was would this new format be the actual cause of improvement to the game or would it be because of the additional media attention and greater awareness being placed on professional tournaments to manage pace, and, of course, the added accountability being forced onto professional golfers.

Certainly not.

The problem with the shot clock format is that it does not take anything into consideration other than how long a player is taking to play a shot. Some shots need more time than others. Players are playing on tougher courses and are in fields of 150+ players. So, slow play is inevitable.

The idea behind battling slow play is not about naming and shaming players, it is about creating a superior player experience for next generation of golfers and keeping them engaged.

Considering that golf is played by millions of people, on thousands of courses around the world, it is worth understanding the practicality of how this new format would be adopted by regular golf courses?

Without expensive management controls, strict penalty rules, and a massive staff requirement, regular courses simply would not be able to consider implementing this format of the game.

An ideal solution to one of golf’s biggest headaches is exploring Tagmarshal’s golf course intelligence system. Courses using Tagmarshal realize a substantial return on investments, and an almost immediate increase in daily rounds, through optimized field management, improved on-course experiences, while achieving this with less staff. Easy-to-use pace analytics, weather data integration, and geo-fencing complete the offering.

Combined with the best features of the traditional golfing experience with highly innovative technology, Tagmarshal improves efficiencies, saves costs and increases revenue with actionable data and intuitive technology.

Experimenting with a shot clock is a step in the right direction, however, it is not the answer to the game’s biggest epidemic.

There is no question that there is an urgent need to try and modernize our game. if not, then you run the risk of falling behind and losing out on an engaged audience and more importantly millennials to ensure the continuity of the beautiful game.

Do you have any thoughts on the new format or the changes of golf formats for the modern era of golf? How does your golf course set, monitor, and evaluate individual pace goal times?

About the author

Craig Kleu, COO, and Co-founder of Tagmarshal.

A passionate golfer, Craig was inspired to create a smart technology solution to benefit course operators and golf players alike. More than our Operations Director, Craig maintains the soul of a customer success manager for Tagmarshal.