Sun, 18 Mar 2018 05:07:35 GMT
Sat, 17 Mar 2018 16:33:37 GMT
Some day we'll look back fondly on the years when we'd relive great Masters moments on YouTube watching a jittery cell phone recording of someone's television set. Or not.
H/T to Sean Zak at Golf.com for alerting us to this incredible treasure trove of broadcasts.
Where to start? It's overwhelming. Here is the menu.
Shoot, might as well go back 50 years ago and work my way up to the present!
And just for giggles, I screen captured this and will come searching for the number a year from now:
Sat, 17 Mar 2018 14:53:32 GMT
The Bears Club, Brad Faxon, Rory McIlroy, a putting "meeting," and T11 heading into the weekend? The intrigue! The drama!
The Forecaddie with details that might explained how McIlroy has gained almost six shots (First in SG!) on the Arnold Palmer Invitational field with his balky putter.
This sounds like more than a simple meeting and given the looming Masters, the desperate times did call for something...
One immediate change McIlroy made this week after seeing Faxon was in the length of his putter. He is back to using a 34.25-inch model, the same as he used in winning his four majors. Kenyon had McIlroy using a 33-inch putter.
Fri, 16 Mar 2018 22:31:05 GMT
The Forecaddie with details of the Mark Rolfing reunion with Coore and Crenshaw to liven up and restore elements to the Kapalua they created in hopes of recapturing its glory years. Even some of the original shapers are expected back. They're on a mission from God!
Golf.com's Joe Passov talked to Bill Coore about the project and I think we have a new classification of restoration with this:
From a design standpoint, Coore is "most fascinated" by the addition of a new tee box at the par-4 4th, close to the 3rd green. "We actually had it roughed in there from Day 1, but it was never put into use. Back in the days when many of the guys were hitting persimmon drivers, that tee was considered too demanding. Today, the guys are hitting it so far, well past the existing bunkers, that reviving that tee would be perfect. It's been sitting there all these years. We will just add some irrigation and cut back the native grasses."
Restoring a tee never built for the modern game. Wrap your head around that one.
Fri, 16 Mar 2018 02:03:31 GMT
Golfweek’s Kevin Casey with the nuts and bolts of Tiger’s opening round 68 on the course where he has won eight times.
ESPN.com’s Jason Sobel focuses on the 71-footer Woods made at the 7th, his 16th hole, and Tiger’s description is pretty fun.
Karen Crouse focuses on different reactions from players to having Tiger and his crowds back in the mix, including some fun comments by Paul Goydos.
Jay Coffin of GolfChannel.com on the drive hit out of bounds that annoyed Tiger because of the shot quality and not having hit a provisional while at the tee. A side note: the second shot after his provisional tee shot was particularly stout and one of the more impressive I’ve seen in his comeback bid. He had to cut it around a tree from the rough, with water left and already lying three. A slight double-cross and he makes seven or eight.
Eamon Lynch at Golfweek puts some of the hype and excitement into perspective with help from Graeme McDowell.
The reality is that this week is just another staging post on Woods’ climb back to the top, not the destination. And nor is it an omen for what might follow three weeks from now in Georgia. Woods has won the Arnold Palmer Invitational four times since he last slipped on the green jacket in 2005.
Form here does not beget form there.
None of which detracts from the excitement Woods’ strong play has brought to the sport. “It doesn’t say much for the world of golf. We were all saying how healthy things were when he was gone, and now he’s back beating us all up again. Maybe we’re not as good as we thought we were,” McDowell says, laughing. “It’s pretty impressive. And it’s good for us all.”
ESPN.com's Bob Harig profiles Joe LaCava, patient looper who waited until Tiger's return.
And the shot of the day captured during the PGA Tour Live broadcast:
Thu, 15 Mar 2018 23:16:19 GMT
The various UK punters aren't quite unanimous yet in making Tiger the 2018 Masters favorite. Can't wait to see what my ShackHouse bud House has to say about this Sunday night...
However, Jeff Sherman at Westgate Las Vegas has installed Tiger at 8-1 following his continued strong opening round play at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, reports Golfweek's Kevin Casey.
Typically, Tiger's Masters odds have been wildly inflated by curiosity bettors and while most futures numbers are fairly silly, I can't come up with a strong reason to argue against his placement is out of line.
After all, his health seems great, his mental state is fantastic, the putting sensational and the power is back. Other than having not won at Augusta National since 2005 or a tournament since 2013, it seems a matter of time.
The 8/1 is silly given how many players are on their game as they approach a place where track records matter, but favorite status seems perfect legitimate. And so surreal.
To put the difference this time around in perspective, never forget the T17 in 2015 where he came into Augusta with no rounds, no body and none of the positive energy he has now. (This Michael Bamberger SI piece is a good reminder how different that Masters lead-up was.)
Thu, 15 Mar 2018 22:55:23 GMT
After winning the Valspar Championship with a final round 65 and moving to 12th in the world, Paul Casey boarded a flight to England for a sad goodbye instead of a planned API appearance.
The Daily Mail's Derek Lawrenson talks to him after the Valspar win sunk in for a player who has top six finishes in the last three Masters but who played with a heavy heart after learning of Mary Colclough's passing. Her husband Ian was one of Casey's early supporters from his days at Burhill Golf Club.
Lawrenson writes in his weekly golf roundup:
Once he received the sad news of Mary’s passing, there was never any question of that. And so he spent the long flight home reflecting on his conflicting emotions, and life’s fateful concoction of magic and loss.
‘I played with a heavy heart, and maybe that helped,’ said Casey, who had tossed away plenty of chances to win in America during a nine-year victory drought. ‘Ian was one of my best friends when I joined Burhill. He always looked after me and still does to this day, and Mary would always tag along for the ride.
‘One of those sad stories, and we all know one. Cancer sucks.’
Thu, 15 Mar 2018 07:23:00 GMT
Perfect weather, amazing course conditioning by Chris Flynn's team and Tiger continuing to round into form after another business-like pro-am round, suggest a fantastic Arnold Palmer Invitational awaits.
The Bay Hill greens are firm and fast after several dry, cool days, a characteristic Tiger and other tough-course types love. A birdie shootout will not happen.
Crowds are expected to be huge and Woods round 1/2 playing partner Jason Day believes, contrary to the view of other young players, that Tiger feeds off the energy to his benefit. Kevin Casey reports for Golfweek.com.
As much as Tiger would love to win his 9th API, as Bob Harig writes for ESPN.com, the target remains the Masters.
Rex Hoggard at GolfChannel.com considers the many instructors Tiger has worked with and swing philosophies as he settles back into a more artistic, feel player phase.
Thu, 15 Mar 2018 05:07:00 GMT
Recent tournament winner Eddie Pepperell's latest blog entry rightfully questions whether golf (and his European Tour) should be adapting to a changing (and unhealthy) society by trying to shorten, speed-up and coolify the golf experience.
As always, I urge you to read the entire piece for context and to understand his premise, but I think it's well worth you time. But a sampling:
All of these things I believe have huge potential in dealing with chronic illnesses, whether that be physical or mental. I would imagine golf as a form of healing from depression could be enormous due to what I’ve outlined above. Plus, why change a sport to simply ‘conform’ to what we believe society ‘wants.’ Conformity is boring, each sport is different in its nature and we should celebrate that, not the opposite.
When it comes to the changes we can make as professional golfers to ensure the viewing experience is better, I do believe like many others that there are things that can be done. We should be making an example of players taking way too long to hit simple shots. We shouldn’t be advocating pre shot routines where you close your eyes, breathe slowly and pretend to be a Power Ranger. Golf can be played faster at tournament level, as well as club level. But it can never be played in 2 hours. And I don’t want golf to change itself in such a way to make that possible. I think it would ultimately be a bad move for the game and risk dilution, the same way Cricket has done.
Chief Executive Keith Pelley will not be calling on Pepperell to helm any of his cutting edge initiatives anytime soon.
We may currently have an ‘image problem’ in golf, but we don’t need to add schizophrenia to that. 40 second shot clocks may reduce a round of golf to 4 hours from 4 hours 30 minutes in a 3-Ball, but that’s still 4 hours, and in my opinion that’s not enough of a change to direct attention away from our sport being ‘too slow.’
Thu, 15 Mar 2018 02:39:23 GMT
Golfweek's Martin Kaufmann reports on a new USGA sponsorship with Rolex that means no commercial interruptions during seven of the eight USGA championships. The setup will happen at events airing on Fox Sports or FS1.
The "USGA Championship Season On Fox Presented By Rolex" does have a certain ring to it, actually, more like a tongue-tying migraine-inducing, announcers-worst-nightmare-ring.
“You will see Rolex’s brand and ideally you’ll see sponsored features from other corporate partners and things of that nature,” Hirshland said. “What you will not see is any traditional 30-second-style commercial advertising inventory.”
The U.S. Open will be the only USGA championship with traditional advertising, which Hirshland said will be “consistent with what you would have seen in past years.” Rolex, however, will present the final hour of the Open with no commercial interruption.
“For the viewer, this is a great thing,” Mark Loomis, executive producer of Fox’s live golf coverage, said of the initiative.
It's hard to fathom Fox would give up the advertising revenue if there were plenty of ad buyers, but whether they make or lose money matters not to viewers. Unless, of course this new structure leads to cut backs in production values.
Wed, 14 Mar 2018 21:13:00 GMT
Tyrell Hatton joins Andrew Coltart and Josh Antmann on the Sky Sports podcast and expresses his displeasure at perceived preferential slow play treatment for Phil Mickelson (thanks reader SE for sending).
Michael McEwan summarizes the beef Hatton had with an official for putting everyone in the WGC Mexico City final round grouping but eventual winner Phil Mickelson.
A rules official approached Mickelson, Hatton and the third member of their three-ball, Shubhankar Sharma, after they had hit their tee shots at the 15th hole. Hatton and Sharma were informed by the official that they were on the clock – but Mickelson was not.
Hatton explained: “Sharma wasn’t that slow, to be honest. He was fine. But I feel like Phil was taking quite a lot of time on certain things. We’d had a warning earlier on in the round to speed up and we kind of did but not massively.
“I’d just birdied 14 to tie with Phil and, you know, you’ve got four holes to go and it’s kind of crunch time. We had all hit good tee shots up 15 when one of the officials charged over and said, ‘Phil, you’re exempt but Tyrrell and Sharma, I’m going to start timing you.’
“Phil goes, ‘Oh, he obviously likes me’. I was raging.
Wed, 14 Mar 2018 19:53:50 GMT
The Forecaddie with the details of an almost-original cast member who is signing off after 22 years.
One of my first ever television interviews was in 1998 and Kelly was then a Golf Channel reporter. She could not have been more enjoyable to talk to and since then she's always been a class act in my eyes who has handled the unrelenting scrutiny golf projects on women with great dignity.
BTW there will be a Golfweek Q&A with Tilghman next week.
Wed, 14 Mar 2018 14:09:33 GMT
Wed, 14 Mar 2018 10:27:10 GMT
Fun stuff from Tiger about recapturing some of his old youthful magic, as Dan Kilbridge notes for Golfweek.
The full transcript answer for Tiger students:
Q. It looked like at Innisbrook a lot of shots you were really enjoying kind of the rehearsal and kind of preparing to play the shape of the shot. Is that something that has come back about at the pace you thought you would, the creativity and then also do you, are you looking forward to Augusta in part because it allows you to kind of be more creative?
TIGER WOODS: You know, I finally have gotten to the point where my back is good enough where I can let my hands tell me what to do. My hands tell me how to shape a golf shot. And I've built this golf swing that you see me out there swinging the golf club around, with my hands. My dad always used to say that that's the only thing we have direct contact with the club, so trust your hands. Playing baseball as a kid, you have to trust your hands, you trust your eyes, you trust your hands. So that's what I've done, I've trusted my hands again. My right arm and neck aren't shaking because my back's out, my nerve's out, and it's inflamed, I don't have those issues anymore. So I can trust my hands again. So, yeah, you see me creating shots and doing different things and, yeah, I'm trying to see what trajectory, what shape I want to do it and I'm letting these guys tell me what to do.
Q. Is that more fun way to play the game for you too?
TIGER WOODS: It is. I've gone back to a lot of stuff I used to do with my dad and how he first taught me how to play golf and when I sit -- after the round I told Rex after the round he asked, what were you thinking on the putt on 17 and I said, just putt to the picture. How do you teach a kid when he's so small and he doesn't understand an inch and a mile, well you take a look and you putt to that picture and that's what I did. I kept telling myself just putt to the picture, putt to the picture and I holed it.
Wed, 14 Mar 2018 01:57:30 GMT
The PGA of America's survey on distance is in and they are against a rollback that has not been proposed. The votes mirror the PGA board's position, as outlined prior to the vote by PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua.
As the process makes taking the results seriously almost impossible, you do have to wonder about all of the PGA members who voted about the joys of distance as their dues are used to fund aggressive grow-the-game campaigns. You know, campaigns deemed necessary because the technology era has not grown the game and the PGA of America is pursuing a long list of growth initiatives.
Here is the letter from current PGA President Paul Levy (of no actual golf facility) telling the members how they voted and how the PGA board will protect their wishes:
Tue, 13 Mar 2018 19:30:12 GMT
The Forecaddie with all the details on 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia's donation-choice to the legendary Augusta National collection.
It's also a friendly reminder that a hole extended by Augusta National is now being approached with 8-irons, even with the slower-rolling fairways.
Tue, 13 Mar 2018 19:11:44 GMT
While we're in media announcements mode, SiriusXM and the PGA Tour have agreed on an extension until 2021 when current television contracts expire.
Not that long ago, the SiriusXM/PGA Tour relationship was very much up in the air until the last moment, so this is a welcome extension for those who appreciate the live tournament coverage--extra-handy of late--or those who enjoy the various talk shows.
For Immediate Release:
PGA TOUR, SiriusXM sign four-year extension
SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel will continue to deliver extensive live tournament coverage and daily golf talk to fans nationwide through 2021
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida and NEW YORK, New York – The PGA TOUR and SiriusXM announced today that they have reached a four-year extension to their broadcasting agreement, which will continue extensive tournament coverage on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio for subscribers nationwide through 2021.
SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio listeners enjoy live coverage of every round of most PGA TOUR events throughout the season – including THE PLAYERS Championship, the four events of the FedExCup Playoffs and the biennial Presidents Cup – with hole-by-hole commentary and expert analysis, on the only audio channel dedicated to professional golf.
Subscribers can listen to the SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel on SiriusXM radios (Sirius channel 208, XM channel 92), and those with streaming access can listen online, on-the-go with the SiriusXM mobile app and at home on a wide variety of connected devices, including smart TVs, Amazon Alexa devices, Apple TV, PlayStation, Roku, Sonos speakers and more. For more information, visit www.SiriusXM.com/SiriusXMPGATOURRadio.
“We are very pleased to continue our relationship with SiriusXM, whose growing subscriber base is an important and effective way for the TOUR to reach fans across the country,” said Rick Anderson, the PGA TOUR’s Chief Media Officer. “The PGA TOUR represents the pinnacle of competitive golf and we are thrilled to work with SiriusXM to continue delivering the best golf in the world to fans everywhere, whether they are in their cars, at home or on the go.”
“PGA TOUR coverage is a very important part of our sports programming lineup, and we are very pleased to extend our long-term relationship with the TOUR to continue to give our listeners an extensive schedule of in-depth tournament broadcasts,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer. “No other audio or streaming broadcaster can match SiriusXM’s level of golf programming, and whether it is via our radios or our app, we continue to deliver it to fans anywhere across the country.”
Since 2005, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio has featured a variety of broadcasters working on comprehensive play-by-play coverage, including former TOUR winners Mark Carnevale, Mark McCumber, Dennis Paulson, John Rollins, Paul Stankowski and Phil Tataurangi. Earl Forcey anchors the coverage most weeks, with Fred Albers, Doug Bell, Jane Crafter, Will Haskett, Mark Immelman, Kevin Sylvester, Bill Rosinski, Tom Werme and Mark Zecchino among those returning to provide exclusive play-by-play coverage and player interviews from inside the ropes.
Tue, 13 Mar 2018 16:30:29 GMT
It's fascinating on several fronts to hear that the CEO of Taylor Made is anti-bifurcation, oddly joining him with Titleist and...by the people he's imploring not to bifurcate: the anti-bifurcation USGA and R&A.
The potential for splitting the rules or playing tour-only specs prompted Taylor Made's David Abeles to issue a statement both reinforcing the importance of the rules while declaring that they should not change.
"The TaylorMade Golf Company opposes any potential roll back of product performance or bifurcation of the rules in any form as we believe these movements will be detrimental to the game at every level," Abeles said. "Any separation from the rules or any step backward in performance would be disadvantageous to the growth of the game."
The full statement:
Tue, 13 Mar 2018 11:39:58 GMT
No one should underestimate the popularity of Topgolf and given that they fill arenas now to watch people play eSports, I like its chances of engaging and showing another side of golf.
The Shotmakers team names sound like cultish Crossfit wannabes or strip clubs, but hey, there are only so many names you can grab without getting sued these days.
For Immediate Release:
SHOTMAKERS – NEW GOLF COMPETITION AT TOPGOLF IS SET TO PREMIERE MONDAY, APRIL 9 ON GOLF CHANNEL
Inspired by the Topgolf Experience, Nine Co-Ed Teams Battle in Innovative Golf Channel Shotmaking Competition
Shotmakers Sizzle: www.Shotmakers.com
ORLANDO, Fla., (March 12, 2018) – Shotmakers, an innovative new golf competition where precision shotmaking meets intense strategy in a fast-paced format, was announced today. Premiering Monday, April 9 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel, Shotmakers will feature the fun, social experience for which Topgolf is known, blending entertainment, golf and technology throughout the competition. The announcement was made today by Phil Piazza, Golf Channel senior vice president of programming and Topgolf Media President YuChiang Cheng.
Surrounded by the Topgolf experience in Las Vegas, nine co-ed teams of two will pair up in head-to-head competitions that test precision, distance and control, all while facing intense pressure and strategic decision-making. The 18 competitors include a former PGA TOUR professional, mini-tour professional golfers, an Olympian, former collegiate athletes, a former World No. 1 World Long Drive competitor, a trick-shot artist, decorated military veterans, and champions from the Topgolf Tour.
“Shotmakers is a great opportunity to introduce a progressive approach to golf competition, featuring dynamic personalities from across the sports landscape,” said Phil Piazza, Golf Channel senior vice president of programming. “Shotmakers also will showcase what Topgolf has been doing for 17 years – evolving the narrative around golf and redefining golf participation.”
The competition will utilize Toptracer by Topgolf, the leading technology used on PGA TOUR televised broadcasts that immediately shows players their ball’s flight, speed, distance and curve on screen, as well as the games made popular at the 41 Topgolf venues around the world. Teams will compete for cash and prizes in each competition and will be eliminated until one team is left standing as the champion of Shotmakers.
“Topgolf is proud to partner with Golf Channel for Shotmakers. This show advances our mutual commitment to growing the game through original content that inspires and entertains our audiences,” said Topgolf Media President YuChiang Cheng. “Through Shotmakers, Topgolf blends our unique brand experience with sports, creating compelling content that can be enjoyed by everyone.”
Shotmakers is co-hosted by 3-time college national player of the year Amanda Blumenherst and golf host Shane Bacon, along with Golf Channel reporter Chantel McCabe and social media correspondent Alexandra O’Laughlin. Shotmakers will feature seven rounds of competition airing two nights a week– Monday and Tuesday nights – at 9 p.m. ET beginning April 9 and concluding April 30. The series will also be distributed across Golf’s international platforms, airing in more than 60 countries worldwide.
IMPACT, sponsored by CDW:
SUSANA BENAVIDES (27, Cochabamba, Bolivia) Professional golfer, only Bolivian-born golfer to compete on the LPGA Tour, former top-ranked amateur in South America.
TOMMY BIERSHENK (44, Greenville, S.C.) Former PGA TOUR professional, two-time All-American at Clemson University, golf course owner.
SHARKS, sponsored by Corona Premier:
TANIA TARE (29, Auckland, New Zealand) Professional golfer, trick-shot artist, record-holder for lowest single round while competing for Florida International University with a 63.
MAURICE ALLEN (36, Pine Hills, Fla.) Former World No. 1 World Long Drive competitor, 3-time World Long Drive winner, All-American at Florida A&M in track.
STRIKERS, sponsored by Travelocity:
VICTORIA LOVELADY (31, Sao Paolo, Brazil) Professional golfer currently competing on the Symetra and Ladies European Tour, Olympian who represented Brazil in 2016 Rio Olympics.
ROBBIE BIERSHENK (41, Greenville, S.C.) Driving range owner, former mini-tour player, featured on Golf Channel’s Chasing the Dream series.
LIGHTNING, sponsored by MGM Grand:
KENZIE O’CONNELL (26, Denver, Colo.) Golf teaching instructor, Women With Drive ambassador.
CHAD PFEIFER (36, Caldwell, Idaho) Professional golfer, decorated U.S. Army Corporal (retired) who credits golf saving his life, two-time Warrior Open champion, amputee (lower leg).
SEEKERS, sponsored by Waste Management
CHRISTINA LECUYER (35, Conway, Ark.) Professional corporate/charity golf host and media personality, two-time All-American from the University of Central Arkansas, former professional golfer.
MATT COUSENS (26, London, England) PGA teaching professional, 2017 Topgolf Tour Championship runner-up with fellow Shotmakers competitor Brad Barnes.
WARRIORS, sponsored by Avis:
NIKKI BONDURA (25, Sacramento, Calif.) Golf lifestyle blogger, co-owner of Women With Drive.
BRAD BARNES (23, London, England) 2017 Topgolf Tour Championship runner-up with fellow Shotmakers competitor Matt Cousens.
ACES, sponsored by Topgolf:
TISHA ABREA (24, Murrieta, Calif.) Professional golfer competing on the mini-tours in 2018, co-owner of Women With Drive.
JAMIE PUTERBAUGH (33, Carlsbad, Calif.) PGA of America professional and teaching instructor, 2016-17 Topgolf Tour Championship finalist with fellow Shotmakers competitor Peter Campbell.
RINGERS, sponsored by Massage Envy:
HAILEY OSTROM (24, Phoenix, Ariz.) Professional golfer currently competing on mini tours.
ANDREW BACHELDER (36, Fort Worth, Texas) 2015 Warrior Open champion, decorated U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant (retired) who credits golf with saving his life.
HAWKS, sponsored by Topgolf:
CHELSEA PEZZOLA (25, Scottsdale, Ariz.) Professional golfer, standout junior golfer at IMG Academy, two-time Academic All-Big Ten at University of Michigan.
PETER CAMPBELL (33, Carlsbad, Calif.) Former PGA TOUR professional, golf instructor, 2016-17 Topgolf Tour Championship finalist with fellow Shotmakers competitor Jamie Puterbaugh.
Tue, 13 Mar 2018 11:24:03 GMT
I didn't have much luck getting the app up and running, but it's only Tuesday and I have the patience of a gnat. Nonetheless, techies should get a kick out of the latest offering from the PGA Tour and Mastercard to the arsenal of innovation.
You can download the Apple device version here.
For Immediate Release:
PGA TOUR introduces live augmented reality app
“PGA TOUR AR” app debuts today ahead of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – Today the PGA TOUR introduced PGA TOUR AR, a brand new augmented reality (AR) app bringing live AR tournament coverage to life for fans around the world on their iPhone and iPad. Live AR coverage on PGA TOUR AR will begin in conjunction with the opening round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard on Thursday, March 15. The PGA TOUR AR app is available for free exclusively in the App Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pga-tour-ar/id1349934082?ls=1&mt=8.
Mastercard is the Official Launch Partner of the PGA TOUR AR app that will feature exclusive branding within the AR app and will showcase the app in fan areas at Bay Hill Club.
“Exploring unparalleled technologies like AR helps the PGA TOUR reach new audiences around the world,” said Rick Anderson, PGA TOUR Chief Media Officer. “Tapping into ARKit in iOS 11 allows us to showcase real-time data provided by ShotLink and CDW in a rich, visual way for fans. The PGA TOUR takes pride in bringing new technology to the sports world as a way of communicating to a large, diverse audience.”
PGA TOUR AR puts augmented reality golf experiences into the hands of hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPad users, allowing fans to interact with 3D featured holes and live 3D shot trails on any flat surface right in front of them. On featured holes throughout the season, fans will be able to select their favorite player on the golf course, compare shot trails from each round and compare the shots of different players. Starting at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the featured hole is the par-5 No. 6, while the par-3 seventh hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links will be available for fans to go back and review shot trails from this year’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
THE PLAYERS Championship will feature Nos. 16, 17 and 18 live and in AR, and at the season-ending TOUR Championship, East Lake Golf Club’s No. 18 will be highlighted. The PGA TOUR plans to add more holes from other tournaments leading up to the TOUR Championship and ultimately plans to feature at least one hole at every tournament on the PGA TOUR schedule.
“We are thrilled to partner with the PGA TOUR in bringing live AR to fans this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational,” said Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Mastercard. “Mastercard shares a common bond with the PGA TOUR that revolves around innovation, and this technology aligns with our promise to our cardholders to provide Priceless experiences. We are excited about continued conversations on how the PGA TOUR’s AR app will rollout new enhancements and provide consumers from around the world a new way to engage with the game of golf.”
An update to the PGA TOUR AR app later this year will enable an on-course AR experience where fans at a golf tournament can hold up their device in front of any hole and the technology will display shot trails for selected players live or during a past round of the user’s choosing.
The development of the PGA TOUR AR app in collaboration with POSSIBLE Mobile, part of the creative agency POSSIBLE, was aided by existing data gathered by ShotLink powered by CDW, the TOUR’s longstanding state-of-the-art scoring system. ShotLink through CDW technology captures and reports real-time vital information on every shot, by every player, during tournament competition. Every shot is translated into thousands of statistics, changing the way fans watch – and now interact with - the PGA TOUR, bringing them closer to the action. ShotLink and CDW’s vision is to turn data into information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into entertainment.
“This app empowers us to creatively display and share data captured by ShotLink and CDW with fans in an entirely new way,” said Devon Fox, PGA TOUR Director, Digital Platform Innovation, who was recently named as one of the Top Women in Digital by Cynopsis. “Utilizing the biggest AR platform in the world, we can instantly reach millions of new golf fans around the world in an exciting and fun style.”
The PGA TOUR AR app was built using ARKit in iOS 11 to provide immersive AR experiences for the game of golf. ARKit helps app developers like the PGA TOUR blend digital objects and information with the environment, taking apps far beyond the screen and freeing them to interact with the real world in entirely new ways. For more information on ARKit visit: https://developer.apple.com/arkit/.
The TOUR is considering several enhancements within the PGA TOUR AR app for fans who attend tournaments to help them locate their favorite venues, merchandise locations and concession stands, or finding their favorite player on the course. This allows the TOUR and its partners to develop creative ways to interact with fans to form a more enjoyable on course experience. As the technology progresses, the TOUR expects to work with sponsors to display their brands within the app in innovative ways. Possible enhancements include creating custom AR experiences such as displaying branded venues on each hole, video boards that show highlights from the event, or giving fans the opportunity to take full 360 views of a product.
“New technologies are exciting, but only if they can add a new and valuable dimension to an experience,” said Ben Reubenstein, CEO, POSSIBLE Mobile. “Golf is a perfect fit for leveraging augmented reality by providing a cutting-edge way for fans to interact with the sport.”