The headlines and tweets will be in full circulation for The Open Championship this week. Is Tiger in top form? Can Rory deliver? And how about the $40,000 Burgundy that Phil Mickelson drank out of the Claret Jug?
One headline flying under the radar as the world’s best visit Royal Liverpool on England’s Golf Coast may be best described as “We’ve Got You Covered.” TheOpen.com, The Open Championship app, Watch ESPN, Golf Channel and social media will keep the world well-informed of all the action at golf’s third major. Whether you’re an avid golfer or casual fan, you’ll know who’s atop the leaderboard before hopping in the shower Thursday morning, as players begin teeing off at 1:25 a.m. EST.
Just as it has with other mainstream sports, technology has penetrated the golf industry on all fronts. The last five-plus years has seen a significant spike in new golf technology and software. To highlight a few, there are range finders (Bushnell, Leupold); game improvement software (V1, Game Golf); or tournament and scoring software (Golf Genius Software, VPAR).
While the industry is still arguably defined by pleated khakis and five-hour rounds, tech companies are taking a proactive approach to saving time, reducing pace of play and improving the overall golf experience. As Bushnell’s website states for their Pro X7 JOLT, “The Pro X7 features incredible ranging capability, PinSeeker with JOLT Technology to help you zero in on the flag and second generation E.S.P. to provide ultra-accurate yardages faster than ever before.”
The fact of the matter is that golfers taking up the game nowadays didn’t grow up with typewriters or rotary phones, but with PlayStations, iPads and iPhones. Companies are now looking to implement those technologies and their intuitive user interfaces into golf training. V1 Golf, for example, explains that its app aims to “Capture, compare and improve your golf swing on your iPhone, iPad or Android device. Record and analyze your swing or compare it side-by-side to V1 Golf’s library of Tour Professionals.”
Technology enables golfers of all skill levels to train like the pros, but what about providing a Tour-like experience on the course? While no app or algorithm will put the claret jug in your hands to imbibe a rare red, software companies are enhancing the way amateur players experience a round of golf. Golf Genius is an example of an experience-focused technology, which as one user states, “gives amateurs a glimpse into the world of Tour pros. With live scoring, updated leaderboards, player stats and a user-friendly app, Golf Genius helped make it exciting and cool to compete in events.” Golf Genius provides tournament administration and scoring software for golf events, leagues and trips with pricing models designed for a variety of groups — ranging from corporate or weeknight beer leagues to country club member-guests and Saturday morning senior leagues.
So while you watch The Open Championship on TV with the app open on your iPad and tweeting from your phone about a clutch Tiger sand save, take a look at some of the companies making the golf experience more exciting, engaging and entertaining for all weekend warriors.