The organizers of this week’s Ryder Cup tie by tradition, dedicating to multi-year technology reviews to provide real-time golf scores and stats, live spectators and course maps and other data services. It brings a high level of analysis to the games.
Ahead of the three-day tournament that begins Friday at Whistling Straits Golf Club in Wisconsin, the PGA of America’s technical staff will provide physical and other underlying technical systems for connectivity, Wi-Fi and other underlying technology systems. I started setting up a digital device. Sites with over 450 Wi-Fi access points and 650 Internet Protocol TVs.
“When we host a major championship, we build a small town to support it,” said Kevin Scott, the group’s chief technology officer. “Nobody thought there was so much technology in golf, but because the camera is aimed at the player, there are so many things you can’t see on TV,” he said.
Scott said the event’s technology backbone, along with the new cloud-based information technology system, is more reliable and provides a wider range of user services than ever before. The tournament, which competes against European and American players, is expected to attract more than 40,000 spectators per day.
Scott joined Palm Beach Gardens in Florida four years ago as the first technology chief and was responsible for upgrading aging technology to what he described as a “very traditional IT organization.”
In addition to the Ryder Cup, the PGA of America hosts several professional championships each year for the men’s, women’s and senior tours. But its broader mission is, among other initiatives, to promote grassroots golf sports by connecting amateur players to golf professionals and coaches of the nearly 28,000 members of clubs across the country.
Scott says his main role is to provide access to the digital tools and services members need to do their jobs, from administrative tasks to introducing new golfers to the sport. Growth.
One of their first moves was to dismantle the group’s old network itself and replace it with a browser-based system secured by multi-factor authentication protection. “When I started, half of the people on the team had the word ‘network’ in their title,” Scott said. Instead, they took a more customer-centric approach to IT and refocused on building apps and services tailored to the specific needs of users.
Over the past four years, they have moved all of their organization’s IT systems from their data center to a third-party cloud service. The move adds the ability to expand computing power as needed, providing both off-the-shelf and customizable software for more advanced features such as powerful search engines and artificial intelligence models. I did “The cloud is safe and fast, and things never go down,” Scott said.
To avoid the fierce competition for technicians, Scott uses Upwork as a skill-specific freelancer, an online platform that matches freelance workers and employers. “To earn the championship, we decided to build a team that could work in the field, including freelance developers and engineers,” he said. This strategy helped to get the new initiative back on track and completed faster, while halving the average cost.
One of the recent projects was the creation of a dynamic online job board for golf professionals. The second was to develop an online search tool that would allow golfers to find coaches in their area.
There are signs that these and other efforts are in the works. Less affected by Covid-19 than many indoor sports, the sport has skyrocketed in popularity. Last year, US golfers played 502 million rounds, the most since 2007, according to the National Golf Foundation. According to industry groups, the number of non-golfers interested in playing has increased by 1.5 million from 2019 to 17 million.
The use of digital technology is also increasing. This year, for the first time, the PGA of America will enable players to use distance measurement devices at three major tournaments. A tool that some golf purists disagree with is used to determine the exact distance of a hole.
Many clubs and courses are now equipped with GPS devices that track golfers’ movements across the field, helping course operators identify areas of slow motion and eliminate obstacles causing backup. I am using data. More players, including professionals, seasoned amateurs and beginners, are using sensors and data analysis to find swing glitches and improve the game.
For the Ryder Cup, Scott’s team created a live Spectator app. It helps users navigate the Whistling Straits course, up-to-date parking information, restaurant and souvenir shop information, and provides other features such as digital scorecards. Use the data from the scanner. Camera, mobile device, fast computer speed.
“You can see in real time how the crowd is moving,” Scott said. “We also have a camera on the concession line.”
write to Angus Rotten ([email protected])
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