After the NFL Microsoft has added another sports franchise to their cap, with the company announcing today that they have struck a 3 year technology agreement with PGA TOUR , and are working together to create a number of universal Windows Apps. PGA Tour has also already rolled out 800 Windows 10 devices to employees and course volunteers, and are planning to increase this to 1,300.
The 3 planned apps are designed to bring tournament insights to staff and golf fans everywhere.
“Fans want to be able to see each drive, approach shot and putt in real-time and compare tournaments,” said Steve Evans, SVP and Chief Information Officer, PGA TOUR. “Technology plays a key role in making that a reality across any digital device, but using modern day technology doesn’t stop with us providing interesting and fun user experiences. It’s also about using technology like Windows 10 to drive PGA TOUR operations to deliver a better experience for our employees, our players and our fans around the world.”
One of the apps is a Windows Phone app Walking Scorer which is designed to track and manage player and course info and deliver instant stats to TOUR staff. The second app that volunteers will transition to is the ‘Laser Operator’ which also runs on Lumia devices and collects data from laser sensors on the greens. The third app they tested at the tournament was the ‘Grid View’, which runs on Surface Pro 4 devices and will be used by a volunteer around the green to digitally input ball position when the laser operator has an obstructed view.
“With the Microsoft Surface Pro and Lumia devices running Windows 10, the PGA TOUR will have intuitive, secure and easy to use devices that allow our volunteers to track every shot and deliver accurate and timely data to our backend systems,” said Steve Evans, Chief Information Officer, PGA TOUR.
Another exciting experience the PGA TOUR and Microsoft showcased was the ‘Tournament Companion’ app, which is currently being beta tested with attendees during the tournament. Fans will be able to use the app to track tournament data including: player location via a heat map, the ‘pickles’ diagram (i.e. the bird’s eye view of the course and holes), statistical game analysis, player leader boards – and they can even play live games with other attendees.
Additionally, Microsoft is testing a golf performance app that built with Windows 10 and Azure. It allows instructors to record videos of their student’s swing, analyze and annotate the slow motion replay, and save all of the footage to the Microsoft Cloud. Students can access and review their swing footage after their lessons, on the go from any device.
Over the coming months, the PGA TOUR plans to continue to integrate Microsoft technology into its organization, using the power of the Microsoft Cloud and Office 365 to better integrate data and video analysis for golf fans, staff, players and commentators.
See more about the partnership in the video below.