By Patrick G. Childress
One of my favorite parts of summer, much to my wife’s chagrin, is watching golf on Sunday afternoons. Sometimes it’s on in the background while I’m tending the grill, and other times I’m parked on the sofa seeing who can sink that 30-footer to win the tournament. I enjoy watching the pros hit shot after shot that I can’t ever seem to pull off myself.
Working at IBM, I am fortunate to be able to combine my love of golf with my day job of managing and designing new mobile applications as part of the IBM Interactive design team. Over the past 15 years, this team has been developing unique digital experiences for clients. Most recently, we were tasked with designing and building a new iPad app for the United States Golf Association (USGA), to launch in conjunction with the 2013 U.S. Open, the largest golf tournament in the U.S.
Designed with fans in mind, the U.S. Open iPad app is the ideal companion for following the toughest test in golf. One of the features I’m most proud of is “Hole Insights,” which allows fans to watch live, hole-by-hole, golf statistics, as well as understand the impact of those stats to a player’s score. For example, you will be able to see in real-time what percentage of golfers who missed the fairway on Hole 3 went on to card a birdie, par or bogey (or worse!) for that hole. One fun result of this is that as the tournament unfolds, fans will know which shots on the course turn out to be most important to the eventual winner.
For fans who like their live video and sports statistics in equal doses, the app has a video console that integrates streaming video with live data from the course, on one screen. For each day of championship play, the console will present a full leader board (where you can choose up to five favorites to follow), Hole Insights and individual scoring information for each of the featured golfers in the Marquee Group.
The beauty of living in today’s digital world is that sports statistics, data and information is abundant and available in real-time.
I hope you enjoy the new U.S. Open iPad app’s immersive look at the 2013 U.S. Open, and invite you to check it out here.