Golf marries tradition – stubby pencils and all – with tech revolution

 |   Monica Fisher

A USGA course consulting visit at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas, on Dec. 5, 2013. (Copyright USGA/Darren Carroll)

Watch any golf tournament, and you’ll see the sport’s greatest players walking around with some indispensable equipment: a stubby pencil and a paper booklet. That’s what professional golfers use to keep score and make notes on yardage. Mobile devices aren’t allowed during competition.

But don’t let that quaint sight fool you. One of the oldest, most traditional sports in the world is well into a technological revolution, with every aspect of the game – a player’s swing and strategy, the equipment, course maintenance and even business models – transforming through scientific advances, data analysis, machine learning and the cloud.

With a heritage dating back to 15th-century Scotland, 18-hole golf takes pride in maintaining its tradition and etiquette. But obstacles such as cost, complexity and the time it takes to play can deter beginners. So those charged with preserving and growing the game – the USGA, PGA of America, LPGA and PGA TOUR – are developing technological solutions to help make it more accessible to modern players and fans.

For more on how golf is transforming through technology, including two videos on the latest advances, visit Microsoft’s Transform blog.

Susanna Ray
Microsoft News Center Staff

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