First-of-its-Kind PlayCaster Technology, Enhanced Mobile App and Live Streaming Coverage Among 2016 Offerings
FAR HILLS, N.J. – Fans of the 2016 U.S. Open Championship rejoyce! Now you can enjoy your favorite game in more ways than from your couch. USGA is offering multiple options to stay connected to the action at Oakmont Country Club via a dynamic suite of digital offerings released by the United States Golf Association (USGA).
“We are delighted to continue to use state-of-the-art technology, in concert with our partners at IBM, to bring golf fans all around the world inside the ropes to follow their favorite players at the 116th U.S. Open,” said Diana M. Murphy, USGA president. “In addition, our digital products continue to be enhanced for immediate access to the excitement at Oakmont and the other USGA events supporting the U.S. Open and the Pittsburgh community.”
Among the numerous enhancements designed to boost fan enjoyment is the updated U.S. Open mobile app, to be released on Friday, June 10 with groupings and starting times. With support from technology provider IBM, the app will feature an interactive map that can be customized via advanced search and GPS functionality. The locator feature provides fans with the capability to find their favorite players on the course, as well as points of interest and amenities such as grandstands, concessions, restrooms, merchandise and Wi-Fi zones.
The locator will also feature a first-of-its-kind PlayCaster, which leverages current scoring data and pace-of-play information to forecast where a player will be on the course at any given time during the round.
While fans around the world can use the official U.S. Open app for detailed scoring and inside-the-ropes live action, the app’s new features will elevate the on-site spectator experience, allowing fans to better navigate the course and plan their day.
“We’re using advanced technologies and innovations, including predictive data analysis supported by the IBM Cloud, to bring real-time scoring, shot data, hole insights and high-definition live video streaming to golf fans’ fingertips,” said Noah Syken, vice president of IBM Global Sponsorships. “Today’s tech-savvy golf fans expect to know about every shot of the U.S. Open – whether they are in their homes, on the run or at Oakmont Country Club.”
Complimentary Wi-Fi will be available to fans in all grandstands and designated Wi-Fi zones located at U.S. Open Spectator Square, Gate 2 and the 16th tee food court. The USGA will also utilize beacon technology to deliver location-based alerts to fans via the U.S. Open app. Those who have opted in may receive notifications about exclusive events, merchandise offers and memorable moments at Oakmont.
“Through emerging technology and curated experiences, we are providing spectators a way to connect to the U.S. Open like never before,” said Amanda Weiner, USGA assistant director of Digital Media. “Whether utilizing the app’s new features or keeping up to date via real-time scoring, live video and highlights, fans will be both entertained and informed.”
Electronic message boards located in Spectator Square, near the 16th tee and practice area will also provide fans with a steady stream of data such as enhanced player statistics, highlights and video feeds.
Digital Live Coverage
Building on the growing demand for live content and the more than 6 million live streams viewed during last year’s U.S. Open, fans will once again have access to three channels with more than 40 hours of live streaming coverage.
Two channels will be dedicated to both morning and afternoon featured groups, while the third will focus on action from holes 3, 13 and 17. Exclusive viewing windows starting at 7:30 a.m. EDT on June 16 and June 17 will offer fans insider coverage before the Fox television broadcast begins at 10 a.m. each day. Live feeds will continue on June 18 and June 19, beginning at 11 a.m. Fans can also tune in via social media throughout the championship for behind-the-scenes live content such as player interviews, press conferences and practice-round action on Facebook Live, Periscope and Snapchat.
Rounding out the digital fan experience, the USGA and World Golf Tour are once again providing users with the opportunity to test their skills and play the toughest holes at Oakmont in the Virtual U.S. Open Championship, which is available now through July 16 via the app and WGT.com.
For more information about the USGA’s digital offerings, visit usopen.com or follow us at @usopengolf or #USOpen. The app will be available on June 10 through iTunes and Google Play.
Limited Tickets Still Available
Fans wishing to attend championship rounds and experience golf history should act quickly; limited tickets remain for Thursday and Friday rounds and are expected to sell out soon. Monday through Wednesday (June 13-15) practice-round tickets are also available, offering fans an opportunity to take photos of players and inside-the-ropes action. Saturday and Sunday tickets are sold out. Buyers can purchase up to four tickets per day.
More information about the championship can be found at usopen.com.