A while ago I spoke to a golf-savvy colleague and mentioned my blog and all the stuff I do for Golficiency. He was impressed and provided me with a youtube link, saying he could be found on the internet doing some fancy golf stuff, too.
The video he showed me was a short promo for a company called VPAR. He was interviewed on-course and gave a statement how he liked the system.
And this is what it does: If you ever attended a golf tournament on-site you might know what I mean when I say you can watch a golf tournament in three ways: (1) strolling along the holes, looking here and there but nowhere in particular, (2) following your favourite player around the course 1-18 and (3) following the action on the leaderboard, i.e. follow the guy in front because this is where the action is and where people play for money and trophies.
For professional matches – fair enough! For private rounds and tournaments this is different though. When you are playing in a society or in the monthly tournament you basically have no idea what’s happening behind or in front of you. You might have a feeling for the guys in your group but you generally have no idea whether you are the loser of the day or the big match winner being 2 strokes in front. Would that information change the way you would play the next holes? Yes it would indeed! What about the players already in the clubhouse, they can only sit back, have a beer or two and wait for the winning ceremony – there’s no possibility for them to check their own position against everybody’s else in the field.
Well, actually there is. VPAR is exactly made for that and another app I came accross in the app store is GameBook. Both are systems that players use on the course to track strokes for themselves and the group and that automatically consolidate the data for all players who are connected. It synchronises the data with terminals in the clubhouse or with players using their own iPhone or iPad. With that everybody in the 19th hole is aware of what’s happening on the course.
I’m 100% sure this excites everybody more than just sitting around waiting for the last group coming in. But the biggest impact for sure is on the course. Imagine you are co-leading the tournament and you are just aware of that through the application in your hand, there are only 3 holes to play for you – you will definitely change the mindset for the upcoming strokes to play. Players will definitely adapt and will change playing behaviour when they are aware the winning pot is reachable with just a little risk more.
I can’t wait to test the systems over the next rounds. I will keep you posted. If you already have some experience with it, please feel free and share – just leave a comment below.
These are the systems you should take a look at. Both have their own iPhone/iPad apps available in the Apple app store: