On the 26th September, The Ryder Cup will once again kick off in Scotland at Gleneagles and the world’s best golfers will go head to head once again, with the golfing fraternity following their every move. While many amateur golfers will be watching from their clubhouse or sofa, almost all will have dreamt about a moment when they change the course of history – that winning putt. Yet, for most of us, this will be an unrealised fantasy.
Cast your minds back, if you will, to The Miracle of Medinah. The Ryder Cup epitomises and embodies every aspect that we yearn for in live golf and sport in general. Along with the rest of the golfing world, and indeed many golfing virgins, I willingly put myself through the emotional roller-coaster that played out on that infamous final day. The conflicting emotions of adrenaline, heartbreak and pure euphoria, left me exhausted and craving that sporting fix again. 2014 at Gleneagles can’t come soon enough.
While fame, glory and adrenaline may not beckon on a global stage: club tournaments, corporate and society golf days or even social golf can provide the perfect setting to recreate our own moments of sporting drama. However without wider visibility of scores, leaderboards and positions, amateurs are left with a game very unlike that for the pros and even other amateur sports. Would the passion and excitement of the Ryder Cup still capture the imagination of the public without the real-time feedback of scores and knowing what was needed to win? I think not, so why should amateur golf be any different to other sports. With real-time golf scoring it no longer has to.
Capturing all the excitement and adrenaline of the game on VPAR’s handheld scorepads at a golf day or using the iPhone app for social golfers, players can track their progress, distances to the green and check out the competition elsewhere on the course as the game unfolds. Players are no longer oblivious to their opponents score and what is needed to beat them, creating your own version of the Masters or Ryder cup. Knowing you are one shot off the lead on a par 5 could be the deciding factor in going for the green in two or perhaps playing safe and laying up. As well as the players on the course, others back at the clubhouse and people viewing online can see the results and follow the action live on screen. No longer is the excitement and drama of a golf day confined to the physical boundaries of the course but can now be broadcast to a global audience via the web bringing the golf day into the 21st century.
Taking part in a golf day is one thing but having a memorable experience is another, which is why live golf scoring is a must for those looking to host a day to remember. As amateurs, we miss out on the adrenaline of “going down the stretch”, walking to the 16th tee knowing you’re just one shot off the lead, or playing your approach shot into 18 knowing you are leading the tournament. When you layer over this, the knowledge about how you and your team are faring and if you are beating your closest friend and rival, the day takes on a whole new dimension which fuels conversations long after the round has finished. So the next time you are involved in a club tournament, corporate or society golf day remember this: does your putt on the 18th matter and how much?
For more information on VPAR go to www.vpar.com
By Jason Stoop, Managing Director, VPAR Live Golf Scoring