For a little more than 2 years, the PGA TOUR has explored how AR technology could be applied to their brand in a way that would be useful. Following the augmented reality work conducted with their partners Microsoft and Taqtile, the PGA TOUR began experimenting with their app development partner, Wunderman Thompson Mobile, to determine how else they could leverage AR.
Starting in January 2017, the PGA TOUR and Wunderman Thompson Mobile worked together to produce various prototypes for the experience. When Apple announced ARKit for iOS 11, the Wunderman Thompson Mobile team produced a “fast turn” prototype which demonstrated an entire course model displayed in augmented reality. This proof of concept inspired the teams to drive towards a shippable, consumer facing application in addition to the already existing PGA TOUR apps built by Wunderman Thompson Mobile.
Making its debut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, the PGA TOUR AR app utilizes surface-detection that empowers users to display 3D golf course hole models and shot trails onto any flat surface in augmented reality. Select holes for each PGA TOUR tournament will be featured on the app where users can track players’ shot trails, view shot details like distance of drives and where players shot the ball from, and access player stats. Users can create custom lists of players (up to 4) to compare players’ shot trails against one another and tailor their app experience to follow those select players. The app is updated in real time with live data from Shotlink (powered by CDW) during live competition and users can even view holes from previous tournaments.
Mastercard is the official launch partner of the PGA TOUR AR app. During the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where the app first debuted, Mastercard showcased the app at several of their fan areas at the Bay Hill Club course. Throughout the initial launch, users will find the Mastercard logo and branding throughout the app.
The PGA TOUR AR app offers a completely new and unique way for fans to follow golf. The 3D model of the course and hole topography is something that users wouldn’t normally be able to engage with or visualize unless they were on the course. “New technologies are exciting, but only if they can add a new and valuable dimension to an experience,” said Ben Reubenstein, CEO, Wunderman Thompson Mobile. “Golf is a perfect fit for leveraging augmented reality by providing a cutting-edge way for fans to interact with the sport.”
Wunderman Thompson Mobile and the PGA TOUR successfully found a way to incorporate augmented reality in a way that adds value to both the on and off-course fan experiences. The app saw a successful launch, a lot of press coverage from publications like Sports Business Journal, Golf.com, Adweek, and TechCrunch, and the app was covered in a SXSW panel by Apple’s Senior VP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue.
“AR lets you see the action in a different way than just a 2 dimensional view on TV. A course may look flat on TV when in reality it’s hilly and AR lets you see the course in more realistic terms. With AR you get to experience golf in a way that you’ve never seen before and you can appreciate certain things you’ve never seen before” – Eddy Cue, Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services.
PGA TOUR fans now have new and exciting ways to interact with the sport and augmented reality offers new features for fans to explore. Wunderman Thompson Mobile and the PGA TOUR are excited to continue working together to improve the PGA TOUR AR app for fans all around the world.
Has your brand been thinking about creating an augmented reality application? Email us at mobile@wundermanthompson to chat with one of our AR experts.