If you thought that televised gold was just about as technologically advanced as it was ever going to be, itd be understandable, but youd be oh so wrong. The PGA Tour is showcasing a new augmented reality app that will utilize Apples ARKit platform to let users visualize courses and holes in their living rooms and see how the pros stack up against each other. You can select your favorite players and compare their strokes and get details on how long their drives were and where they sank the putt from. In the apps early days, youll just be able to check out a few featured holes inside this app, its not something youll be able to access for every hole. Live AR coverage will be available this week on March 15 for the Arnold Palmer Invitational with the 6th hole getting the AR featured hole treatment. For a sport like golf, a lot of the utility of the organizations apps is for what has been heralded as a second-screen experience, where users look to augment their TV-watching experience with content from their phone. Adding AR capabilities with a PGA Tour app brings an interactive, custom experience that couldnt happen on the TV while allowing users to get more familiar with some of the worlds most iconic courses. AR gives you the ability to bring in the more three-dimensional aspects of a golf course that are hard to really understand when youre just watching on television, PGA Tour CMO Rick Anderson told TechCrunch. For a lot of organizations, one of the biggest barriers to putting their locations into AR is acquiring 3D assets that they can showcase to users. The PGA Tour is in the unique position of already having plenty of laser-scanned models of golf courses that they use for TV animations of gameplay. In the context of this new app, the maps add another way for viewers to understand the geography of a course and particular hole. In the future, the organizations expansive library of 3D course maps will put them into a good place to further capitalize on augmented reality experiences that require an intimate knowledge of the environments that users are in. At the end of the day, this is pretty low-hanging fruit in terms of AR capabilities, but for a sizable organization like the PGA Tour there are a lot of opportunities to build from here. The PGA TOUR AR app is a standalone experience, though the org says that once it gets moving there, the functionality will likely migrate to the main app. The app is available now for free on the App Store.
The PGA Tour is now bringing the golf course to your home through Apples augmented reality platform. Using Apples ARKit in iOS 11, the PGA Tour has made a new app called PGA Tour AR that lets you compare professional golfers against each other and check out featured golf holes. Youll be able to better visualize players strokes and the angles from which they sank the balls. To use the app, first let your camera sense a surface, and then tap the screen to select a hole. The terrain will materialize and you can select players and rounds to compare shot trails. The app also lets you enter the pro players name and compare them to up to three other pros. You can move your phone closer to see the golf balls and terrain up close, but as soon as you tab out, youll have to go through the setup again. The app currently lets you choose from specific tournaments and holes, such as hole 7 from Pebble Beach Golf Links 2018 or TPC Sawgrass 2017s hole 16. Eventually, the PGA Tour plans to feature at least one hole from each tournament. Tapping into ARKit in iOS 11 allows us to showcase real-time data provided by ShotLink and CDW in a rich, visual way for fans, PGA Tours chief media officer, Rick Anderson, said in a press release. As it is now, the PGA Tour AR app is pretty basic and rudimentary. Youre able to see basic balls and grass on a surface in front of you, but you cant visualize the players actual movements before you. The app doesnt have much functionality after youve seen your favorite tournaments and players. However, the PGA Tour does plan to eventually enable fans at golf tournaments to hold their devices in front of holes and display shot trails live, which could be potentially useful when it rolls out. The app is only available on iOS.