Creative Technology looks back at its year in golf
Creative Technology (CT) has issued a round-up of its year in golf, in what was a challenging period for the sporting community.
CT has delivered live video solutions to golfing tournaments throughout Europe and the Middle East for over 30 years, and while COVID-19 is still affecting live events worldwide, the company has been working to assist golf events where possible to resume activities.
Richard Smith, CT’s account manager for golf, commented: “When golf events were able to resume following the height of the pandemic, lots of restrictions were imposed to ensure everyone’s safety at the events, not just the players. With CT’s long association with, and understanding of, golf we were able to utilise technology and play a huge part in assisting the staging teams conform to the new COVID safety requirements.”
The hiatus in events during the spring lockdown gave CT a chance to look at the new challenges involved in hosting professional golf tournaments, and specifically what role technology could play in addressing them.
Below are some of the golfing events that CT had a part in bringing to life in 2020.
AIG Women’s Open
With many golf events postponed in the spring, CT started the year with the 44th Women’s Open, which took place at the Royal Troon Golf Club from 20 to 23 August.
Focusing on delivering on-course leaderboards, the event marked the first time that all manual leaderboards were replaced with digital ones. This enhanced the on-course experience and assisted with adhering to social distancing guidelines, requiring only a couple of event staff to rig and operate.
CT provided eight digital leaderboards on various tees, each housed in aluminium frames and powered locally by batteries. In addition to this, on the 18th Green, CT designed and built a Layher scaffold structure to house the 16sqm LED screen.
Scottish Open & BMW PGA Championship
The 2020 Scottish Open took place from 1 to 4 October at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland, and was one of the biggest sporting events to take place in the country since the first lockdown.
To help assist with the new challenges faced and adhere to the social restrictions and guidelines in place, CT enhanced the existing Media Centre set-ups across the venue, allowing high-quality video calls to take place between the players and remote journalists.
Out on course, CT once again supplied eight digital leaderboards on various tees. Each display showed scrolling leader boards plus the projected cut mark on one day of the event.
Closely following the Scottish Open, the BMW PGA Championship took place at Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey from 8 to 11 October and featured the same enhancements from CT.
It marked the last ever championship for the director of championships Jamie Birkmyre, who after over 20 years’ service on the European Tour stepped down from his role.
Omega Gold Dubai Moonlight Classic
The Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic marked the return of sporting events to Dubai as the world’s first professional day-night golf tournament took place on 4 to 6 November at Emirates Golf Club.
The event saw 56 players competing across three days and was broadcast globally to more than 60 countries.
Played behind closed doors, CT delivered a virtual solution to allow journalists around the world to hold Q&A sessions with the contestants via a video conferencing platform on behalf of its client Falcon Golf Management.
The solution added a PTZ camera, lighting, audio and a display screen to enable journalists to interview players remotely from all corners of the world, with the PTZ camera allowing wide or zoomed shots while ensuring the crew remained at a safe social distance from the players.
Ladies European Tour
On 12 November 2020, the Ladies European Tour made history by bringing the first-ever women’s golf tournament to Saudi Arabia.
CT distributed on-site live video feeds and supplied all video displays for the historic event on behalf of the Ladies European Tour.
DP World Tour Championship
The DP World Tour Championship took place from 10 to 13 December and drew to a close the rearranged European Tour’s Race to Dubai 2020 that managed to go ahead despite COVID difficulties.
Alongside providing the Tournament Television service, virtual media centre and on-course digital LED leaderboards, CT introduced new technology to the event that eliminated the need for multiple generators for the on-course leaderboards as they were working off the latest battery technology. The scoring display was rendered locally with the data feed for each screen updated via 4G, which meant no hard cabling to the control position was required, creating an efficient and sustainable option.