Augmented reality, aerial drones and more ways the digital experience will be different at the 117th US Open Championship.
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This year, the United States Golf Association (USGA) and FOX Sports are going big at the U.S. Open. While FOX has announced further integration of augmented reality and aerial drones, the USGA announced a digital suite to supplement the fan experience at the 117th US Open Championship, which will be held June 15-18 at Erin Hills in Wisconsin.
The official U.S. Open mobile app features live streaming coverage, real-time scoring, and player highlights to go along with news, photos, videos, and social media updates from Erin Hills.
“The USGA is committed to bringing a fully immersive digital experience to our global fan base,” Navin Singh, USGA head of global content and media distribution, said in a statement. “Whether at the golf course or 10,000 miles around the world, every fan will enjoy an exemplary digital experience befitting golf’s ultimate test.”
On site at Erin Hills, spectators will have access to complimentary Wi-Fi in Fan Central, practice areas, and to the player’s right at the first and 18th holes. Shot-by-shot data, inside-the-ropes live action, and an improved mapping component will also be available within the U.S. Open mobile app for fans in attendance.
Last year, the U.S. Open received over 6 million live streams through its website and the U.S. Open app. Throughout the 2017 U.S. Open, fans on social media will have the chance to watch behind-the-scenes live content, including player interviews, press conferences and practice-round action on Facebook Live, Periscope and Snapchat.
Fox is teeing off with four days of aerial production drone flights to capture the beauty of Erin Hills. It is also boosting its augmented reality offerings using a 75-foot Strada Camera Crane. The crane enables graphic elements to be displayed on the course.
FOX Sports will equip the 18 holes with the ability to trace the golf ball over live video or over a graphic representation of the hole. Nine tee boxes have Toptracer technology, allowing for live ball trace over video. The other nine tee boxes are equipped with Trackman radar, allowing for a combination of ball tracing and enhanced data.
“Over the last two years, we’ve had some great opportunities to really enhance and develop new tools for our production team,” said Zac Fields, FOX Sports SVP Graphic Tech & Innovation, in a statement. “This year’s U.S. Open features the best complement of technology that we’ve ever had. We’re incredibly excited and look forward to offering golf fans a great viewing experience.”