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PGA TOUR AR brings pro golfing geekery to iOS

PGA TOUR AR shows golf holes and shots in 3D and augmented
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

golf is famously boring, but the just-announced PGA TOUR AR
app spices it up a bit. It brings a live, augmented reality
view of golf games to iPad and iPhone, putting the tournament
in users’ living rooms.

“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,” said the PGA’s Rick Anderson
in a statement. “The PGA TOUR takes pride in bringing new
technology to the sports world as a way of communicating to a
large, diverse audience.”

Apple has been touting the augmented reality capabilities of
iOS 11 since it was first announced,  and developers
have been playing around with ARkit. Still, it’s an
emerging technology, and
one far from maturity. That said, this golf software is a
good example of the potential.

A new

The PGA’s
app displays featured holes in 3D, and with live shot trails
of players selected by the user. These appear in miniature on
the iOS devices’ screen as if they were sitting on any flat

The live
AR data will begin with the opening round of the Arnold
Palmer Invitational on Thursday. Those who can’t wait can
review some shot trails from this year’s AT&T Pebble
Beach Pro-Am.

depends on ShotLink through CDW technology, the tour’s
longstanding scoring system. This captures real-time
information on every shot, by every player, during tournament
competition. This is then translated into thousands of

Many more features coming

At this
point, PGA TOUR AR seems more like a technical preview than
anything else because the number of golf holes supported is
so limited. At the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week,
the only one is No. 6. During THE PLAYERS Championship, just
Nos. 16, 17, and 18 will be live and in AR, and there’ll be
only one hole supported at the season-ending TOUR
Championship, No. 18.

the PGA has plans to improve their software. An update later
this year will enable those actually at a golf tournament to
hold up their device in front of any hole and see shot trails
for selected players live or during a past round of the
user’s choosing.

The PGA TOUR AR app is available for free exclusively in
the App Store. There is no Android version. Apple says it’s
compatible with all iPad Pro tablets and the iPhone 8, 8
Plus, and iPhone X.

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