PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The 78th US Women’s Open will be a historic championship.
For the first time in women’s soccer history, the USGA is bringing its flagship event to Pebble Beach Golf Links. There are few golf courses in the United States that are as well known as Pebble Beach, so attending the US Women’s Open on this stage is of tremendous importance.
“I think this is changing our dreams,” said USGA CEO Mike Whan. “I think that’s really important for the people that are playing, but the real impact of that is the girls who are thinking about golf or not really sure what they think about golf.”
But just play at Pebble Beach won’t be the only thing making this week a historic one. The USGA will also use ShotLink technology throughout the course, which will provide live shot tracking throughout the championship. This is the first time ShotLink data has been used at a professional women’s event.
“I think it’s really important for women’s football,” said Jon Podany, USGA’s chief commercial officer. “We have never been able to offer that before, and never before. So it’s going to be really cool to be able to offer that depth of stats.”
The shot tracking system, called USGA ShotCast powered by Cisco, uses the PGA Tour’s ShotLink system, which is used in the men’s pro tournament every week. USGA ShotCast was featured at the 123rd US Open last month, held at the Los Angeles Country Club.
“When we first talked about using ShotLink for the US Open, we felt like we had to commit to doing the same for the women,” said Podany. “Happily, [the PGA Tour] was willing to work with us to find a solution so we could do that.”
Fans can access USGA ShotCast online and through the USGA app, which provides radar data, shot trails, green views and video highlights for every player on the field. There will also be 3D images of each hole.
In addition, ShotCast archives every televised shot, allowing fans to catch up on the action they missed during the championship.
This data is available weekly on the PGA Tour, but such expanded statistics are not typically available in women’s soccer. On the LPGA Tour, only rudimentary data on shots won is available via KPMG Performance Insights, but since the caddies log the data by hand, it’s far from a perfect science. It also means that there is no real-time tracking of players on the pitch.
That changes at this week’s US Women’s Open, a championship that is truly unique.
https://golf.com/news/us-womens-open-shotlink/ This technology will make the US Women’s Open the first of its kind