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CT’s digital leaderboards put European Tour back in the game

CT’s digital leaderboards put European Tour back in the game

CT’s digital leaderboards put European Tour back in the game

Middle East:

Creative Technology has been supporting golf tournaments both in Europe and Middle East for more than 30 years. This year that support has come in the form of helping the organiser to resume activities on a reduced basis and behind closed doors. The hiatus in events during the spring lockdown gave the CT team a chance to look at these new challenges and the role technology could play in addressing them.

The AIG Women's Open in Glasgow
The AIG Women's Open in Glasgow

With restrictions on the number of personnel on site for post-lockdown elite sport, a clear area of focus for CT was the manual leaderboards deployed at each event, which require a large contingent of volunteers and scoring staff. Prior to the pandemic, the company had already been working with the European Tour to develop battery-powered on-course displays. By extending this service and delivering the display data wirelessly, it was able to provide viable digital on-course leaderboards. The deployment of these in place of the manual leaderboards brings with it the potential to cut on-site personnel from 60 volunteers and scoring staff down to just two technicians.

The first time that all of the manual leaderboards were replaced with CT’s digital equipment was the AIG Women’s Open, which eventually got the go-ahead to take place at the end of August at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Glasgow. The improved leaderboards were said to not only significantly enhance the on-course experience but also assist with adhering to social distancing guidelines by requiring only a couple of event staff to rig and operate multiple screens.

The Aramco Saudi Ladies International
The Aramco Saudi Ladies International

The OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic then made a return to Dubai in early November at Emirates Golf Club, played behind closed doors for the safety of spectators and the players.

The CT Middle East team was tasked with delivering 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 Ltd. CT provided an enhanced video conferencing solution adding a PTZ camera, lighting, audio and display screens to enable journalists to interview players remotely from all corners of the world. The PTZ camera allowed the flexibility of wide or zoomed shots while ensuring the crew remained at a safe social distance from the players.

A week later, history was made when the very first women’s golf tournament took place in Saudi Arabia, the Aramco Saudi Ladies International, and shortly after, the Saudi Ladies Team International tournament commenced. CT supported both by distributing on-site live video feeds and supplying all video displays on behalf of the Ladies European Tour.

The sun sets on the DP World Tour at Dubai’s Jumeirah Golf Estates
The sun sets on the DP World Tour at Dubai’s Jumeirah Golf Estates

To finish off the European Tour’s season-long Race to Dubai 2020, the DP World Tour Championship took place in mid-December at Dubai’s Jumeirah Golf Estates. This drew to a close a re-arranged season of tournaments that despite Covid-19 restrictions, still managed to stage 38 events across 18 different countries.

The new battery-powered leaderboards eliminated the need for multiple on-site generators at each location. Furthermore, 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.

“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,” explained Richard Smith, CT account manager (golf). “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 to conform to the new COVID safety requirements.”

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