It’s all go for January after the R&A and USGA published their finalised Rules of Golf. So what’s coming in? Steve Carroll outlines the changes.
Ryder Cup 2014: New technology will give fans best experience ever
Fans attending the 2014 Ryder Cup are set to enjoy one of the most technologically advanced golf events ever thanks to the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), it has been announced on the official RyderCup.com website.
Spectators at Gleneagles will each receive a special RFID Wristband with their tickets, which allows them to take part in fun-filled activities around the golf course while also being able to share their experiences instantly on social media.
Once a spectator activates their wristband, they will be able to engage with many of the Official Partner activities based in the Ryder Cup Spectator Village, including the BMW Car Display and The Ryder Cup Experience with Standard Life Investments; spectators can compete in a simulated team competition with live scoreboards around the venue!
Out on the golf course, the Active Scotland initiative* ‘Walk the Course’ encourages spectators to get out to all areas of the venue with great prizes for those who check in at certain points around course. Johnnie Walker will be welcoming spectators at the back of the 2nd Green, and BMW owners will be able to use their wristband to enter the Owners’ Café at the 10th Hole and spend their pre-loaded tokens.
The wristbands will also allow fans to show loyalty for their team via a virtual ‘High Five’ for the European or USA team on arrival. By touching their wristband to certain points around the course, fans will be registered on a supporters’ leaderboard. They will also be able to connect to their friends and family anywhere in the world simply by utilising the automatic social media updates on Facebook and Twitter.
To help make things even easier for spectators, the wristbands will even become a method of cashless payment which is set to be accepted in certain areas of the course.
“Ryder Cup Europe and the key stakeholders wanted to deliver the best possible spectator experience. As social media, smartphones and mobile internet have become a part of everyday life, the RFID technology seemed a natural choice to lift the event beyond the standard set previously,” said Antonia Beggs, Operations Director for The 2014 Ryder Cup.
The RFID technology is embedded in the wristband and contains information about whoever is wearing it, which they are able to upload to the Ryder Cup website when registering their bands. Registration is easy and can be done via smartphone, a tablet or by one of the volunteers situated inside the tented village information centres.
Serge Grimaux of Intellitix, the makers of RFID Wristbands, said: “Our RFID wristbands will mark The 2014 Ryder Cup out as something completely different to what has gone before in terms of interaction with spectators, media and indeed anyone visiting the course. The technology is totally secure and has been proven at a number of large scale events across the world.”
In addition to these amazing wristbands, Ryder Cup Europe has been working closely with the Scottish Government as well as mobile phone providers to allow ultra-fast 4G wireless connections across the entirety of the venue.
Are you going to be at the Ryder Cup? Tell us what you think about the wristbands via our @AmericanGolf_UK Facebook and Twitter pages.