Dear Nike: Where’s My EveryShot TigerCam?

As cool as it is to be the editor of the greatest new sports-biz publication, I can’t pass up the opportunity to apply for the newest job in the golf-social-new-media business: Editor and commentator for Nike’s new EveryShot TigerCam website. As you guessed, this is an Internet location (also available in app form) that shows, every weekend, a full but time-edited version of Tiger Woods’ entire round of golf.

Cool, right? Don’t you wish it really existed? Me too.

After missing out on all but a few minutes of British Open coverage Thursday I had to settle for ESPN’s SportsCenter highlight package and was left hungry for more. Very specifically, I wanted to see more of El Tigre, other than just his amazing out-of-a-divot shot that had ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi screaming like a child when he showed the slow-mo to Tiger afterwards. I wanted to see every drive, every middle iron, every lag putt and maybe get some in-between-holes comments from the man himself.

Why hasn’t Nike, or ESPN, or the PGA, made this happen?

Look — I understand that there are a whole lot of “other” golfers out there who are worth watching. Some of them even win majors. But for me — and all the millions of golf fans who drive up TV viewership whenever Eldrick is in contention — watching golf is all about Tiger first, and everyone else second. I’m not even going to try to explain it, though a fellow fan I met at the Olympic Club during the recent U.S. Open put it best when we both talked about how we became hooked years ago when we watched Tiger blow up the golfing world at the 1997 Masters.

“It was transformational, what he did then,” said my new pal, as we watched Tiger miss a birdie chance on 17 during his Friday round at the U.S. Open. “I haven’t been able to stop watching him since.”

It’s not just me — I have heard many paid golf commentators on TV note this year that yeah, when he is on, there isn’t a better golfer in the world than Woods. Maybe not ever. So — in this day and age of multiple, cheap, easy broadcasting production platforms why in Nike’s name isn’t there some service that, especially for majors, does a quick turnaround and give us a speed-edited complete recap of Tiger’s rounds?

If the folks at Nike want to give me a call I have some great ideas how to make this happen, but basically if you have one editor/producer (this would be me, because I thought of this) and a couple kids just out of school who have camera/FinalCut skilz, you would just follow Tiger around all day and then spend a couple hours each night editing the footage down to just shots and some quick, YouTube-worthy commentary and graphics. Charge five bucks a tournament for viewing, and I bet you would make as much as Tiger does when he’s winning.

(It would sure beat the over-produced “video” section on Woods’ own website, where as of Thursday night the newest stuff is Tiger at… The Greenbrier. Yuk.)

This could scale to other golfers who might be individually interesting — Bubba Watson comes to mind, or maybe long-drive fans would pay a buck a weekend to see every tee shot from Alvaro Quiros. It’s not like it would cost a lot to try. I understand there may be some rights questions but why not give it a test and agree to split the revenues amongst those who have skin in the game now, like the networks and the Tour?

The bottom line is — there is a whole lot of “content” out there every weekend that simply gets lost because of the old model of golf coverage, which is a highly produced show with some guy in a trailer deciding which golfers you should watch. And that’s so 1997, and not in a good way. It’s time to let the fans decide who they want to watch, and how much of that golfer’s round they want to see. C’mon Nike, PGA, and networks. Make my EveryShot TigerCam (the domain is even still available!) a reality.

U.S. Open Sets Records for Online, App Viewing

We don’t have any definitive viewer numbers, but according to a press release from the USGA, the recent U.S. Open golf tournament in San Francisco attracted a record number of online viewers, especially for live online video and via mobile devices. This is hardly a surprise, since online golf viewership overall has been spiking this year, with no end in sight to the growth curve.

According to the USGA, which pioneered online coverage of golf, overall viewer visits to the U.S. Open website during the week increased 79 percent from the year-before totals, while views of live streaming video increased 210 percent from 2011. Though the USGA hasn’t provided exact numbers on page views and streaming video looks, it’s a good guess that the latter number is somewhere in the one- to two-million range, since approximately a half-million to a million folks will watch online video of a regular PGA event, according to PGA Tour reps. The U.S. Open’s website features were powered technically by IBM, which also helps produce the wonderful online experience for The Masters golf tourney.

The availability of an Android version of the USGA’s U.S. Open app helped spike visits to the mobile version of the Open website — according to the USGA, mobile website views increased 375 percent in 2012, with iPhone app downloads jumping up 44 percent from the previous year. In addition to live video the U.S. Open websites also included a live leaderboard, a photo stream and a unique feature that let you look at an interactive map of the course and see which players were on which hole. The USGA was also extremely active on Twitter, with the official U.S. Open Twitter feed providing constant scoring updates and links to feature coverage.

Even though the U.S. Open live online video wasn’t very comprehensive — on Thursday and Friday the coverage followed one “marquee” group throughout its round, and on the weekend the coverage consisted of only play at two holes — it was extremely well produced, with commentators that were critically judged by many observers to be better than some of the broadcast TV talent. It’s probably a safe guess to say that next year the USGA will continue to expand live online coverage of the U.S. Open, in sync with the expanded live online views coming next season from the PGA Tour for regular events. That’s good news for golf fans, who will apparently be rewarded for finding more ways to watch.

Watching Golf this Week: Many Ways to Watch the U.S. Open

Why is this post a little late in delivery? Because I’ve been spending the morning watching the U.S. Open live, on a window that’s open just to the left of the one I’m typing on. I could go over to the couch and watch ESPN’s live coverage, which starts at 9 a.m. Pacific time today and Friday. But I like the online focus, which today is following the Tiger-Phil-Bubba group from start to finish.

Unlike the Masters online coverage — where you had choices of different groups or different holes — the US Open online video is one group at one time. But there are so many ways to get U.S. Open coverage, from the ESPN overload on Thursday and Friday — which is sandwiched around a couple hours of NBC coverage Thursday and Friday — that you won’t go lacking.

Since this is the first U.S. Open we’ve been able to cover live, it’s been an incredible learning experience to see a course like Olympic up close and personal. Check out our previous links for info that will help you with your viewing. We’re also big fans of the U.S. Open site itself, since it has a plethora of info (live scoring, archived video interviews, and a new feature called “Playtracker” which shows a live view of the groups on the course, with stats for each player in each group. (This would be cooler if it had a live view of where the players were on each hole, like a visual Shot Tracker. Maybe next year?)

So far, we haven’t seen many glitches with the live online video — like the Masters coverage there are intermittent stops and stalls but we’ve found that when that happens, it’s easy to just close the old window and re-open a new one. Since I had to stay home this morning for work and family reasons I wasn’t able to use my press pass to watch the golf up close and personal — but I bet I have a better seat than most press folks there, because the blanket coverage of the marquee group has been phenomenal, and I can sip coffee and sit in my comfy office chair while watching. Enjoy the great weekend of San Francisco golf!

Here’s where to follow the action:


(all times Eastern)


Thursday, June 14 — ESPN, 12 p.m. — 3 p.m.; 5 p.m. — 7 p.m. NBC, 3 p.m. — 5 p.m.
Friday, June 15 — ESPN, 12 p.m. — 3 p.m.; 5 p.m. — 7 p.m. NBC, 3 p.m. — 5 p.m.
Saturday, June 16 — NBC, 1 p.m. — 7 p.m.
Sunday, June 17 — NBC, 1 p.m. — 7 p.m.

Radio this week is via the U.S. Open app, or the U.S. Open website.
1 p.m. — 7 p.m., Thursday-Sunday

See above. Live online at, Thursday and Friday, following a “marquee group” in the morning and afternoon. Morning tee times around 7:30 a.m., afternoon tee times around 1

No shot tracker this week — hard to believe, but true.

The USGA is doing a great job with its Facebook page. Like.

US Open — The official Twitter feed for the championship is active and great, with lots of links, live info. Add it to your feed now.
Geoff Shackelford — well known golf writer — go back in his timeline this week for some great videos showing the holes on the Olympic course. Maybe the top golf Twitterer out there, especially when it comes to analysis/insight.
Golf Channel — official Golf Channel feed
@PGATOUR — official PGA Twitter feed
@StephanieWei — great golf writer who is a Twitter fiend. Works hard and long every day, and also has great insider views, via Instagrams.

If you haven’t had your fill of Olympic info, you’ve been on another planet. So far the overall view we like best was the Sunday special in the San Francisco Chronicle, where beat writer Ron Kroichick interviewed Ken Venturi for a hole-by-hole breakdown of the course. The official Open website also has an extensive hole by hole page with flyby views, etc. etc.

Rory McIlroy, the boy wonder.

The columnists and writers at the San Franciso Chronicle do golf right.

1. Jason Dufner, 1,735 points
2. Hunter Mahan, 1,477 points
3. Tiger Woods, 1,404
4. Zach Johnson, 1,386
5. Bubba Watson, 1,372

See the full standings for the FedEx Cup points list.

1. Luke Donald; 2. Rory McIlroy; 3. Lee Westwood; 4. Tiger Woods; 5. Bubba Watson.
See the official World Golf Ranking list.

Not-so-Mobile Sports Report: U.S. Open Notebook, and The Beast that is No. 16

A quick disclaimer: Even though we are Mobile Sports Report, where we are “aggressively covering the growing intersection of sports, mobile technology and social media,” at our hearts we are sports fans first and when given entree to an event like the U.S. Open, well we just can’t help ourselves. So here is a not-so-necessarily Mobile Sports Report notebook on fun and interesting stuff we saw and heard at The Olympic Club so far this week:

The Beast that is No. 16

If you are tired of the pros regularly turning par 5 holes into a driver-wedge-eagle, you are going to love No. 16 at the Olympic Club. From some new back tees the hole will play 670 yards long, the longest ever U.S. Open hole. Our quick video taken today from the approximate middle of the hole looks way back toward the tee, then swings toward the green, not really doing the left-curve banana justice.

Do the players like it? Doubtful. With only two par 5 holes on the pros’ scorecard, No. 16 is the first and it will mess with the head of the average tour pro, who when he sees a “5 par” starts thinking birdie. There were all sorts of dire predictions about 16 today, with some players guessing it could serve up the highest scores all weekend. Masters champ Bubba Watson at his press conference said that during his practice round Tuesday he teed off from the back tees and hit driver-driver, “hit two perfect shots,” and still ended up 60 yards short of the green.

The last word went to Phil Mickelson, who was asked after his formal press conference if he thought 16 was unfair.

“Unfair? I’d never say it’s unfair,” said Mickelson. “It’s just not a good hole.”

But No. 17 May Be Worse

After the brutally long No. 16 the Open field will be confronted with No. 17, a seemingly “easy” par 5 at only 522 yards. Though the distance shouldn’t keep some from hitting the green in 2, what will really vex the players is the hole’s slope — it is banked as steeply as the curves at Daytona, dropping some 20 to 30 feet from side to side. The picture here doesn’t do it justice, looking up from the right side of the fairway. It’s safe to guess that a lot of drives that land in the fairway will end up sliding down into the rough, where it will be almost impossible to reach the green in two.

The 17th fairway at Olympic Club, looking up from the right hand side. Credit: Paul Kapustka, MSR.

And getting to the green isn’t necessarily the final chapter here. The green slopes left to right too, and the chipping area behind the right edge of the green is shaven smooth, meaning that mis-hits to the right side — or even too-strong putts from the left — may end up 30 to 40 yards down the hill in a small group of trees, where you can’t air a chip back up because of the branches and you can’t bump one up because the ball just keeps rolling back down. When you are watching on TV or online, watch for train wrecks at 17.

BONUS UPDATE: Check out the videos of balls rolling off the green, courtesy of Stephanie Wei.

Text, text, text

One surprising fact learned during watching some practice rounds today: Pro golfers are texting fiends, often typing away on their mobile devices up until they hit a shot, and then again right after. After admiring the low, bullet trajectory of Charl Schwartzel’s second shot on No. 16 we looked back and before the ball had even landed Schwartzel had his device out and was typing away as he walked up the fairway. We saw other golfers texting on the tee box, right up until their playing partner was in his backswing. Who says it’s the fans who are the only over-cellular culprits?

Only in San Francisco…

Would you see a Deadhead tie-dyed t-shirt with the U.S. Open logo. Wonder if it comes with a free medicinal license? So far in our limited wanderings around Olympic we haven’t caught a whiff of San Francisco’s favorite treat, and we ain’t talking about Rice-a-Roni. But you can bet more than a few of these will sell this weekend.

U.S. Open Gets Twitter-Crazy During Day 1

Even though Mobile Sports Report is covering the U.S. Open live and in person, we almost didn’t need to be at the Olympic Club to get a feeling for what was going on, thanks to the multitude of tweets resonating Monday around golf’s biggest event.

With no cell-phone ban yet in place (that doesn’t happen until competition starts on Thursday) there were plenty of certified folks with mobile cellular devices, transmitting 140-character messages as well as pictures and videos from the fairways, greens, practice facilities and sponsor tents hovering on the southwest edge of San Francisco, one hill removed from the Pacific Ocean.

But why just talk about the tweets? Thanks to technology we can share some of our favorites. Why not start with the tour’s hottest player, last weekend’s champ Dustin Johnson, who tweets pretty darn regularly at @DJohnsonPGA. DJ today hit us with a bunch of pictures of his practice day at Olympic, which included a visit with the Most Interesting Man in Golf:

Golf writer extraordinare Geoff Shackelford was a twittering man possessed Monday, shooting little bits of video as well as cool snaps — like this one of USGA executive director Mike Davis greeting 1955 Open winner and Hogan-killer Jack Fleck.

Maybe the best place to get a wide fix of overall U.S. Open tweets was the Open’s own live updates page (which just shows up as “Twitter” on the USGA mobile app). That’s where we found out that Luke Donald, aka World No. 1 is cool enough to RT an answer to a fan request for a photo:

(Don’t everyone tweet @ Luke at once now.)

ESPN talent Scott Van Pelt also arrived on scene, and gave us all a view of his “office” for the week:

And the gear sponsors were all out tweeting heavily as well. From our friends at Nike Golf, a faraway picture of the Man, El Tigre himself:

With two more practice days we expect more tweets to be flying the innerwebs way from Olympic, even with its challenged cellular reception. Our favorite of the day comes from another recently smokin’ player and a personal MSR favorite (we so wanted him to win the PGA last year), Jason Dufner. Apparently the Duf is getting some good travel guides to the more lively areas of town. However it appears he may not be ready for the clothing-challenged scenery:

C’mon, Duf, it’s called the Castro — and it was hot out today! Just wait, they will probably be in your gallery tomorrow!

USGA Debuts Redesigned Going Mobile Website for U.S. Open at The Olympic Club

Watching the U.S. Open at The Olympic Club in mid-June is the best way to see the world’s best golfers compete for the country’s national championship. But as with any major, only a small percentage of the tournament’s fans will see the event in person.

Which, of course, is why the United States Golf Association (USGA) launched the redesigned official website of the 112th U.S. Open Championship scheduled at iconic Lake Shore course in San Francisco, June 14-17.

The new is powered by IBM’s cloud computing technology and includes features such as live-streaming video, live scoring, interactive PlayTracker and access to Web and mobile applications.

“We set out to create a multi-functional, easy-to-use website that will provide the outstanding digital experience that fans of the U.S. Open have come to expect,” said Sarah Hirshland, senior managing director, business affairs for the USGA. “With superb photography and video, compelling articles and enhanced interactivity, extends beyond the desktop to bring the championship experience to the user.” IBM is also the technical brains behind the online presentation of the Masters.

With an emphasis on bringing the U.S. Open experience to users around the world, the site features real-time scoring, live high-definition (HD) video streaming, interactive play tracking and the Virtual U.S. Open, which allows fans to experience each hole at The Olympic Club.

Complete coverage of U.S. Open sectional qualifying, expanded social-media capabilities and enhanced near-time photo viewing are among the upgrades for 2012.

The official 2012 U.S. Open mobile application for Android and iPhone devices will be available for download on June 1.

Like, the app’s tablet-friendly design will provide access to live HD video streaming, news, photos, real-time scoring and Twitter feeds.

The 2012 will feature:

Sectional qualifying (June 4) with scoring, images and articles from all qualifying sites; PicStream Photos; PlayTracker, interactive leader board; Enhanced course profile of the Lake Course at the Olympic Club; Select television HD live streaming and ESPN Radio streaming; Social media updates via Twitter (@usopengolf) and #usopengolf) and via Facebook (

Additionally, fans can virtually play holes at The Olympic Club with players who make the cut with a chance to attend the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. for players who make the cut.

And, finally, beginning June 4, for the U.S. Open, live video, photos, real-time scoring and tweets on Android, iPhone and tablet devices as well as stream radio and social media to interact with ESPN Radio analysts will begin.