PGA Tour brings new ShotLink scoring system to life on AWS
As the world’s premier professional golf circuit, the PGA Tour is constantly looking for new, innovative ways to enhance the experience for fans both new and old. This is evidenced today by the evolution of their next-generation version premier scoring system, called ShotLink Pro. It is a transformative solution that bridges the gap between data and entertainment, and it runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Working in conjunction with technology partners AWS and CDW the PGA TOUR’s ShotLink powered by CDW scoring platform has undergone a massive revamp over the last 18 months and has been jointly redeveloped, rebuilt, and entered production in that short timeframe. This comprehensive system combines numerous technologies—launch monitors on tees with radar, lasers, and cameras tracking fairway/rough/bunker shots and then putts—to map every hole on each PGA Tour course and deliver real-time data and statistics on all the shots in every tournament. Literally, from tee to green—and everywhere in between.
With plans to roll out and fully test next generation ShotLink Pro during 2023 and be in full production by 2024, the PGA Tour put this new technology to the test during the 2022 AWS re:Invent Pro-Am in Las Vegas.
This helped PGA Tour officials get an idea of next generation ShotLink’s transformative nature. For example, currently ShotLink at its best can only provide detailed ball-in-motion data for a portion of shots, and due to the on-premises server requirements it can’t be rolled to every golf tournament. By building this new version of ShotLink on AWS, fans will be able to see full graphics on the status of each shot as part of a broadcast.
As the foundation for ShotLink’s modernization, cloud-native services on AWS have been indispensable and are fundamentally impacting the PGA Tour’s operations to allow for fully remote scoring production. Core serverless technologies like AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon SQS, and Amazon EventBridge are used to reduce operational overhead and increase scalable capacity. The combination of these, along with Amazon EC2, AWS ML/AI solutions, and other services, helps overcome the logistical challenges posed by running a sensor-automated player and shot tracking solution spread out over 150-to-250 acres on a weekly basis.