How can mixed reality technology help the PGA Tour engage sports fans, design courses, improve operations, and provide benefit to golfers? Watch this Microsoft HoloLens golf demo and see.

The demo is definitely cool. It lets you interact with the course from above and see the hole-to-hole shot data for individual players — much more effective and engaging than looking at an Excel spreadsheet, for example.

I do, however, wonder how a device like HoloLens will really help golf fans, players, officials, and others. Taqtile VP of Product Management Kelly Malone explained that augmented reality gives people a whole new perspective.

“You can visualize things in a whole new way,” he said. “You can see things you couldn’t have seen before.”

For example, a PGA Tour official could use HoloLens to view heat maps of where balls are landing for a particular tournament, and figure out if he or she should move a pin or expand a hazard. Players could use the technology to analyze past performance. Broadcasters could use HoloLens to explain different shots are part of their commentary.

“This also enables shared experiences,” Malone added. “Multiple people can be looking at the same hologram at the same time. This can be really helpful for a player-coach conversation.”

It’s certainly still early days for HoloLens and virtual/augmented reality technologies as a whole. But Malone, who worked closely with the HoloLens team as a Microsoft employee before arriving at Taqtile in April 2015, is convinced that the platform will provide serious benefit to an array of people.

“There are a lot of interesting scenarios for professional sports leagues, teams, and athletes themselves,” he noted.

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