Hi all! My eyes now weigh pounds but totally accept that, thanks to the Masters Tournament that ended last night with Adam Scott’s victory after the playoff. What a Masters it was! A true win-win race, no losers there! The playoff was a fight with a tiny margin, but I was more than happy to see Scott wearing the green jacket as the first Aussie golfer in tournament’s long history.
For years, he’s had the talent to win a major. I can still remember last year’s The Open like yesterday when watching Scott melting at my hotel room in Shanghai. More or less The Masters was Scott’s redemption! Nice guy finally finished first!
What truly touched me was the gentleman behavior by Angel Cabrera. After both hit top-class approach shots on the second playoff hole, Argentine gave Scott the thumbs up as they walked to the 10th fairway. That’s golf! Consider each other friends and have a lot of respect for each other while fighting for a major win.
The World #1 hasn’t won the US Masters in 11 years now. No major success for European either. Years have been running fast: last European won at the Augusta still is Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal, who won his second green jacket back in 1999. The last Englishman won the green jacket was Sir Nick Faldo in ’96, and I guess needless to say but the previous World #1 to do it was Tiger Woods in 2002.
However, my opinion is that Tiger should have been disqualified because the famous drop case on Friday. Seemed that the one man is greater than golf in general. But case closed – Tiger played, finished 4th and that’s it. The fact is that Tiger was, once again, the biggest favorite to win this year’s Masters but failed to play a single round in 60’s second year in a row now.
Golf Season has Officially Started
Masters Tournament has traditionally been the time of year when golfers are really waking up from their hibernation. This, indeed reflected on Social Media but on the App Store and Google Play as well. See, many Golf apps climbed high on the rankings, GameBook right at the head with Masters Tournament’s official app.
We stayed inside top 5 the whole weekend on the US App Store and got numbers of new Gamebookers during the Masters weekend! Warmly welcome all new GameBook Memebers!
I am heading to Brighton on Thursday to start my golf season with couple of rounds links golf. That’s the golf I love! Too bad we don’t have too many pure link courses here in Finland, though there’s some good variations. Going to play Seaford Golf Club & Seaford Head Golf Course, looking forward to shoot some birdies after the long winter. I promise to take couple of nice pics there and wrote more about the trip when get back home.
@OlliLehtonen on Twitter
Hey Guys! Happy Easter! Easter golf rounds will be played with the simulator here in Finland, because in some reason it’s still freezing cold here! Over -10 degrees (Celsius) last night again. To be honest was a bit depressing when watch the news yesterday and found out that exactly six yrs ago +17,8 degrees was measured at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. You can imagine – hard times for golfers here….
After my short trip to Orlando I’ve now been back in Finland over a week. Leaving to Amsterdam later on today to spend Easter, but GameBook is in action again this week in California. Our U.S. based company’s CEO Mr. Mikko Rantanen has spent 11 weeks more or less in a row now around the U.S. soil.
GameBook live scoring have been served many great college events during those weeks, like The Prestige, Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate, Mission Inn Spring Spectacular, Darius Rucker Intercollegiate and 33rd Anteater Invitational. Long but very rewarding weeks for Mr. Rantanen, I can imagine! Luckily our U.S. based team member Mr. Erich Rabago was helping Mikko last week at El Niguel Country Club in the college tournament called 33rd Anteater Invitational. One more time congratulations to Long Beach State Men’s Golf Team, who won the title there!
2013 U.S. Intercollegiate
Now Mikko is already in Stanford, California. Stanford Men’s Golf Team is hosting 2013 U.S. Intercollegiate at its own course and tournament will be played from March 28th to 30th. GameBook look forward to organize live scoring to our friends’ tournament.
See, GameBook and Stanford have been working together over a year now. Team is scoring its qualifying rounds with free Golf GameBook app, and like their Assistant Coach Philip Rowe said, they love it – it just doesn’t make sense to do it any other way. The guys love to know where they stand when everything is on the line. It’s more fun that way.
Heard that Stanford Golf Course is in championship condition so surely it will provide a challenging but fair test to 17 college teams! The course is considered to be one of the finest collegiate courses in the entire country – I’ve seen many when played for Georgia Tech back in early ‘90’s. This tournament has a great history and GameBook is extremely proud to be part of it. This year’s event will be the 45th annual year for U.S. Intercollegiate Tournament. Defending champion is University of Oregon, and the tournament has individual winners during the year like Tom Watson (Stanford) Corey Pavin (UCLA), Duffy Waldorf (UCLA), Billy Mayfair (ASU) and Mr. Philip Rowe himself 11 yrs ago.
So Friends, family and fans, definitely worth to follow scores with GameBook app again! We’ve tried to make it as simple as it can get. One more time: just download the app, sign in (only takes a minute or less) and off you go. Swipe one more time to the right and you’ll find “public events” tab there – tap tournament’s name and follow live team and individual leaderboards. Simple as that!
Happy Easter Friends!
@OlliLehtonen on Twitter
Hey all! I spent last week in and around Orlando by organizing college golf scoring by Golf GameBook together with GameBook Inc.’s CEO, Mr. Mikko Rantanen. Also we got honor to organize live scoring for Ian Poulter’s Charity Classic at Isleworth Country Club, which was one of the most spectacular Country Clubs I’ve seen for a while. No wonder why so many pros are enjoying their lives on that area.
Saw Tiger Woods’ former house, currently owned by defending Masters Champion Bubba Watson (saw Bubba too on driving range btw.), the famous tree… and much more. Great place. If you ever got chance to visit there, use your chance!
I’m sure you all have noticed we’ve organized these college tournaments’ scoring before already. Golf goes mobile fast and GameBook is at the forefront in this progress. Soon our service is taking huge steps forward when we’re going to launch our brand new online service for every golfer around the world. Tournament organizing will be easier, faster and high-techer than ever! More to follow – stay tuned folks!
Also nice to see that college teams are using GameBook more and more on their own qualifying tournaments and practice rounds! GameBook saves a lot of time and effort not only on the tournament scoring but also on teams’ everyday life. What would be better system for Coaches than this: They can organize team’s qualifying and practice rounds with GameBook app as well and follow their players’ live scores & leave comments for them in real-time.
Indiana won at Mission Inn
“Mission Inn Spring Spectacular” was hosted by George Mason University and played at Mission Inn Resort’s course called Las Colinas in Howie-in-the-Hills, FL. One more time want to congratulate Indiana University, who won the tournament by two shots before Virginia Tech and Purdue University! Well played mates! What was different was that on this event, players recorded score to GameBook. Every group had one iPhone, and maybe it not even necessary to say, but everything worked well! Guys loved it.
After launched in last October in Atlanta at United States Collegiate Championships, Golf GameBook has already provided live scoring with its own app on several different college tournaments around the U.S. territories. Feedback has been gloving not only from the spectators but the coaches and players as well. Clearly, this is something what college golf scene has been waiting for a long time.
After the tournament we got couple of hours free time so only reasonable option was to open my personal golf season 2013! Yeij! Played 18 holes with Mikko, and with cart and rental clubs. It all started well and surprisingly I was 3 under par after five holes. That was my so-called peak moment – fell down the high and ended up with cross score 80 (+8). Luckily there’s plenty of golf left this year and didn’t even care – golf was just as fun and enjoyable as always!!… and hey, season best. That’s something, right?
By the way: some people have sometimes thought that these new technology aspects will slow down their golf rounds. They’re totally wrong! We played 18 holes in 2 hours and 50 minutes, and recorded our scores with GameBook app of course, so our envious friends back home could followed our round live. And we followed their comments back. Of course the golf course was pretty vacant for us after the tournament and we played with carts, but still – hard for me to understand how these high-level amateur players can spend over 5 hours at the course on their tournament rounds.
Met my idol
Perhaps the highlight was to meet my idol at Isleworth Country Club couple of days later. I’ve always admired Ian Poulter’s courage to be a personality. Other love while others hate but Poulter always act as coloful himself.
I can’t think of a better bow image for charity event than this courteous and warm-hearted englishman. He took all the guests account perfectly, and what meant the most for us, loved GameBook’s scoring. Poults followed guys playing on his Charity Classic in real-time with his iPhone and GameBook app there. The guy has a game eye – I’m sure all the guests were more than happy after tremendous day.
After the day tried to Challenge him to matchplay match but unfortunately Poulter was too busy with his preparations to Bay Hill to kick my ass
@OlliLehtonen on Twitter
Six meters of snow on the ground at least here in Finland but the golf season is here! What?! How, you might ask? Well, no matter if there’s -7 degrees outside nor the masses of snow – local golf course called Peuramaa Golf Hjortlandet will open its driving range today.
Finally, after dark and dusty winter we’ve been able to enjoy the sunny weather last days so definitely feels like spring is coming. And at the same time the energy level has increased immediately to new levels!
I took couple of swings indoors even though not a big fan to hit golf balls inside the rubber bubble. Filmed those swings as well – only to find out that I still got same problems there. Good thing is that when you’re not imporve your sving, it stays in pretty same position as it was when I took my clubs in storage last autumn. I can easily hit those swings and after ten first balls even got some sweetspot contacts. But the fact is there’s lots of space to improve and that’s why I decide to go to meet a golf pro this spring. Honestly, that’s my first time… (I would not have to use word “honestly there” if you had seen my swing J )
Technolgy to Help
Maybe I’m a little squeamish but I like the data we are able to get out of our swings today – thanks to the use of computers. Wasn’t too long ago when teaching golf consisted of having a teacher telling you to “swing like this”, and then demonstrating a move himself or showed it from some book he was holding. If the ball flight was satisfactory, the mission was considered accomplished.
The use of computers, videos and training aids is common things nowadays, especially who are full-time practitioners of teaching golf. A lot can be done already with your mobile phone and just by yourself too. The change has been quite slow, but sure: The advent of the portable video camera in 1981 changed forever the face of golf instruction. Teachers were able to take moving pictures of their students’ swings and then show them immediately what their swings looked like. It was helpful for both sides: now he or she could see things that weren’t apparent with the naked eye.
The future of teaching golf will continue to evolve for sure and has already. Watch Golf Channel and you see every month a new product, some new training aids or something that promises to lead you to find better golf swing.
But I know one thing and going to invest my time to train that maybe the more than anything else: motor learning. There is three senses that people use to learn golf: sight, sound and feel. I don’t want to take teaching hours from an old school pro who is sitting under an umbrella yelling out verbal instructions. I want to focus to sight and feel with different drills etc.
Also, I’m not going to spend 4 hours at driving range anymore. Been there, done that and got a t-shirt when I tried to play amateur golf at competitive level ten years ago. My brains needs time to process what it just learned.
If we just keep going on and on with hitting or chipping balls, let’s say, after a few repetitions our brains somewhat tune out, and true learning ceases. The current thinking in golf training is “the more balls hit, the better,” but this simply isn’t true. My simple advice for amateur golfers is “don’t hit any balls without thinking and without target. Focus on every shot and every swing on driving range like you focus on the course. “
When we are trying to hit our driver better, instead of hitting ball after ball after ball after ball (…) with the driver, it might be better to hit only one shot or two shots with it, go another club for one or two shots and then come back to driver. Golf lessions of the future are likely to incorporate much more random practice than what we now currently see. And that’s what I’m looking for when I start to search, who would be my teacher this spring.
@OlliLehtonen on Twitter
Tiger Woods was preparing for next week’s tournament in a round of golf with President Obama in Florida. That’s a good PR for golf and I guess it’s fair to say the more President plays, the better it is for all of us who love the game. Still remember how President Bush was compelled to give up golf as long as U.S. soldiers were serving in the Middle East, but it’s been okay for Obama to play and not a word of complaint.
Hard to imagine how world would be better place if President Obama refuse to play golf at all. Clearly he loves the game as much as we do, so what’s the point not to play when you have space for that on your calendar? Too bad Obama & Woods didn’t use GameBook app on their round, would have been cool to follow the scores in real-time!
Woods will be playing this week in Arizona. Accenture Match Play Championship is one of my personal favorite non-major tournaments. He’ll face Charles Howell III in the first round. Surprises are always pertinent to Match Play tournaments and that’s why they’re so entertaining to watch. Man against man is a nice change to typical 72-hole stroke play tournaments. And would be great if PGA Tour had a few more Match Play tournaments in their schedule.
Europe has 29 players in the field, with the United States having 21 players. The 64-man field is represented by 17 countries. Howell is among four players who started the year outside the top 100 in the world and still qualified. Of those four, he is the only player who has not won this year.
Eyes on College Golf
In case you missed last week, GameBook is providing its Live Scoring service for college golf events in the U.S. You can follow those events from GameBook app – and the good thing is that no join codes needed anymore.
Nowadays there’s a new tab in the app for “public events”. After login you will now find a new “Public Events” tab. All existing and future tournaments are listed there – just tap the tournament and follow live. Last week we were at The Farms Collegiate Invitational. Everything went well – great feedback from coaches, tournament administration and spectators, which was like candy for our ears
Also wanted to congratulate University of Pacific one more time for their well deserved victory there at the Farms Golf Club. Wasn’t an easy course and personally I would have been needed a shopping bag full of golf balls with me.
Right now we’re already here in La Quinta, California. Providing Live Scoring on Monday – Wednesday at The Prestige, which is one of the biggest college events this spring. Remember to open your GameBook app, and remember to cheer on the players & your favorite team(s)! Leave your comments to the comments-section (at the bottom right)
Dress Like Masters-Winner
One more thing: we will publish our next great contest at the beginning of March. The contest called “Dress Like Masters Winner” and rules are pretty simple. Guess, who’s going to win The Masters Tournament and you might win clothes he’s wearing on the final round at Augusta National GC. Pants, shorts, cap… we still have to think about the Green jacket though
@OlliLehtonen on Twitter
It was yet again a great experience to visit the PGA Merchandise Show this year. It was the 60th time for the PGA Show, which is held annually in Orlando, FL. GameBook was not exhibiting this as we did in 2010 and 2011 when launching the Golf GameBook app, our mobile community and the GameBook Scoring System.
The purpose of being at the Show was connecting with many golf industry contacts that we have already made as far as using the GameBook Live Scoring in golf events. Also met with many of the leading golf manufacturers regarding co-operation for this year’s new releases planned for GameBook: live scoring for college golf and also our upcoming event services. Joining me was our GameBook VP Sales (US) Mr. Erno Tauriainen from New York. We had meetings scheduled with many of the top golf brands and visited all the rest making great new acquaintances.
“It’s gratifying to see such enthusiasm at the PGA Merchandise Show,” said Ted Bishop, presiding over his first PGA Merchandise Show as President of The PGA of America. “The activity on the PGA Show floor and at surrounding events is a great start to the 2013 golf season.”
I must agree with PGA’s Ted Bishop and it was encouraging to see all major golf brands represented, which has not been the case in recent years due to tougher economics times. The golf industry is getting back on track now with number of rounds played growing in US and globally – slowly but surely!
At first, we thought that, for example, TaylorMade-Adidas did not have a booth, but then found out they had (together with Adams Golf and a few others) and really cool separate room ‘Club TaylorMade’ on the far north end isolating themselves from bunched up competition. It was like walking into a nightclub with stylish lighting and house music playing. If you came at the right time, you may be able to meet Natalie Gulbis, who hung around the area during the Show.
GameBook had enjoyed a lot of success lately by being featured on Samsung Apps resulting in high download volumes. During the PGA Show, the Golf GameBook app was the highest ranked golf app on the US App Store free Sports App category! Facebook likes are now 24k and Twitter followers growing strong with 8k currently! It always helps pitching a great product by showing solid numbers.
We also had the pleasure of sitting down with President of Cobra Puma Golf Bob Philion. They along with Oakley successfully displayed a young, fresh and appealing look with trendy fashion apparel and equipment released for 2013. Cobra/Puma put a great show at the Demo Day featuring Ian Poulter and Jesper Parnevik with trick shot show.
We finished up our Orlando visit by playing 18-holes at Disney’s PGA Tour venue, The Magnolia Course with lightning fast green presenting some challenges on short game. It was a positive surprise to see Pasi Tenkanen paired up in the same group and enjoyed his company for the first time on the golf course.
The PGA Show left us with a lot of following up to do for the next few weeks and GameBook is looking forward to continue its strong growth during 2013. After couple of days back home in Finland I’m now in California again, getting ready for GameBook’s spring kick-off for collegiate tournament live scoring. Hope I have some time to visit at Bebble Beach too this week!
@MikkoRantanen on Twitter
I got some souvenirs from The 2013 PGA Merchandise Show where GameBook’s team visited last weekend. Those souvenirs I’m talking about here are the latest golf magazines. In the latest issue of Golf World there’s a good column on page 15: “ A healthy message from the game.”
As we know, golf can be good for a person, not only for the long acknowledged break from the-real-world pace of mind, but for the sometimes overlooked physical health of the body, Golf World writes. I totally agree!
When speaking (read: marketing) about golf as a sport for the person who doesn’t play yet, we definitely should underline its proven health effect. Single handicappers sometimes forget that every people on the course are not there because they are trying to break par. Many of us are there for a variety of reasons: social, fun, keeping fit, and spends a unique quality time out there.
Great to note that professional tours and their sponsors have understood to bring that side of the game to the stage as well, even though professional tours are all about who will shoto the lowest score. For expample, couple of weeks ago in PGA Tour’s Humana Challenge there was a substantive Tuesday “Health Matters” conference. The Wellness angle is a far cry from the days when cigarette manufacturers sponsored most of the tournaments and gave out free product samples there on the grounds. Phuuuh….!
The fact is that golf itself is more fun too when you’re taking care of your physical condition. Isn’t the main goal to get the ball in the hole in as few shots as possible. Well, yeah, mostly. but, as writed, that’s not the end in itself for everybody. A rule of thumb for the amateur players, who just love to play golf, is that in more better physical condition you are, the more you can enjoy the game and reate a better chance to play better at the same time – in realtion to you own standards.
Listen Gary Player here. 77-year old golf legend said: “Get off your butt, and I’ll guarantee you’ll loose 30 pounds in one year.” Well said, gentleman! So, maybe the best and the easiest New Year’s resolution could be “I’ll promise to play at least 50 rounds of golf this year”. It’s not too late yet! I didn’t made any NY’s resolutions, but have worked out a little more, compared to previous months. And feeling now that my energy level are as top as is it can be. At the same time I’m sure that I’m going to survive through the golf season 2013. what it means, you can follow it through Golf GameBook Clubhouse. You’re free to send a friends invitation too if you like.
Oh, almost forgot… one wish I have: I have played courses where you’re forced to hire carts. To be honest I hate to play with cart. If walking would be encouraged where possible – ideally everywhere – golf would be even better game and golfers would be better off. Try it out: if you’re forced to hire cart, and will have caddie as well, let your caddie drive and focus to walk to the ball. There’s one very good NY’s resolution for all the golfers.
@OlliLehtonen on Twitter
Hey all! Long time no hear again, sorry for you who are always waiting our blog posts with mouth-watering. It was a bit difficult this time to invent a good title for this post as so much has been happening again!
Season 2013 has started already in the PGA Tour as well as in European Tour, Tiger & Rory are starting their season on tomorrow in Abu Dhabi and it’s now officially official that Rory McIlory is playing with Nike Golf’s equipments next years. His 10-year deal understood to be worth $250 million.
On the heels of Nike Golf’s major announcement in Abu Dhabi that Rory McIlroy has joined its athlete roster, Nike Golf also unveilied a new TV spot that features global sports icon Tiger Woods, along with McIlroy. Many of you already watched it probably, but in case you’ve missed it, take a look. It’s a great commercial in my opinion. And certainly not a cheapest one.
McIlroy is now in that envious position of being able to pick and choose when he will compete, as well as who he will make time for. He will cut down his schedule during 2013 but more intriguing than where the Northern Irishman appears will be his attitude when he does so. McIlroy shows wonderful maturity for one so young. He has also been amiable and approachable. It would be sad, therefore, if McIlroy were to become the kind of cut-off, monosyllabic character that Woods was moulded into from virtually the start of his career. McIlroy has already proved there is no need whatsoever to be that way and is admired for it. – The Guardian’s blog -
Another big-class unveiling in Abu Dhabi related to Ryder Cup of course. Ireland’s Paul McGinley has been confirmed as the captain of the Ryder Cup Team Europe for the 2014 event at Gleneagles in Scotland. Well-earned job for former Vice Captain!
Major Breakthrough for Golf GameBook
Last month have been so called busy season for us too but lot of fun at the same time! Our app was the most downloaded sports app on Samsung Apps during the holiday season and that’s because of you guys. So once again, thank you for being such a loyal fans of Golf GameBook!
GameBook’s global popularity has growth fast during the last month. In mid-December GameBook climbed to first place on Samsung Apps Featured applications list globally, which was again one significant example of GameBook’s huge global potential: the position hasn’t been reached by any other golf app before. This top spot spawned great success as the number of Golf GameBook app users has increased exponentially.
GameBook has been the most downloaded sports app during the last month on Samsung Apps in over ten different countries (in the USA, United Kingdom, Sweden and South Africa) and inside the top 3 in almost 30 different countries.
In Australia GameBook’s iPhone app has climbed inside the top ten of the most downloaded sports app’s in the App Store and has stayed there since then. At the same time, GameBook has steadily moved up in the US App Store.
Clearly, word of mouth information is increasing every day. This works basically in the same way than it works in full golf industry: the same way when people share their experiences of equipments they are sharing their experiences of good golf applications. We have listened golfers views, opinions and feedback always carefully and developed our services to meet their needs.
The true beautify of this is that we can organize bigger and bigger events for the golfers around the world now. Think about it – how does it sounds that you could become a Winner of the global golf competition from the group of hundreds of thousands of golfers. Stay tuned, we’ve already planned some great events with great prizes for you guys. In a meanwhile, participate to our “Win Your Dream Driver” contest.
We are giving off a dream driver for two lucky golfers. One, who recored scores with GameBook app / GameBook Clubhouse in January and for one who aswered on our Facebook or Twitter page, which driver he / she would like to get.
@OlliLehtonen on Twitter