Posts Tagged Mikko Rantanen
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
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
Greetings from Atlanta! Part of GameBook’s team is here to provide our Live Scoring system for different tournaments. Last Tuesday we had honor to provide scoring for Georgia Tech College’s fundraising tournament called Rambling Wreck Cup at the Golf Club of Georgia. See photos from that day!
That was my first visit at that course. The Cup was played at Club’s Lakeside course, which was one of the most beautiful courses I’ve seen for a while. Lake scenery, spectacular views and a nice lay out.
There were a lot of former and current Georgia Tech’s players playing and enjoying a nice day. Few to mention: Open Champion Stuart Cink, PGA Tour Player Bryce Molder, Masters Champion Larry Mize, Golf Channel Analyst, former PGA Tour player Charlie Rymer. Great day and fundraised money for a good cause!
Our great app got only very positive feedback from the players. Tech’s College players were thrilled when they realized it’s actually free and they are able to use it when and where ever. After the using experience you always realize a lot easier how cool and easy to use Golf GameBook is. I’m not saying this just as a marketing jargon. Even I’m working for GameBook nowadays I still remember very well my first experiences in 2009. I was hooked right after my first try.
East Lake Golf Club – A stage of Tour Championship
The day was perfect if you do not take into account the rental clubs I got. Thanks to Rantsu for letting me borrow his driver on every hole after the last five-six holes with my garden-hose-flex rental driver. I wouldn’t have hitted even the airport’s landing strip with it.
Course was played in a perfect condition, thanks to Tour Championship aftermath. Fairways were whole smooth green carpet from tee to green, greens were as slippery as the glass table and the weather was sunny +23 degrees with only a light wind. I could not ask for anything more.
I’ve got chances to play many great courses around the world and very grateful for that. Yesterday led me to think what really makes difference between these courses. You know, matters of taste there’s no meaning to argue. History has a major impact! It’s always more special to play the hole you saw on TV couple of weeks ago, dismounth to excat the spot from where Bill Haas shot his amazing recovery shot two years ago and won the Tour Championship & FedEx Cup and walk to the tee knowing Tiger Woods was here a month ago as well. Can I hit my ball as far as Tiger did, oh yeah, Sergio made the birdie from there, there was a leaderboard screen and so on.
We know how big college sports is in the U.S. Rantsu has told me many great stories last days of his time in Georgia Tech in the mid 90’s. I have got a picture not only for its excellent sports events but the team spirit, pure atmosphere and pure sport. I guess that’s so, then that money brings too much dirt in its side to sports too. Sport is the purest form, when the money does not yet constitute the main reason.
Georgia Tech Men’s Golf Team played in Rumbling Wreck Cup as well like I told earlier. Damn those boys are hitting their ball long and straight! We are going to see those guys again today. The USCC College Golf Tournament will be played from Friday to Sunday and GameBook has the honor to provide tournament’s Live Scoring again.
We are looking forward this great event, which is very well organized by Georgia Tech. 11 great teams, UCLA is a defending champion from last year. College golf world is fascinating and I am convinced that the future of the top players are grown in just this way.
@OlliLehtonen on Twitter
Hi folks! Long time no hear, sorry about that! However I have a very good reason for my radio silence. That is to say I just got back from the U.S. where I spent two weeks with Mikko Rantanen. Interesting weeks, lots of great stuff happened and I can honestly say we are more than excited here J
One of the most memorable days in our trip was our visit at Stanford University. We had the honor of organizing Golf GameBook’s Live Scoring system for Stanford Men’s Golf Team’s fundraising tournament called Cardinal Classic.
GameBook has done a rich cooperation work with Stanford Men’s Golf Team since the end of last year.
Stanford on my mind
In November 2011 we met Stanford Men’s Golf Head Coach Conrad Ray. A true gentleman and a true professional! Conrad found out how well GameBook’s live leaderboard & chat works for in College Golf scene: for example in their qualifying tournaments. When players are on the course, Coach is able to follow scores and over all standings in real-time as well as leave and read comments for and from the players.
Fundraising tournament was so much fun. Needless to say that me and Rantsu both enjoyed our day wholeheartedly. The atmosphere was relaxed, weather couldn’t be any better and all the players and guests had a smile on their face from the start to the sweet end. This is why I basically love golf. It’s fun and always turns you to a good mood.
After the tournament Stanford Men’s Team gave us a great driving show. These boys are good! Whole team was there although they just had arrived back from Scotland the night before. Team’s number one player Patrick Rodgers suffered some jetlag for sure but played gross score 63 anyway! Impressive! He currently holds 26th spot on World Amateur Rankings but can be expected to claim inside top 10 very fast if continues like that.
We got a chance to play couple of rounds at Stanford Golf Club too. What a training conditions students have there! I was impressed, even moved A-Class driving range, huge greens for the short game practice, 100m long holes to improve wedge and approach shots and very nice park-style course.
The course wasn’t too narrow although not a runway either but it definitely required a precise game strategy. What was the hardest part for me was the over all distance. You know, I’m not getting any younger Stanford’s guys don’t have same kind of problems there. I know because I saw how faaaar they hit the ball at post-tournament show.
@MikkoManerus in Twitter
Inspired by the legendary golf tournament the Ryder Cup, the GameBook Cup launches as the first transatlantic golf challenge of its kind ever. And of course, experienced team captains have been nominated; Team USA has British Open Champion Stewart Cink as the Captain, and Team Europe is led by European Tour golfer Johan Edfors. Great to have them onboard!
For the first time all golfers in the USA and in Europe can enjoy golf together, regardless of age, gender or HCP. The six-week GameBook Cup, is open to all golfers from the two continents and can be played on any course in the world.
Here below the first comments from the supporting team:
“I think this is a wonderfully innovative idea. In honor of the Ryder Cup year I think it is appropriate to expand the joy of golf with a truly global approach. And, I think that GameBook team’s creativity in utilizing social media and the latest technology is exceptional. Golf tournaments are fun and social, but they can be so much more with this new golf app. I will do my best to build to great Team USA.”, praises British Open Champion Stewart Cink.
“I had an opportunity to test this golf concept last year in a tournament between two nations, Sweden and Finland. It was very engaging and an extremely fun experience. I will recommend my fellow pros to join this contest. My vision is to have a diverse Team Europe, professionals and amateurs playing together.” says Johan Edfors, Captain of Team Europe in the GameBook Cup and three-time winner of European Tour events.
“Both in the US and in Europe we value the important landmark tournaments. The encouraging and inspiring culture deserves to be further embraced, and that’s what we are doing. GameBook Cup differs only by the fact that anyone can participate. And to make things more interesting, we will throw some nice prizes to random participants each week.” says Mikko Rantanen, CEO of GameBook Inc.
“We have managed to fine-tune our golf app and the supporting mobile technology into such good shape that we decided to put it to a real tough test. And of course, we wanted to offer an unforgettable golf experience to all golf lovers in the USA and in Europe.” says Kalle Väinölä, Founder of GameBook, PGA pro.
So, we are very excited about this idea and challenge we’ve developed. It is indeed the world’s largest golf challenge by far (let us know if we’re wrong…). As soon as it starts, we will write more about the progress and the results of course. Good luck!
The challenge will be held between July 30th and September 9th, 2012, and it is free for golfers and golf clubs.
If you’re European or American golfer, please join the Team Europe or the Team USA.
Check out the details about the GameBook Cup here: