I love golf. I love Google+. There has to be a way to combine the two to make watching the PGA Tour a wonderful experience. Yesterday I was watching the third round of the PGA Championship that is being hosted by Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. One of my best friends is at the tournament and he is sending me pictures constantly. If only I could be there! Well, we can be there virtually and maybe that is good enough. The expense of flying to Rochester, getting a hotel, paying for tickets, meals, amenities and being away from home is just a little too expensive for some. That is why many of us hop of Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to consume sports on a second screen. Here is a fun little golf course review I wrote not too long ago: Hasentree Golf Course Reviews.
Major Golf Tournaments and Google Plus
Over the course of any given year there are four major golf tournaments – the Masters, the US Open, The Open Championship and the PGA Championship. Those that are not diehard golf fans will tune into these events. Some that are just general sports fans will watch the Sunday back 9 at major tournaments just to see who wins. That said, there are millions of diehard golf fans that can tell you that Jason Dufner went to Auburn and he lost to Keegan Bradley in a playoff at the PGA Championship two years ago. Ok, maybe I know a little too much. These types of fans are chomping at the bit to get more information about the sport.
This is one of the main reasons that Twitter is so popular with golf fans. Golf fans love to see and hear about events that happen inside the ropes. The aforementioned Jason Dufner will tweet after his round is over if he finished early. Golf fans love it as he tweets about the different shots that must be hit to birdie a hole. He is the only one that I know doing this but he gets tons of great feedback. Enter Google Plus. Google Plus offers communities and hangouts. Communities are sectioned off areas of Google Plus that allow individuals of a specific interest to correspond without blasting out information to their entire following. This means golf fans can jump in a golf community and talk the PGA Championship during the second week in August. They can do the same thing during Masters Week. This is gold.
Not only are communities available, but there are hangouts as well. This video conferencing feature allows up to nine individuals to hop on a live streaming video conference to talk about anything they desire. So here is what I came up with for the major golf championships on the PGA Tour. During the week of the event the Golf Community (you could even build a community around each major tournament) starts the chatter in any way they desire. Pictures, videos, memes or anything that makes sense. Thursday and Friday tends to be a work day for many but they want updates. Anyone sitting in front of the TV on these days can update with some of the scores and awesome shots. They can even do some analysis if they so choose. The Google+ app has made it very easy to update from the comfort of a man or woman cave. When Saturday rolls around it is go time; moving day at any given golf tournament. Prior to the leaders teeing off around 3:00 pm there could be a hangout for anyone that wants to join. They could make predictions and just talk about what could happen. The community could also bring in some local experts that live in or around that particular course.
Sunday of a major is special. Today, August 11th, 2013 is the final Sunday of a major this year. There is plenty of chatter going on all day for this event. The leaders will tee off around 3:00 pm. This means they will make the turn for the back 9 around 5:15 or 5:30. Those who are active in the community could do a hangout just as the leaders are about to make the turn. They could talk about what is likely to happen and make a few predictions. Whoever is running the show could make a post that allows fans to vote on who they think will win through +1s. This Google+ post could be “pinned” to the upper right of the community in the links section. All fans would be encouraged to vote and live update what they are watching.
My vision is that the community is just constantly streaming when an amazing shot happens. There would be down time during commercials and some of the lulls in the tournament but when Tiger goes pin hunting of 17 the community will be going nuts. This is just the start of what could be an enormous community activity. Golf fans love their Sunday afternoons and what better way to spend it than with others that love the sport just as much. This is my vision and we will make it happen on the Plus.
This is not limited to just major golf tournaments. It would work for college football games, NFL Sundays and live TV shows. Google+ allows this to happen if someone is willing to take the initiative to get it started.