Sports and augmented reality (AR) apps are nothing new. The technology has been used by the NFL, NBA and even German soccer teams to promote their respective leagues, with results varying from the gimmicky to the interesting. Now the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) has its own AR app on iOS that lets you watch real-time shot trails appear on select holes during live competition. You can also compare up to four different players' shots, if that's your thing.
PGA Tour AR uses your iPhone camera and iOS 11's ARkit to place a virtual map of six different golf holes onto any flat surface. The app currencly has hole seven from the Pebble Bead Golf Links, hole six at Bay Hill Club and Lodge, TPC Sawgrass' hole 16, 17 and 18 and the 18th hole from the East Lake Golf Club on offer. The data is taken from previous competitors, for now, but you'll be able to watch the real-time competition as it happens starting with the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 15th. The PGA plans to add more holes as time goes on, and hopes to feature one hole from every tournament on this year's PGA tour.
So far, all you can do is place a golf course on your coffee table, which seems kind of limited in appeal. However, an update to the app later this year is set to enable on-course AR, where you can hold up your device in front of any hole to see shot data for selected golfers live or from an archive. Other additions may include AR maps to help you find venues, merchandise stands and concessions, or even for finding specific players on a given course. Of course, there's also potential for displaying branded data for each hole, highlight video clips and 360-degree views of various products.