AWSI – The Masters Edition: IBM Watson Shot Tracker is Way Insightful…


Televised golf in high-definition is certainly a treat as you get a window into a luscious, natureful environment that you’ll probably never get to experience yourself.

The 2016 Masters Tournament is one of those, “stop everything and watch” events just for the images of tees, fairways, various hazards and greens. So mesmerizing that it is easy to forget that what’s essential is invisible to the television audience’s eye. For example, we don’t get a true sense of the terrain or the feel of the wind.
For sure, you witness the PGA Tour pros navigating from tee-to-green in a certain number of strokes, but not necessarily the path they’ve chosen (or the conditions chose for them) That is, until this year when you can have that info readily available in hand and on your computer screen thanks to some “masterful” technology provided by IBM’s Watson.

This year’s Masters tournament app and website feature a tracker function that is truly amazing to behold especially if you are into the strategy of the game and course management.


Meh on Monday / Wow on Friday:

At the beginning of Masters Week, there was an article that touted the technology for this year’s tournament (Technology at The Masters: IBM partners with Tom Watson as virtual reality and 4K by Geekwire’s Taylor Soper) that included this paragraph:

For the first time, the smartphone apps (iOS and Android for smartphone and tablets) this year will include IBM’s Track feature, which utilizes lasers set up on each fairway and green at Augusta that track the position of a player’s ball. This real-time data is funneled into an aerial map of each hole that lets viewers see how a given player navigated his way around the course. There are also new picture-in-picture and player comparison features for the iPad app and on desktop.

Honestly, we ignored it until it came to watch on Friday (Day 2) using DirecTV’s Masters Mosaic.


We downloaded The Masters App from Google Play and spent some time playing around with it.
[also available in the iTunes Store] And this is what we found.

You get the routing, the distance of each shot (and how far to the pin).


It’s really cool!

And on the desktop (a bigger screen), we were able to “re-live” holes — especially noting where the wheels came off the wagon for the contenders. For example, on Friday, defending champion, Jordan Spieth had a rough close (bogey, bogey and par for 16,17, and 18). That put him at 74 for the round (+2 for the day).

What happened?



On 17, it was clear the routing was okay and the trouble came on the green (Clip 1). He usually rocks his putts. The app shows the distances AND how the green impacts ball roll (see arrows). Pretty cool stuff.


So we jumped on 18 to see how he “earned” his closing par.

Sand save!

Sand save!

He dumped his second shot in the bunker. Got out within striking distance of the hole and then drained the putt.

Very nice.


So what happened on Saturday when he seemingly was on a roll on top of the leader board? He shook off a double-bogey on the 11th and birdied 3 of the next 4 holes — arriving at 16 in good shape.


He started the Par 4, Nadina hole with a shot in the trees. He escaped to land his ball 35 yards from the green. The tracker-on-the-green told us it was an uphill putt after he landed 20-feet from the pin on his third shot. Then it took him 2 putts to close out.

Again, interesting stuff.


To us, as long as IBM keeps the data on this site alive and accessible, we can go back and revisit holes from others in the tournament. What happened to Rory or Jason Day?

We were also curious to see if any insights gained would be beneficial for playing Augusta National on the PlayStation 3 (Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 by Electronic Arts).


Yeah, you guessed it…This is another of our #SCMF posts. If you are so inclined, check The Masters app / tracker function out for yourself and let your curious mind guide your mouse (via desktop) or thumbs (via handheld).

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that it’s FREE! Amazing, right?

Stay Curious!

-The Gang

Special shout out to IBM and their Watson technology!

See for Yourself Opportunity:

On Friday, The Wall Street Journal had a piece by Matthew Futterman that talked about Jordan Spieth’s first round (Spieth Picks Up Where He Left Off) and also how Jason Day did.


World No. 1 Jason Day, teeing off in the afternoon, appeared poised to challenge Spieth’s lead. Day’s sparkling second shot on the par-5, 13th hole off the pine straw settled 20 feet left of the hole, leaving him an easy two putt birdie that got him to within a shot of Spieth. A 6-foot par putt lipped out on the 530-yard par 5, 15th and dropped him back to four-under. But then disaster struck, as Day’s tee shot on 16 found the water, and he triple-bogeyed the hole, dropping him five shots behind Spieth, on his way to an even-par 72.


Try that one with the app / tracker function.

Enjoyed this read? Want more ponderables?

Sign up to our mailing list!

Our weekly DragonBustR Reader will provide you with a nice snapshot of what’s new and ponderable at Jedemi. Plus, you will get updates on The Jedemi Chronicles (Trilogy & Series).


Speak Your Mind