From the PGA
PGAChampionship.com Offers New Robust Fan Engagement Features Through Digital Platforms
The excitement and action of the 2021 PGA Championship at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina will come to life through the PGA of America’s robust multichannel digital suite, interactive platforms and partners – CBS Sports and ESPN. Through them all, fans will be able to interact and engage with the PGA Championship (May 20-23) like never before, with access to real-time scoring, video, updates and even coaching.
On top of providing comprehensive live coverage, The PGA Championship’s official website, PGAChampionship.com, and app will feature a more interactive user experience through their improved leaderboard and scorecards. By clicking into each players’ scorecard, users will get live shot trails and scoring data, along with access to more than 1,000 automated, real-time video clips, showing all the player’s shots or his best shots of the round.
Also integrated into the leaderboard will be a geo-located “Meet My Coach” feature, allowing fans to find a local PGA Coach to help them on their journey in the game. This new feature speaks directly to PGA’s mission of growing the game via PGA Professionals across the country.
All digital platforms will feature minute-by-minute live blog updates, embedded video highlights, daily recaps and previews, and breaking news. Fans will also get relevant statistics through a new and expansive stats section, focusing on the numbers that are most critical to success at The Ocean Course.
The website will also bring back live coverage of PGA Championship Interviews powered by Zoom, providing fans with their favorite players’ reactions to each round and their thoughts leading into the event and next day’s round.
“Showcased on the incredible world stage of the PGA Championship, our robust interactive offerings will highlight how PGA Professionals help golfers of all ability levels improve their game,” said PGA President Jim Richerson. “These are expert PGA Coaches who have the knowledge and skills to understand the talent and focus of players in the Championship field, and they’re just as adept at knowing what golfers playing on courses around the country can do to enjoy the game more. We want viewers to connect with these PGA Coaches in their areas, and this programming is an innovative path to grow the game.”
Social media highlights on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook will continue to provide engaging content for fans on all three platforms. A new social media video strategy will be in place this year, providing graphical, fast-paced and action-oriented clips and stories.
“With social media, PGAChampionship.com and the PGA Championship app, we want to continue giving fans an interactive experience that enhances how every user engages with the play on the course, as well as with our PGA Professionals,” said PGA Interactive General Manager Rob Smith. “While some fans will be able to attend in person this year at Kiawah Island, we want every fan to feel like they are connecting to the passion and action at The Ocean Course through our technology and social engagement. The most innovative part of that experience this year is users being able to find a PGA Coach near them and experiencing the other coaching aspects we’re introducing.”
For the first time ever, PGA.com will feature new coaching and instructional content as part of the PGA Championship’s comprehensive digital coverage. PGA Coaching Live presented by Cadillac will stream live on PGA.com and ESPN+ for four hours each day, May 18-21 (Tuesday through Friday), providing an inside look at how PGA Coaches drive success on and off the course. This first-of-its-kind content will feature PGA Members and help connect consumers to one of nearly 28,000 PGA Professionals near them through PGA.com/Coach. Content for PGA Coaching Live will also feature PGA Coaches for the best players in the world, as well as those at the grassroots level, guiding viewers on everything from basic techniques to advanced playing and swing tips.
Real-time coaching editorials will also be available on all platforms, provided by PGA Coaches to give fans instructions and lessons relevant to the competitors’ performances during the PGA Championship. That will also include on-demand video, highlighted by 2020 PGA Champion Collin Morikawa and his PGA Coach Rick Sessinghaus.
In another first, the PGA Championship and Topgolf Entertainment Group are teaming up to host two contests across three platforms – in person at participating Topgolf venues and Toptracer Range sites, and virtually via the World Golf Tour (WGT by Topgolf) online golf game. All three platforms will feature the 9-Shot Challenge presented by the PGA Championship from May 15-23, and the Virtual PGA Championship will be played on WGT from May 10-23. Prizes include a trip for two to the 2022 PGA Championship and 2021 PGA Championship merchandise gift bags.
EA Sports Video Game
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) and the PGA of America have partnered to authentically deliver the excitement, both on and off the course, of the PGA Championship in the EA SPORTS PGA TOUR video game, releasing in spring 2022. Gamers can virtually hoist the historic Wanamaker Trophy, revel in the Champion’s Ceremony, play as or against past PGA Champions and compete on brilliant virtual renderings of the 2021 PGA Championship host course at Kiawah Island and the 2022 host course at Southern Hills Country Club.
Plus, in recognition of one of the PGA Championship’s most unique aspects, members of the “Team of 20” PGA Club Professionals that earn a spot in the PGA Championship each year will be featured on the leaderboard when the game launches. It will also include tutorials and coaching challenges, designed in collaboration with the PGA Education and Player Development Departments, that teach skills valuable not only in-game, but also in the real world.
Television and Streaming Coverage
The 2021 PGA Championship will feature wire-to-wire 72-hole coverage via CBS Sports, ESPN, ESPN+ and Paramount+. In the second year of the 11-year agreement between CBS Sports, ESPN and the PGA of America, there will be nearly 250 hours of live coverage across their broadcast, cable and digital assets.
CBS Sports will offer comprehensive coverage of the PGA Championship across all its platforms, including CBS, CBS Sports Network, CBS Sports HQ and CBSSports.com. Coverage is highlighted by the third and final rounds on Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23 (1-7 p.m. ET both days) on the CBS Television Network, with broadcast coverage streaming live on the Paramount+ subscription service.
For complete information on CBS Sports coverage of the 2021 PGA Championship, click here.
ESPN and ESPN+ will present a total of more than 229 hours of live play during the four days of the championship (up from 134 hours last year). Fans will get traditional coverage, including first tee to last putt coverage on Thursday and Friday (7 a.m.-7 p.m. both days), as well as exclusive Featured Groups and Featured Hole presentations each day. In addition, ESPN’s signature news and information program SportsCenter will have reports from The Ocean Course the entire week of the event.
For complete information on the ESPN family of networks coverage of the 2021 PGA Championship, click here.
Many of golf’s greatest champions, from Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan, to Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka, have had their names inscribed on the famed Wanamaker Trophy, one of the most iconic trophies in sports.
Seven of the past 11 winners of the PGA Championship went on to become No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Morikawa, who won his first major at the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, will seek to become the second consecutive back-to-back Champion following Koepka in 2018-’19.