When you watch commercials about a new product, it usually all blends into one main message: The next big thing. Think about those newest drivers that promise you to hit the ball even further. Or the practice and training aids that will undoubtedly lead to the best round of your life. And then, there are things that don’t really need advertising for you to crave them. And that is exactly how it felt at this year’s PGA Show.
The flip side of the coin was, that for years the PGA Show has been about who can go bigger and better than the others. It has gotten so expensive to be part of the show, that basically, it was just about the big brands bragging about their products and expanding while others were happy to afford even the smallest booth and at least get some of the attention. Since the big brands started to pull out of the PGA Show, the focus has started to shift. It has been more about smaller, new brands that were trying to emerge on the market. The first time PuttView has been at the PGA Show was in 2016. And even then, we could generate interviews with Golf Channel and various other news outlets. We have had found a way to get the attention of the media the only possible there was back then: through being truly innovative. Since that appearance, PuttView has turned into a successful and fast-growing business, and we came back to Orlando with one of the biggest booths to create yet another buzz.
Our booth at the PGA Show this year was significantly larger than in prior years.
Shaping the future of putting practice together
I still remember the first time I got to tell people at the PGA Show about PuttView Outdoor. It still brings a smile to my face because it was that good. At a show like this, you quickly get into a habit of saying the same things over and over again. A lot of times people had already heard of PuttView, at least through our Social Media channels. So the main target was to get people to understand the groundbreaking effect of seeing all aspects of your putt. Not only in terms of the line but but also in terms of the contour lines, various speed options, and all the other individually adjustable features PuttView has to offer. “That is super cool”, is one of the sentences I heard the most throughout the show. “I have never seen anything like it”, is another one. That is the exact moment when I would already have a smile on my face. Because I knew how I reacted the first time I heard about PuttView Outdoor. “Imagine, you would be able to take this technology outside, onto any green and any golf course of the world? You could actually see the moment the information sunk in. And a loooong “ohh” would form in their mouth. “You mean you can see the putt outside on the golf course?” That is exactly what we meant.
Lots of fun was head with the reveal of PuttView Outdoor! For the first time, visitors were able to try them out themselves.
See, the thing is, I could stop the story right here. It is that good. People understand the groundbreaking innovation behind PuttView Outdoor. Sometimes they would also ask why no one has ever come up with something like that before. Because it seems simple enough, right? Well, the visualization process is not. There are more than enough hurdles in between what you perceive as the finished product and what it takes to make it work. But, at the PGA Show, we were able to let people try PuttView Outdoor for the very first time. In case you haven’t heard of it before: PuttView Outdoor is the first true Augmented Reality sports application for Microsoft’s HoloLens and brings PuttView visuals onto any green and on any course in the world As I have mentioned above, it brings PuttView onto any green and on any golf course in the world. A lot of people also get confused about AR and VR. While the latter brings you into a virtual reality, Augmented Reality overlays information onto the real world. Meaning, that you can see the green as you would usually be able to see it, with the added benefit of also seeing the putt you are about to hit with your Ideal Line, Aiming Line, Contour Lines, and so on.
Using PuttView Outdoor for the very first time takes some getting used to. But soon, everyone got the hang of it and was able to use the glasses intuitvley.
Getting to know PuttView Outdoor
As is the case with a lot of new technology, it does take some getting used to. Having used PuttView Outdoor plenty of times in advance of the PGA Show, it was funny and interesting to see how people reacted to wearing the glasses. It’s like me, trying to figure out how TikTok works. After handing over the glasses to our visitors, we would go ahead and tell them to start the glasses which are voice-activated. By saying “Hey PuttView” two circles appear on the green. One of which is to select a hole location and the other one to place the ball. All that needs to be done is to look at the hole and say “new hole”, and once that is set, the user can look anywhere on the green say “new ball” and the software will instantly calculate the putt to the preselected hole. Easy enough, right? The most tricky part for our visitors was getting used to pushing and motioning through the air in order to activate various settings such as the Ideal Line or Aiming Line, but mostly for the reason that they have never used Augmented Reality glasses before. But even then:
Besides our Outdoor presentation, we also featured one of our biggest setup at the Show. The C2 Custom Green, which can be used with up to six people at the same time.
To me, the most amazing thing was to see how quickly the visitors of our booth caught onto it and how quickly they started to hole more putts. Obviously, this is something you would expect us to say, but it isn’t just a marketing claim. Ask for example Instagram sensation Blake Webber, who just went completely nuts when he had the glasses on and would continue to hole almost every putt, from any distance that he putted from. Just for reference purposes: Just for reference purposes: Our Green that we had installe at the show had slopes of up to 3.9 %.
Instagram star Blake Webber was very impressed with our newest technology.
While the PGA Show is definitely not as big as it used to be, we did not have any trouble filling up our booth with people being interested in our products. Of course, PuttView Outdoor, which will be officially launched this summer, created the biggest excitement. Especially with our official announcement of the glasses which included an exclusive sneak peek of our PuttView Outdoor product film as well as the reveal and demonstration of the glasses for the very first time. While the glasses will not be available for purchase until this summer, there is plenty to look forward to in the meantime. For example, what is in the box with PuttView Outdoor? Not only can people look forward to getting the glasses and the PuttView Outdoor Software, but also to our Companion App. This smartphone app is to further enhance the coaching experience in combination with PuttView Outdoor. Coaches can see on the smartphone what the player is seeing through the glasses as well as control and activate any setting for the student. Like that the coach can control and redirect the attentional focus of the player to make coaching even more efficient.
Last but not least, on behalf of the entire PuttView Team, I wanted to thank each and every one of you who stopped by our booth at this year’s PGA Show. We loved being back in person and we are looking forward to shaping the future of putting practice together with all of you. In case you do not want to miss out on any news concerning PuttView Outdoor, you can sign up for our mailing list by clicking here. And to those who couldn’t make it this year: We really hope to see you at the Show next year. We promise it will be worth it!
Anni, as most people call her, is our Marketing and Communication Manager. She is a former college golf player at the University of Mobile where she also made the All-Decade-Team (2010-2020) and loves all things golf. After graduating in Communications as well as English Language and Literature, she moved to Hamburg to become an editor for GOLF MAGAZIN, Germany's number one golf magazine. After four years as an editor Anni now brings her expertise to the PuttView Team