ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND — Since it made its debut at the 2007 Masters Tournament, GolfCast has been an important component of ESPN.com’s coverage of golf’s four majors.
A live chat with an easy to use interface with scoring, video and social media elements, GolfCast is hosted by members of the ESPN.com golf staff and is going strong this week from St Andrews, site of the 144th edition of golf’s oldest major, The Open.
As technology has improved, so has GolfCast, but the basic concept has remained the same: to serve golf fans.
“If you’re at work, and you can’t sneak watch golf on the Internet or TV because you’re afraid someone is going to see, GolfCast gives you the ability to talk about what’s happening on the golf course,” said Michael Collins, senior golf analyst, who often hosts the chat during majors.
“It’s basically faster than Twitter, and more informative, and it’s instant,” he said. “So you can ask questions about your favorite golfer, and we can answer those questions for you because we have access to lots of information.
“When I’m doing GolfCast, usually I have my iPad, a TV monitor in front of me, and a Shotlink computer, and then there’s a giant TV screen with the scoreboard,” Collins said. “So I can watch three or four different broadcasts at one time, depending on what I need to see and what people are asking me about, and then follow along with stuff on the computer.”
GolfCast also includes the Twitter feeds of the ESPN.com staff members who are at the event, so if Collins is on GolfCast, senior golf writers Jason Sobel and Bob Harig might be out on the course, and their Tweets from the course add to the information flow in GolfCast.
Of the people who host GolfCast, which this week also includes ESPN UK’s Alex Perry, Collins said “everybody has a different style.
“I’m a little more conversationalist, and a lot more talkative,” he said. ”Every now and then I give updates on everything going on on the golf course, and a lot of times, I get engaged with people on talking about topical stuff that happens during the tournament. I do a little bit of everything, and I try to make sure it’s a blend of conversation, information and then some stats stuff.”
GolfCast continues for the third and final rounds of The Open on Saturday and Sunday.