Friday, June 15, 2007

U.S. Open goes high tech

The U.S. Open, which helped define old school, has gone high tech.

The USGA, which oversees the Open, has made available to the media and some other guests, a neat little gizmo that looks like a Blackberry but isn’t cluttered with all those annoying e-mails.

This little silver magic box is called myLeaderboard and it’s a handheld electronic leader board you operate with, appropriately enough, a golf tee that helps you scroll up and down the screens of information.

No matter where you are on the course - and there are some faraway spots at Oakmont - the contraption lets you know exactly where things stand.

You can look up the hole-by-hole score of any player, find out where that player is on the course, access directions, get scoring statistics and tell you tee times. It does everything but read putts and ask if you’d like mustard on your hot dog.

It’s easy to use, even for someone like myself who has come no closer to a Blackberry than in a cobbler.

The screen is easy to read and it has full color graphics.

That’s going overboard because at the U.S. Open, there’s no reason to have red numbers.