Founded in 1894, the United States Golf Association is the national governing body of golf for the U.S. and Mexico. One of the USGA’s most prominent functions, in partnership with The R&A in St. Andrews, Scotland, is to write and maintain the Rules of Golf worldwide. In addition, the USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships as well as international matches.
The USGA and Lightmaker worked together on a complete redesign of the official Rules of Golf mobile apps. The Rules of Golf is comprised of 34 primary Rules, each broken into sub-rules, with at times, multiple levels of details and notes. Additionally, most rules have corresponding Decisions, of which there are approximately 1,300 currently.
The new mobile apps include the 2012-2015 edition of The Rules of Golf and the 2014-2015 edition of the Decisions on the Rules of Golf. The launch of the apps coincided with the USGA and R&A’s recently announced changes to the Decisions on the Rules of Golf, which became effective on January 1, 2014.
The apps have an entirely new user experience that give users fast and easy access to find content. Power users including Tournament Rules Officials that already know the Rule or Decision number, and need to quickly access the language, can scroll through the jump dial, while other users might search for terms like “tree” or “water” to find the appropriate Rule or Decision content.
In promoting golfer education, particularly surrounding the Rules of Golf, the USGA encourages users to share Rules content with one another, and the apps provide users the ability to both share and bookmark content on their smartphones or tablets.
“We enjoyed working closely with Lightmaker to create the new Rules of Golf mobile applications,” said Thomas Pagel, Senior Director, Rules of Golf & Amateur Status at the USGA. “This is the first step in expanding the reach of the Rules of Golf, which improves the appreciation of the game from golfers of all ages and skill levels.”
Download “Rules of Golf” App for iPhone and iPad
Download “Rules of Golf” App for Android Phone and Tablet
Lightmaker was chosen to design and build the new site for Jurassic Encounter, a popular and successful family adventure miniature golf course in Surrey. Jurassic Encounter wanted a fun new website to get people excited about the prospect of a visit to the attraction.
The brief was to create an engaging and intuitive one page website that would appeal to all age groups. Jurassic Encounter wanted visitors to the site to feel like they are experiencing the course through dynamic imagery and movement.
We needed to make sure the site was available on a range of devices, so viewing content is just as easy at home or en route to the park. Finally, the site needed a reliable CMS so content administrators can quickly update the site.
The website has been built using the WordPress CMS, which is renowned for its ease of use. It is search engine friendly, allowing staff to manage all on-site search engine optimisation requirements, including meta tags and title tags.
Lightmaker have used a flexible, responsive layout for the website build. This means the site scales according to the screen size, so it works perfectly on phones and large monitors. Moving imagery begins as soon as the user accesses the site, bringing it to life. The website is simple to navigate and information is easy to find. Visit the site here
The Open Championship 2013
For the fourth consecutive year Lightmaker have had the honor of working with the R&A in producing a number of key digital properties including this year’s most prestigious golfing events The Open and Amateur Championships.
Historically, Lightmaker has worked on not only the main R&A sites, its sister properties and of course the flagship Championship sites but has extended its relationship to produce award winning applications for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone. These included The Open Championship 2010 which won both the 2010 Pixel Award for Apps and 2010 People’s Champ Apps award and The Open Championship 2011 which received more than a quarter of a million downloads and was ranked #1 free sports app. Furthermore The Rules of Golf app was selected as an Official Honoree for the Mobile Sports category in the 15th Annual Webby Awards.
Unified Video Player
With The Open Championship reaching its 142nd year of play, Lightmaker in partnership with Endava, have worked together to further enrich the experience for golfing enthusiasts around the world by adding and improving functionality both on the main desktop site and its mobile version.
Lightmaker was faced with the challenge of unifying the disparate video players that were inherent within the old site so that users had one interface to view the content each from disparate streams be that live, VoD or radio.
There was a requirement to promote other streams within the player which was achieved using an ‘in-player’ alert functionality (for the 3 hole channel, @theopenlive and BBC stream) thus enabling The R&A to achieve its core viewing and commercial KPI’s. Geographical content restrictions added to the complexity so the player was built to cater for notifications based on a fan’s location and deliver content that was rights approved. Social sharing was integrated to allow fans the ability to promote content to their friends.
Other features include a new way to browse tee times and a hole statistics section allowing users to view how players are playing certain holes on the course and how each hole fares against another. The ever popular “Course Live” functionality has been updated in conjunction with the course guide so that fans can track golfers as they play the challenging Links course at Muirfield.
With weather reports integrated within this section it adds to a comprehensive live graphical view of the Championship. Flyovers and course information also form part of the Course Guide plus there is also the added benefit of player’s perspective on each of the holes.
New Mobile Experience
In parallel, Lightmaker have redesigned the mobile site for the Championships to enhance the user experience and bring it in line with its desktop equivalent. The main objectives were to offer a more personalized experience for visitors to view and engage with content and players of their choice. Retaining a fan’s attention by increasing time on site was key and this was achieved by improving the navigation and access to content. Scoring for The Open also needed to be presented in the quickest and simplest form whilst fully utilizing the broad range of data available.
As a result the Mobile Site features the latest news, leaderboard updates, a course guide with live stats and ‘Course Live’ (see above) and integration of external Social Media content.
On the 17th June Lightmaker, in association with The R&A and Endava, successfully launched a new microsite for the governing body of golf’s major championships, events and international matches. The site was launched in time for the 118th Amateur Championship that took place between the 17th & 22nd June at Royal Cinque Ports and Prince’s, where English amateur Garrick Porteous became the latest winner of the coveted trophy.
It is the first dedicated microsite profiling the ten prestigious events that The R&A manages. Aside from The Open Championship, the list includes The Amateur Championship, the Walker Cup and the Boys’ Amateur Championship.
Site features include video highlights from the championships, draws and live scoring from events, an events calendar, news updates and links to the World Amateur Golf Rankings. Feeds from The R&A’s social media channels also allow users of the microsite to follow the latest news from its amateur events throughout the golf season.
Historically Lightmaker’s work with The R&A has received numerous awards from prestigious bodies including The Webby Awards, IMA, IAB Creative Showcase and The Pixel Awards.
Visit the site here.