Sony Open volunteers using advance laser technology to tally scores

WAIALAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Once a PGA tour pro tees off, these volunteers are doing much more than keeping their eyes on the ball.

They are part of "ShotLink."

"ShotLink is an electronic scoring system, kind of a two phase approach to scoring a golf tournament," said Doug Kinder, PGA tour "ShotLink."  "We have the walking scorers that follow each group one per group, and they keep track of each shot, each pro hits."

They also have "ShotLink" volunteers who man and operate lasers.

"Through a survey, they have everything calibrated to certain points of the golf course which shows up in our control room in a visual reputation of the golf course and once they are calibrated and we record the location of the boxes and location of the hole for that day we can calculate the distance of the hole," Kinder said.

It takes a number of volunteers to tally the scores but compared to years before "ShotLink;" they can get the data they need instantaneously.

"This is the newest system in here now, and it shoots up to a satellite and downloads in 6 seconds and the announcer of TV knows where we are at (with the ball and stats)," said Warren McGillivray, a volunteer for the Sony Open. "We shoot every shot, every ball, every hit for every player and then we grid it."

"We use to be on a paper trail," said Matthew Toenjes, PGA Tour "ShotLink."

Which took 20 minutes just to take the score to the scoreboard. Now even the public can access this real-time information in a flash either on their smart phones, tablets, or computers. They have access to more than enough golf stats at their finger tips.

"A lot of stats, so from the time the player plays one hole we have about 1500 different stats generated from just that one player from that one hole," said Toenjes.

All the volunteers who are involved in "ShotLinks" are a critical part of the tournament.

To learn more how you can become a volunteer, check out this link:

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