New contest is aimed at start-ups and is seeking innovations that will appeal to golf fans


The European Tour has launched an innovation contest for start-ups aimed at developing new creative concepts to enhance golf.

The European Tour Innovation Hub competition is being run with Tata Communications and is seeking ideas that can be developed commercially. The winning solution will be tested during the 2020 season.

Tata Communications says the ideas “might include concepts which enable a truly connected golf course, bring fans closer to the game and enhance their experience or enhance the Tour’s broadcast and production.”

It adds that innovations around the internet of things (IoT) or 360-degree cameras, to make it easier for fans onsite to follow several players’ progress across the course at once, or to do something more mundane such as buy refreshments, would be welcome.

“The ideas could also allow the European Tour to interact with fans in new ways across digital platforms, helping to convert casual followers of golf to die-hard fans and generate new commercial opportunities for the sport and its sponsors,” adds Tata Communications.

Entries can be submitted via A shortlist of three start-ups will be announced in November 2019, and each of these companies will be invited to attend a workshop in London in February 2020 to develop their ideas further with coaching from VC firms, the European Tour and Tata Communications.

Following this, there will be a Dragon’s Den-style pitch and the winner will be decided two weeks after the closure of the workshop.

The winner will get a trip to the Hero India Open in Delhi in March 2020, where they will be able to showcase their idea to tech industry leaders. They will also get to work with the European Tour’s business development team to turn the idea into a proof-of-concept at a leading European Tour event in 2020.

The panel of judges will include Michael Cole, Rufus Hack, Mehul Kapadia and Tri Pham. They will be joined by Oliver Wilson, a professional golfer, winner of 2014 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and a Ryder Cup player.

Tata Communications global head of marketing Mehul Kapadia, said: “We’re looking for ideas for solutions that would be truly transformative for golf, not just technologically, but also commercially or operationally, so making a real difference to the bottom line. The winning idea will be one that benefits not just the fans and the European Tour, but the sport’s entire ecosystem.”