R&A Interview


NTT DATA Wall and The Open,
An All New Experience

Read an interview with Mike Tate,
the Executive Director of R&A, sponsor of The Open golf tournament,
about how digital technology is revolutionizing The Open.

(Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews)
Executive Director
Mike Tate


What does the NTT DATA Wall bring to The Open spectators, both at the course and around the world?

I think the innovation and sheer quality of the NTT DATA Wall is to be congratulated.

I know when NTT DATA brought the concept to us a couple of years ago we were delighted.

And then when we saw what you put onto the wall it’s been extraordinary.

I think the spectators love it. We saw 100,000 people look at the wall last year which is a terrific figure when you think about it.

There is a thirst for knowledge at live spots events and people want instant knowledge of what’s happening on the course.

It’s so immersive – it’s a terrific advancement.


What do you think of the role that Social Media now plays at The Open?

Sports fans need instant information.

Whether you’re onsite at the Open, you can use your mobile through the WiFi system that we have at every Open venue and instantly find out what’s happening on the third while you’re on the fifteenth or sixteenth.

It’s superb – but that’s not all, you can do that sitting at your desk, out walking anywhere in the world.


How do you see The Open evolving with advancement of new technology?

Three years ago, I think we introduced the first digital screens around the Open Championship site.

We replaced the old scoreboards which were manual which had their charm, but their time had probably been and gone.

And we introduced I think five digital scoreboards, now that has progressed to seventeen.

So on all the holes there is a digital scoreboard with an NTT DATA credit and information on those boards.

And the fans in the grandstands this time get up-to-date information of the approaching players, they can see how they are scoring to get to the point the round they are in and that is something that they appreciate and love.

And so it has been a huge enhancement over the last three years to get to this point in time.


What do you expect from NTT DATA at this year’s Open Championship and beyond?

NTT DATA are our partners, they’re a leading global innovator in technology.

They’re the ones that can bring technology to us.

We work incredibly well with them and as such we want them to challenge us, to challenge us to give the fans both onsite and offsite around the world the best possible experience of the Open Championship.