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August 23, 2018

How the PGA TOUR uses NLG to Enhance Their Digital Offering

By: Stu Kendall
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A few weeks ago, the PGA TOUR announced its use of Narrative Science’s proprietary Quill platform to generate tournament round recaps for every player on the TOUR. You can read its press release here.

Most weeks, nearly 150 professional golfers compete on the PGA TOUR. Generally, a tournament round can begin as early as 8 a.m. and end as late as 6 p.m. each day. Given the short turnaround time between days and high volume of players, historically, the PGA TOUR was only able to cover the performance of the players at the top of the leaderboard. While insightful, golf enthusiasts and fans were often left unsure about their favorite golfers’ performance.

“The automated story platform is in response to our fans and their desire to read about players who may not be at the top of the leaderboard,” said Scott Gutterman, Vice President of the TOUR’s digital operations. “With the help of Narrative Science’s platform, we now produce an AP Style-formatted for each player in the field following every round.”

The Narrative Science team worked closely with content and product development teams at the TOUR to define what makes a hole of golf noteworthy and to understand what their fans cared most about. Quill was then configured to analyze the extensive data collected on each player’s round to generate a story on their round performance.

Using Quill’s robust capability to analyze large quantities of data to find specific points of interest, the Narrative Science platform is able to craft insightful and engaging content at scale for each player in a tournament. Further, it does so immediately after a player finishes a round as well as at the end of the day, when a player’s relative position is finalized compared to the field before the next round starts.

Now, every player in a tournament has content for any fan or family member to read. From the top players in the world—Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, or Bubba Watson—to the rest of the field. Check them out for yourself! Further content can be found on the PGA website. Every player has tournament recaps within their “Latest” content.