Every spring, golf fans look forward to two things: watching the world’s best golfers tee off Augusta National Masters Tournamentand to download the companion app.
We mean business. For some reason (probably related to how much money the notoriously mysterious Augusta Golf Club has), the free companion app to the Masters Tournament is amazing. When the masters roll around, folks post Office odes do so on Reddit by just giving the app praise to show their appreciation.
“Just a reminder that the Masters app is a rare beast that is actually brilliant and well designed and works fantastically well,” a Thursday Post in r/Golf read. The tournament started on Thursday and will run through the weekend.
To be clear, this is not a PGA app or an ESPN or Golf Channel app. nope It’s an app whose sole purpose is to help people watch a golf tournament one weekend a year.
Is the Masters app free?
So what makes the app so great?
First off, it’s 100 percent free. No cable login or subscription service is required. This is an absolute rarity all in one streaming ecosystem where broadcasters’ ultimate goal is to get people to pay for content. You can download the Masters app from the Apple App Store for iPhones or the Google Play Store for Android phones.
But in terms of content, it honestly has just about everything that someone who wants to see a hell of a lot of high-level golf would want. A ranking list with minute-by-minute scoring? Check. A live stream of the show that isn’t buggy? Naturally. A tab with the latest news, a schedule, a map of the course, highlight videos, a bird’s eye view showing each player’s location? Of course.
How to watch live sports without cable (or even a TV).
But the trait that really pushes this babe over the edge is his Any Player, Any Shot, Any Hole feature. The Masters have made it their mission to film and broadcast every shot of every player at every hole.
Who needs to see so much golf, you ask? golf fans. What on earth are you doing with so much video? Well, in 2020, the app introduced a feature called My group With it, you can create your own little custom party to keep tabs on any player you want. There is a tab to follow their scores and a feed showing their shots.
For example, if I were to pick my own group of golf cuties, I would pick Colin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth, and Viktor Hovland. Thanks to the app, I could then just watch my favorite Boiz play golf together sweet and good while ignoring the boredom that might be seen on the main live broadcast.
Or, as one Reddit user put it, “The best part is that every player covers every shot so I’m not forced to watch Patrick Reed.”
Give them all the green jacket.
Credit: Screenshot: The Masters
Once my Boiz have taken the green, their shots’ feeds will appear in the My Group tab.
Credit: Screenshot: The Masters
The Illuminati at Augusta Country Club obviously didn’t come up with this app themselves. The club partners with IBM to make the app. They upped their AI game with the Every Shot feature in 2020 to help people watch remotely during the pandemic year more effectively. The app relies on IBM’s Watson AI to manage all of this player data and video to automatically display highlights, trackshots and more.
The app also gets fun new toys every year. According to the app’s version history, what’s new in the Master’s App 2022 are improvements to fantasy integration and more content around Featured Groups+. This is a portal that shows featured groups of players now viewing live video as well as “bonus trivia, polls, predictions, breaking news and more”.
If it sounds like a lot of time, money, effort and technology went into developing an app that people use once a year to watch a sporting event, right! But when watching sports, it can be so buggy and fragmented thanks to streaming servicessometimes you just have to give credit when an app works really, really well.
Here’s looking at you, little one.