Masters Week is finally here! All of the golf world has descended upon Augusta, Georgia for April 8-14 for the 2013 Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.
Visual indicators and controls are excellent tools for both communicating important information very quickly across long distances and also enabling others to act in accordance with the communicated information. Sports organizations and Lean thinking organizations are definitely in agreement at the value of using scoreboards to share information.
Critical pieces of the communication process via visual indicators and controls include properly sharing the correct data, the most important data, the most actionable data, and also confirmation that those receiving the data know what the data means, can quickly translate it into proper thought or action, and will react in accordance with what is being shared with them.
All around the course are information boards that are updated manually by course employees. Practice round tee times are not published or set days in advance and tend to be more leisurely for the players (or at least less rigid with timing or scheduling). As practice round tee times are set by the players during the practice rounds, the information is relayed from the clubhouse and other outlets to the information board workers via radio. They match up tee times (and starts on the first nine holes or second nine holes) with player groupings on the magnetic boards, and also let passers-by know about players working on their games at the practice range.
Not all important information is created the same, so not all scoreboards are the same. On the main course the scoreboards only feature the tournament score leaders and the scores of the approaching groups (the scoreboard closest to the 15th green shows the leaders’ scores and the scores of the group currently playing on 15).
However, the Par 3 Contest is concerned not only with low overall score but also the players whose tee shots landed closest to the pin. On the right side of the Par 3 scoreboard is a list of the players who landed closest to the flagstick and the distance away in inches. Yesterday, Nick Watney hit a hole-in-one on hole 9 so his closest-to-the-pin distance was 0 (as shown above, however fuzzily).
The allowance of such potential dangers to exist on the course is a discussion for another day, but at least the club has taken the time to inform patrons to be wary of honey bees. I bet this sign either got patrons to look up and around for potential flying stinging insects or their homes, or to steer clear of the flowers and pine straw all together.
On this rack of chicken wraps ($3 and worth every penny) the concession workers use digital timers to indicate the last time the rack has been stocked. This rack uses two timers, one on the left and right side of this tray, as they have two batches of wraps in the tray. Based on the age of the wraps in the tray and the remaining quantity, concessionaires can decide how many more wraps they want to restock if they want to restock at all.
I bet most concession stands don’t use such simple technology to monitor materials consumption, yet Augusta National Golf Club has this set up for a simple seven-day event. The overall attention to detail continues to blow me away.