Four-Time Major Champion Rory McIlroy Provided Vision to Make a Round of Golf More Fun and Keep Every Player Better Engaged

GolfNow Compete Offers All the Best Playing Tools to Elevate any Golfer’s Game, But Also First-of-Their-Kind Games That Give Every Level of Golfer a Chance at Bragging Rights

ORLANDO, Fla.  – Four-time major champion and global golf superstar Rory McIlroy recently unveiled to the industry a ground-breaking app designed to make any round of golf more fun for any golfer of any skill level. Created by NBC Sports Next, the technology and innovation division of NBC Sports, the new GolfNow Compete app is completely free and available to download on iOS and Android devices.

The all-in-one app not only provides tools to help golfers play, navigate the course, keep stats and scores, but also offers new features and games not available in any other app, which promotes the social aspect of golf and keeps every golfer better engaged with the group.

McIlroy and his team were involved in the development of GolfNow Compete by providing the guiding vision, putting an emphasis on fun and keeping everyone playing engaged. McIlroy also wanted the app to be dynamic, with the ability to continually add more features and functionality in order to meet the ever-changing preferences of today’s modern golfer.

“One of the best ways to grow the game is to improve the ways golf can engage every player – no matter their skill level – and to make it more fun,” McIlroy said. “Technology can create those opportunities and GolfNow Compete checks all the boxes, and then some.”

The core of GolfNow Compete is built upon friendly, social competition between friends. In addition to GPS functionality for more than 30,000 courses that helps with hole overviews and yardages, keeping stats and scoring, golfers can create custom competitions and side games that makes every round of golf count even more – and give every member of a group a chance at bragging rights, no matter their skill level.

“Competition is in our DNA and golf has always been a sport where we love to put a little skin in the game, if only for bragging rights,” said Will McIntosh, EVP, NBC Sports Next. “GolfNow Compete offers everything a golfer needs to make a round of golf more enjoyable, but also adds a little flavor with games that create more fun and excitement. Even if you’re the new or beginner golfer in your group, with the games offered by Compete, you’re never out of it.”

For the first phase in the development of GolfNow Compete, the NBC Sports Next tech team has focused on social competitive play for small groups, offering the most popular games and formats for up to eight players. In addition to all the classic formats, like Stroke Play and Stableford, GolfNow Compete offers first-of-their-kind, multi-games with names like Pentagon, Hexagon and Octagon – allowing golfers to compete in five, six or eight games within a single round of golf. The app technology automatically tracks scores and does the calculations for a live leaderboard. For example, Pentagon features five games in one, posting leaderboards for the group for holes 1-6, 7-12 and 13-18, as well as for the par 3s and par 5s.

GolfNow Compete also offers virtual wagering, allowing golfers to raise the stakes in the classic or multi-games formats. Golfers only need to set their virtual wager units, play the round and enter their scores. The app calculates the winners.

Functionality to manage formal competitions is another feature of GolfNow Compete, which handles everything from registration and live leaderboards to determining the final standings. This function is great for charities, golf courses and community leagues that want to host a competition. There’s also a GolfNow Compete web companion that allows users to set up and manage competitions, as well as display live leaderboards on any device.

As one of golf’s most popular players and biggest ambassadors, McIlroy has promoted and invested in various new technologies to help grow the game. He is the co-founder of GolfPass, golf’s most comprehensive digital membership that helps golfers play more and better golf through top-notch video instruction by some of the game’s best swing coaches, tee-time benefits, original video entertainment, and more.

Dan Higgins
NBC Sports Next