The PGA TOUR and CDW teamed up in 2012 to sponsor the ShotLink Intelligence Prize, an output of "ShotLink Intelligence Powered by CDW." The competition challenged academics to find the best new application of ShotLink data to golf science. Participants in the "ShotLink Intelligence Powered by CDW" program had the opportunity to submit papers based on the research they had conducted for the chance to win a $25,000 first place technology gift from CDW for their designated academic institution.
The PGA TOUR initially began sharing ShotLink data with academic institutions in 2005, establishing a formal process for academics to gain not-for-profit access to the wealth of statistical data collected by ShotLink at PGA TOUR tournaments for academic purposes. The program has grown substantially since then, and now has the potential to offer far greater insights into the PGA TOUR.
The PGA TOUR and CDW announced Dr. Lucius Riccio, a Senior Lecturer in Discipline at Columbia Business School, as the inaugural winner of the ShotLink Intelligence Prize in March 2013. Dr. Riccio received the top prize for his paper on determining the TOUR’s best long approach shot ball strikers.
“I am thrilled to have won and to have made even this small contribution to the outstanding statistical program the PGA TOUR has developed and made available to academics like myself,” Riccio said. “Anything that increases interest in the exciting world of PGA TOUR golf is great for the fans and the game. I am excited that I have helped the TOUR and perhaps encouraged others to make even more analytical contributions.”
Submissions were judged by a four-member panel based on their contribution to golf science (broadly defined) using the PGA TOUR's ShotLink dataset.
The panel of judges included Professor Mark Broadie of Columbia Business School; John Paul Newport, WSJ golf journalist; Steve Evans, PGA TOUR Senior Vice President, Information Systems; and CDW's Matthew Troka, Senior Vice President of Product and Partner Management.
READ MORE: Dr. Lucius Riccio wins top prize