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PGA Tour Tests RFID

The organization is working with Avery Dennison to explore ways in which EPC tags could help it automate a number of processes at its golf events.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
In addition, Stark RFID has created an iPad application that allows the host of the Avery Dennison tent to see who is inside the tent at any given time. The name of each guest appears, along with his or her affiliation. "We could also include a photo of the person, if we have one," Burnett says, "or the end user could even upload the photos themselves, beforehand."

During this weekend's event, the host will use this application to facilitate introductions between key guests and Avery Dennison's representatives.

The AD-843 RFID tag is made with a large antenna to help ensure readability by capturing more of the reader's signal.

After the Northern Trust Open winds up on Sunday, Tyson says, PGA Tour may continue testing the system at this year's Players Championship tournament, though that has yet to be confirmed. "From our perspective, the cost versus benefit is still to be determined," he notes. "But if, for example, we find that we are paying more than we need to for food and beverage service, that's a cost savings."

According to Tyson, if an RFID solution were adopted for all of the series' events, PGA Tour might include that system as an add-on service to the various hospitality service packages it currently offers its corporate sponsors.

Other organizations have deployed RFID at golf courses over the past several years. In 2009, ID badges containing high-frequency (HF) 13.56 MHz passive tags were issued to 3,000 guests, staff members and other individuals at an event in France (see Golf Tournament Tees Up RFID). And in 2006, England's Wentworth golf course deployed an active RFID system to track how many of its members use its three 18-hole courses (see At Wentworth Club, RFID Tags Are Members-Only).

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