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Into the Future

PGA TOUR's continued Linux successes have led to even more server migration over to Linux. Originally, only their web services ran on Linux boxes; now the PGA TOUR mail servers are also based on Linux. The IT staff is being trained for Red Hat's certification exams, with the objective of achieving one Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) and two Red Hat Certified Technicians (RHCTs).

Along with these changes, constant innovation is required to keep up with the times. MobileLink, the ShotLink data feed program, also has the ability to send out user-specified data by SMS and WAP technologies to cell phones and PDAs. No doubt feeds will be added for new mobile technologies as that industry continues to mature.

When asked whether PGA TOUR plans to market its infrastructure technology to other sports leagues and organizations, Evans points out one lesson learned during ShotLink's development: "[While there are] a lot of similarities in scoring one sport to another, there's a lots of uniqueness in golf." After all, how many sports have you trying to follow so many different people over such a large area, with all of them doing different things at the same time?

Finally, Evans says that perhaps the best feedback has actually come from golfers' friends and families who can now follow every shot. Tracking every move in real time means that not only can a player's key shot for a tournament win be viewed, but the bad shots are also viewable—and open to feedback.

Many people once believed that Internet technology would bring us closer together. Although the Internet actually seems to be making people less likely to gather in person, applications like TOURCast show that the Internet won't necessarily drive us all into hermitage.

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