If I say the word “Azalea” or “Dogwood” or “Magnolia” and you immediately think about The Masters and Augusta National Golf Club, then download The Masters iPad App ($1.99 iTunes link). Before I start into this, if you don’t have an iPad, check out The Masters Website because many of these features, such as Live Video, are available on the site.

The Masters week is one of my favorite weeks of the year and when I downloaded the app over the weekend I knew it deserved more than a tweet exclaiming “dude, you gotta download this app.” If the only features were live video of Amen Corner and a live Scoreboard, I still would have paid for the app because that means more access to The Masters. But, Augusta National and the developers got it right and this application is so much more. Even before the first ball is struck on Thursday, there are over 29 high quality videos, 60-70 news updates, a scrolling timeline, stunning course photos, players info, and live video of players on the practice range. All week long, if I’m awake this app will be on.

The Course

If you’re not one of the lucky patrons able to walk the beautiful Augusta National Golf Club, then “The Course” section of the app is worth the $2 on its own. One of the greatest uses of the iPad is watching videos or viewing photos on its crisp and vibrant 9.7 in. screen and this application takes full advantage. All 18 holes and every major landmark – such as the Hogan Bridge – are presented in full screen photos and with an update sometime this week you will also be able to view 3D flyovers. Click on a hole and you see information about yardage, par and its name such as Azalea, Flowering Peach or White Dogwood. And in the background the screen is filled with brilliant images from the course that make you feel as if you were standing there thinking about which club to hit into the 13th green. Unless you are actually walking the course, these photos allow you to experience Augusta National in a way that even television fails to do sometimes.

Players

The Players section is what you’d expect out of an app like this. It takes advantage of the large screen real estate and presents a list of players alphabetically on the left and a large player card on the right. The player card contains a live scorecard with position, status and current hole information clearly presented, a brief bio and then a range of stats from Best Finish to Money Won. And the best feature here is that you can easily add them to a Favorites list which is part of the personalization options available within the application that allows you receive push notification alerts throughout the tournament.

Video and Updates

There is so much content packed into this app that you really need to download it today to give yourself a couple days to consume it all. There were 29 videos posted when I started writing this post and now there are 31, so that gives you a good idea of how often the app is updated. You can filter video by day or by player and they include videos about the history of The Masters, key features of the course, a series on Masters Greats, and highlight videos.

The Live Updates section currently has posts about general updates, the players added to the invite list (there are only 99 players on the list) and who is currently on the course playing practice rounds. But I imagine as the week goes on the updates will become more frequent and more engaging.

Timeline

This is another feature that takes full advantage of the large touchscreen to present us with a timeline that we can slide left and right (as you would expect) and is packed with photos, videos and information about key dates in Masters History. The timeline starts in 1931 with the purchase of Fruitland Nurseries as the site of Augusta National Golf Club and continues through history all the way up 2010 and the first 3D broadcast. Golf fans, history buffs and people who don’t like sitting through commercials with nothing to do will truly enjoy this feature. Though I should note that Augusta National actually limits commercials to 4 minutes per hour, so its pretty much non-stop golf starting Thursday.

Live Video Channels

I completely agree with the advice to “start and end with the best.” There will be 9 live high-definition video channels included in the app this year. As I’m writing this, I have the Masters On the Range channel up which includes live video of the impressive Practice Area and interviews with players. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will include On the Range coverage, with Wednesday also airing the Par 3 contest at 3:00pm EST. Come Thursday and the live channels kick into overdrive starting at 10:45 am with Amen Corner, then Featured Groups, holes No 15 & 16, and the live TV broadcast.

Its not a secret that I’m completely obsessed with golf. This year I have a goal of breaking 80 (lately I’ve been 87-94) which means I’m reading a lot, going to the driving range, and watching lots of golf. I love it when I get shots of players on the range because its interesting to see how they practice. The live video On the Range is perfect for that because its up close and personal with these guys on the range. There is even commentary and slow-motion analysis of their swings, which I know other golf fans will truly enjoy. Again, if you’re not sitting in the gallery behind the practice area, this is the next best thing to being there.

Wrap-up

Spring is here. I don’t care what the weather is like outside, its Masters Week which means spring is here and The Masters iPad application is a must have for golf fans this week. Download it, prop your iPad up on your desk and enjoy Masters Week.

About Me

I'm the Vice President of Digital Innovation and Mobile, which is probably the coolest job title out there. You can learn more about my work in emerging technology on the About or Work Pages.

As for this site, it's a place where I can jot ideas down and share some of the stuff I'm working on. The views are my own and some of them might not make much sense, but hey, that's part of the process. I'm also working toward being a single digit handicap golfer, so I post a lot about my golf game.