Golf on the Internet

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The Independent Online

The official site of golf's Open Championship, which tees off on Thursday at St Andrews, has a pleasant, modern design. In the run up to the competition, news, details about the players, the course, and the competition are all in place and are as informative as would be expected from any official site. The FAQ about the Championship is a particularly good source of historical snippets and trivia.

The official site of golf's Open Championship, which tees off on Thursday at St Andrews, has a pleasant, modern design. In the run up to the competition, news, details about the players, the course, and the competition are all in place and are as informative as would be expected from any official site. The FAQ about the Championship is a particularly good source of historical snippets and trivia.

During play, however, the live scoring section is the place to head for. A traditional web page version of the leaderboard can be accessed, or a quick-to-update Java applet can be launched and run in a separate window.

The Java system worked well last year at Carnoustie, and it looks as though the same system will be used this year. Players' progress hole-by-hole is easy to follow via either leaderboard.

As well as live statistics, there are links to seven web cams for shots from the first, second and 14th through 18th tees. For multimedia fans there are video and audio interview clips already on site, which will be added to along with still photos, round-ups and news stories as the tournament gets under way.

The Open's sister site, the Royal & Ancient, has the same design and works as an effective extension of The Open site, with some extra facilities such as pages to do with the rules of golf, a video library of RealPlayer clips demonstrating key points, and a FAQ about the club in general, rather than the Open in particular.

Away from St Andrews, Golf Today is well set up for coverage. Its live scoring system, accessed through its current events links, usually involves a direct link to the leaderboard pages of the official tour bodies involved in various tournaments, so it will be a case of click and see if you get directed to the official Open site or somewhere else. Golf Today's feature pages have a good mix of stories, stored by date.

It also runs previews of events and has details of current player rankings. Although the site is primarily focused on British golf, it covers competitions and tours at a variety of levels, so as well as the European and US PGA tours, there is coverage of seniors and amateurs, as well as Asian and Australian tours.

For an American perspective Golf.com is worth checking out. It is exhaustive in its approach, and has a section set up ready for the event it calls the "British Open" at St Andrews this week.

Golf Europe is a site that sets out to catalogue all the golf clubs in Europe. Turning to Scotland, you can quickly locate and download some descriptive and historical information about St Andrews, including reviews of the course by people who have played there. It also has information about major tournaments and biographies of leading players.

andy.oldfield@virgin.net

Site Addresses

The Open Championship Official Site www.opengolf.com

Royal & Ancient www.randa.org

Golf Today www.golftoday.co.uk

Golf.com www.golf.com

Golf Europe www.golfeurope.com

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