Lexmark and the PGA Championship – A Sponsorship that Scores Big in the World of Professional Golf

PGA LogoTalk about a winning streak. For the third year in a row, Lexmark has teamed up with The PGA of America to provide technical expertise that streamline business processes and provides workforce connectivity during the 95th PGA Championship being held this week at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.

PGA Offices As the “Official Printing Technology Provider of the PGA of America,” Lexmark is the exclusive provider of printers and multifunction products (MFPs), associated solutions and supplies to The PGA of America and PGA Professionals—and The PGA Championship is by far one of our most collaborative and successful partnerships to date.

The IT Backbone Behind the Scenes

As the exclusive IT hardware and solutions provider for this globally televised tournament, Lexmark’s industry-leading solutions are core to its success. Everyone from the PGA event staff to the golf pros to the scorekeepers, media and fans benefit from Lexmark’s solutions, which deliver accurate real-time scoring, printing of special event passes and vouchers for attendees and more.

Dave Puterbaugh working the media room at the 95th PGA Championship

Dave Puterbaugh working the media room at the 95th PGA Championship

We interviewed David Puterbaugh, head of Lexmark’s trade show technology and logistics team, to get a better look at what goes on behind the scenes.

How many Lexmark laser printers and MFPs are currently in use at this year’s PGA Championship?

Puterbaugh: We have some 80 devices here to support the PGA, including laser printers and smart MFPs. The devices are spread throughout the golf course, championship offices, operations centers and support offices, as well as in our hospitality suite in downtown Rochester. We have 15 devices in the media center, three of which are high-speed Lexmark X860 Series products that are being used to provide printouts for the media. These printers will print somewhere between 100,000 to 150,000 documents during the week of the championship.

We heard that Lexmark plays an essential role in ensuring the accuracy of the golf scores. How does this work?

Puterbaugh: As each player finishes his round, the first stop is the contestant scoring office, where the pro reviews the score and signs the player’s score card to make it official. The scoring information is then provided to numerous locations on the golf course—this is where Lexmark comes in. We instantly capture the data by scanning it into a Lexmark MX711 MFP. The device is running a custom application that immediately distributes the information to multiple locations on the golf course, including the scoreboard, broadcast media center, and official scoring office for the PGA. From a competition standpoint, this is a critical function. Speed and reliability are critical—and the accuracy level must be 100 percent.

How did the PGA handle scoring before?

Puterbaugh: Previously, the PGA was using a combination of fax machines and couriers on the course. They would make manual copies of the scores and distribute them by hand, which could result in errors or delays. It required additional personnel and time. It takes as much as 30 to 45 minutes to get across a golf course, so Lexmark addressed a critical function that answered the PGA’s needs.

How is the PGA event staff using Lexmark’s solutions to get their work done?

Puterbaugh:  There are scores of PGA staff and other employees here on site, each with specific roles and responsibilities, who depend on our devices to help them get their jobs done. They’re using Lexmark MFPs to produce everything from ground passes and meal vouchers to coupons and labels, as well as many other types of typical office documents—except they’re doing it in a very high- demand environment.

Before Lexmark supported the tournament, the media center was using a variety of third-party brands, which presented operational challenges for the event staff; they weren’t familiar with the brands and the machines didn’t come with any on-site support. Since we’ve been on board, they’ve been very happy.

For more information on how Lexmark and the PGA work together, click here.