Jun
19
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

At the U.S. Open, American Express is providing programs and benefits for cardmembers and fans. In the Championship Experience Tent, which is near the main entrance (on the left when you’re walking in), there are some very cool activities in the facility.

First, there’s the Complimentary Swing Analysis, where cameras capture your swing. A PGA pro analyzes it and gives you a ten minute private lesson. I had one on Wednesday, and it was great, well, except my swing looked terrible.

There’s also the Player Tracking and Viewing Area that was created for an indoor spectator experience. I’m sure it was packed yesterday; that is, before play was suspended and probably after while many fans waited around for hours to see when it would resume.

American Express never ceases to impress with the benefits and service provided to its cardmembers. If you are one, you can borrow CourseCast TV and Radios (pictured above). The TVs also provide radio service via Sirius XM to listen to the play-by-play commentary and updates.

When you’re anywhere on the golf course, the hand-held televisions deliver live telecast of the tournament and player info. It shows you where the players are at ALL times – it’s perfect for stalking figuring out their status, like which hole they’re on or if they’re practicing. No, seriously, it is helpful. I had trouble sometimes finding the guys that I wanted to follow because the course is huge and you just can’t always estimate which hole they’re playing.

Oh, here’s my favorite part – you can get your picture taken in front of a replica of Bethpage Black’s famous sign: “WARNING: The Black Course Is An Extremely Difficult Course Which We Recommend For Highly Skilled Golfers.”

Stop by the tent and check it out. It’s worth your time.

IMPORTANT UPDATE (SATURDAY AM): I borrowed one of the handheld TVs on Friday, and indeed it enhanced the viewer experience. I was able to check the leaderboard throughout the day to keep track of what was happening. Several times I saw that a player was making a move, so I went to follow the group. It was a similar story with the TV coverage – I could watch without listening to the enlightening commentary while I was also checking out the action on the course and practice areas. But I could put on the headphones and listen if I chose. It was like I was two places at once! So if you’re at Bethpage on Sunday (and very possibly Monday), go to the AmEX tent to try one.