The title sponsor of this week’s AT&T National at Congressional Country Club is using the tournament to show off some of its services.
AT&T has deployed two Cell on Wheels (or COWs) on the course to accomodate increased demand for cell service. Spectators are allowed to bring their cellphones on to the course, but must keep them quiet while watching golfers.
AT&T will also provide free Wi-Fi service at the main entrance, 7th hole, 18th hole and the AT&T Digital Clubhouse, where it will also provide an air-conditioned lounge with charging stations and displays for other projects.
Organizers are hoping host Tiger Woods’ absence from the tournament field won’t cut into attendance too much. Justin Rose and Adam Scott, winners of golf’s last two majors, will be in the field.
More than 136,000 spectators attended last year’s tournament, even with Saturday’s third round being closed to spectators after the derecho that hit the night before. Sunday’s final round, in which Woods clinched the six-year-old event, drew a single-day record attendance of 48,611.
In years when Woods hasn’t played, attendance has dropped to half of the previous year’s total.
The Tournament’s military focus has been a popular storyline since Woods helped bring it to Congressional in 2007. It will again be a part of this year’s event when it begins with a practice round on Tuesday.
On Friday, an AT&T employee and member of the Army Reserves will participate in a pin flag replacement ceremony by hole No. 17. There will be a tent for spectators to help build care packages for tropps overseas. Last year, AT&T sent 5,880 care packages and raised more than $3,000.
And organizers will again erect a wall near No. 18 for spectators to sign and write messages for troops.
For more info on the tournament, check out our Tournament guide.