Rocket Fiber Wins Big at the PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic
In late June, Southeast Michigan finally welcomed summer temperatures just in time for the first-ever Rocket Mortgage Classic held at the Detroit Golf Club.
The inaugural event, which marked the first PGA tournament in the state of Michigan since the dissolution of Buick Open in 2009, saw dozens of professional golfers from across the world compete for a purse worth more than 7 million dollars. And though 2019 marked a new era for Michigan golf culture, the intention of bringing the PGA Tour back to the Detroit area had been in the works for some time.
Co-signed by Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures founder Dan Gilbert, the tournament followed in the footsteps of the Gilbert-sponsored Quicken Loans National tournament. Formerly located in the Washington D.C. area, the Quicken Loans National competed in Washington beginning in 2014 until its final tournament in 2018. For 2019, however, Gilbert wanted to bring the PGA Tour back home to Michigan for the opening of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
As part of the event, Detroit-based Rocket Fiber was invited to partner with the PGA Tour and Safari Events to provide high speed fiber internet for the four-day tournament. Taking place from Thursday, June 27 through Sunday, June 30, the event was an opportunity for Rocket Fiber to expand its event portfolio while simultaneously working through challenges unique to an outdoor golf tournament.
According to Fiber Installation Technician Don LaMotte, Rocket Fiber began working on site one week before the tournament to lay fiber cables along the green, fairways, and pedestrian pathways. In order to ensure that the fiber could be installed with minimal impact to the grounds of the Detroit Golf Club, LaMotte and his team utilized a technique known as microtrenching.
“You take a small trenching shovel and put it down in the ground about three or four inches to bend the dirt before tucking the wires into the ground,” shares LaMotte. “But first you have to lay it down by hand which means walking the entire distance of the run, which could be 3,000 feet long.”
Once the cable was installed, three networks were developed for the tournament, each providing internet access specifically for different uses.
“There were three main mediums for internet at the Rocket Mortgage Classic,” says LaMotte. “One was for free public Wi-Fi so that spectators could use social media at the event, and another network was built for vendors to help facilitate credit card transactions at concessions.”
“The third network, and perhaps the most important to the tournament itself, was called the ScoreTeam, which literally ran cabling along each fairway and green so that the judges, (through Wi-Fi) could electronically submit the scoring for each hole.”
In order to ensure that the fiber internet was operating smoothly throughout the duration of the event, two Rocket Fiber technicians were on-site at all times to tackle any unforeseen obstacles. Fortunately for LaMotte and the Rocket Fiber team, however, the event ran seamlessly. The success of Rocket Mortgage Classic testament to Rocket Fiber’s and the Family of Companies commitment to excellence – even while navigating the unknowns of a first-year event.
“There has never been an event hosted at that location,” says LaMotte. “And for the Family of Companies to put together an amazing inaugural event is in itself a big victory.”