Golf World

Drive, He Said

Continued (page 2 of 2)

The app evolved during 2012 into CapZoo, available for iPhone users and destined for other platforms. Say you want to document a buddies golf trip. CapZoo aggregates text, photos, video and sound into a quasi time capsule with its own URL for emailing or posting to Twitter, Facebook and other sites. The magic was centralizing social-media technology more than inventing it. While the app was in beta testing, Elkington had a small mole removed from his side. The dermatologist made a CapZoo of the procedure: photos, video with commentary, added audio notes and a list of surgical instruments. "So now they have that as a baseline teaching tool," Elkington says.

This year Secret and CapZoo will gain wider visibility via Elkington's pitching them on the Champions Tour. The job now is to scale each into big numbers, to multiply their reach. The trailer will occasionally host Dirters, CapZoo users and business partners, including digital companies Elkington says are eager to sponsor golf. He likens releasing the app to a rookie gaining a tour card in that "the hard work's only just begun." In case there are not enough spinning plates, the group has two more app ideas, the first of which they hope to begin developing soon.

Amid this maelstrom stands Elkington the golfer. His co-workers pronounce him ready to contend despite a 2012 more akin to a U.S. Mid-Amateur contender: hustling from the office to squeeze in a little practice, customer golf in the Valley, pickup games at the club where it takes birdies to win. "People say they lay their clubs down for three months," Elkington says. "Well, I've never done that."

Elkington was a little rusty teaming with Sam for a mid-pack finish in the PNC Father-Son Challenge in December but cracked the top 10 in his official debut, last month's Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. Nearly 20 Australian and U.S. relatives and friends gathered to mark his 50th birthday and bid farewell to the sabbatical. The only absence was Alex Mercer, his boyhood teacher, with whom he is working again. Elkington has never been a goal-setter, but the '92 and '95 Tournament of Champions winner on the regular tour got a whiff of the elder version and knows he wants back in 2014.

Elkington calls his new circuit "the coolest retirement plan ever" and says the pressure is off. "I don't wake up thinking about my swing or worrying about how the week's going, watching the weather and my tee times," says Elkington, who was T-47 in his second start, the Allianz Championship. "When I see these Champions Tour players, I look at every one of their faces, there's a certain percentage of relaxment." That explains why, given the choice, he prefers a successful digital career to a successful senior career. "I'd like to win," he says, "but winning a senior major doesn't put you in the Hall of Fame, right?"

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