The manual scoreboard is a staple of the major championships. It's an anachronism, yes, but it's a charming one.
Perhaps that's why it's somewhat surprising that the USGA announced Friday that it will do away with manual scoreboards, including the iconic, enormous scoreboard at the 18th hole of championship host Chambers Bay. In its place will be a new "monster" digital scoreboard that will show more than just changing numbers. It'll have video features, replays of how competitors did on the closing holes and other information that fans might find useful as they digest the national open. The board will still show scores, yes, in a format that's an "homage" to the mainstay manual boards.
The USGA will also replace miniature manual scoreboards typically strung around at U.S. Open venue. Those boards are typically slow to update and provide little information of interest beyond the current group on the hole. The new digitized boards should offer some more value while taking some of the work out of the hands of volunteers.
This will likely pave the way for the PGA Championship, which still utilizes a manual scoreboard on No. 18, to make the change, too.
The Masters and Open Championship are unlikely to make the switch anytime soon, especially considering both majors' websites display their scoring information in the style of their manual boards -- not the other way around.