See Also:CIO Profile: PGA European Tour's Mark Lichtenhein on sponsor relationshipsCIO Profile: PGA European Tour's Mark Lichtenhein on hostile environmentsIn Pictures: The IT demands of the PGA European Tour\nThere is a calm atmosphere at the PGA European Tour headquarters within the Wentworth Golf Club in the leafy Surrey town of Virginia Water.\nWe meet the Tour\u2019s head of IT, Mark \u00adLichtenhein, in the boardroom, which is lined with silverware cabinets and \u00adphotos of the great and the good of golf.\nLike on the first tee of one of its many championships, this is not a place where you would \u00adexpect to hear a raised voice and Lichtenhein talks at a languid pace.\nHe has a calm and relaxed way of expressing himself. But all this apparent serenity is a mask. Things go on at a hectic pace at the company and Lichtenhein\u2019s role is typified by flux and change on many levels.\nThe PGA European Tour represents the interests of around 600 professional golfers.\nThe name is somewhat of a misnomer, as Lichtenhein explains that with events as far afield as South Africa, India and Dubai, the tour now stretches across the globe and handles the \u00adaffairs of golfers from outside of Europe.\n\u201cThe tournament takes Europe to the world,\u201d he says, no doubt quoting some marketing tagline.\nThe PGA is also the managing partner for the \u00adEuropean side of the Ryder Cup. The transatlantic team tournament is held in the region every four years, with the competition held in the US in the alternating even-numbered years.\nIt\u2019s regarded as the premier team tournament of the sport, with millions of fans across the world.\nThe revenues for the organisation come mainly from broadcast rights and sponsorship, both big concerns for Lichtenhein, who runs the IT that supports both of these channels.\nIncreasingly, he notes, the Tour also interfaces directly with the end customer \u2014 the sport\u2019s fan-base \u2014 through web pages and social media.\nTicketing and merchandising is also available directly from the organisation\u2019s website.\nLike many sports, golf attracts some \u00adobsessional interest from fans who constantly demand detailed information about the game. Golf is a complex game, so there\u2019s plenty of data for fans to fixate over.\n\nA moveable feastThere\u2019s a lot of development going on as technology plays a greater part in enhancing supporters\u2019 experience of the game, but the state of flux doesn\u2019t end there. \u00adLichtenhein\u2019s team of 25 staff also has to cope with building and striking an IT infrastructure as many as 50 times a year as the tournament moves around the world from one competition to the next.\n\u201cWe\u2019re never in the same place for more than one week,\u201d he says. \u201cAnd it can be quite difficult when golf courses are often in quite remote locations. On some Scottish\u00ad links you\u2019re lucky to find a copper wire, let alone a high-bandwidth wifi network.\u201d\nManaging supplier relationshipsis always a core concern for the CIO, but the situation is made more complex for Licht\u00adenhein because some of those suppliers are also sponsors.\nThis blurs the distinction of who is the supplier and who the client, but Lichtenhein doesn\u2019t think there\u2019s any danger of the tail wagging the dog.\nThe Tour\u2019s requirements of its suppliers\u00ad are so well defined and critical to the success of the competition as a spectator sport that there\u2019s little danger of suppliers using their sponsor status as a stick with which to beat service levels down.\nThere is a clear set of mission-critical tasks that are non-negotiable, and in any case the reason technology sponsors are involved is so that they can show off their expertise in a high-profile environment.\n\u201cThose are the supplier relationships that work best. Suppliers are more likely to want to take prospective customers to see us than to some warehouse,\u201d he says.