2019 PGA Championship: Golf fans rip new ‘blimp tracer’ feature during broadcast

May 18, 2019

Brooks Koepka has been the main storyline at the 2019 PGA Championship since he set a course-record 63 during the first round at Bethpage Black. However, CBS’s new “Toptracer aerial tracing” technology is stealing a bit of his thunder, and not in a good way.

In a first for any golf broadcast, CBS’s Toptracer technology uses live video from a blimp in conjunction with existing Virtual Eye Hero and Toptracer technology to show a player’s complete shot trajectory from tee to green.

The only problem: the new tech doesn’t appear to be very accurate and some viewers hate it.

Already today, the shot-tracking technology has demonstrated its faults a number of times, including when it botched Brooks’ very first tee shot of the round. The live feed of Koepka was minimized with the aerial shot tracer taking up the majority of the screen. To make matters worse, it wasn’t even accurate – even the announcers were fooled and began worrying on-air that Brooks’ shot was headed for the rough, despite cameras clearly showing it had landed in the fairway.

Needless to say, many fans were not impressed.

Some are calling for a return to the tried and true Toptracer from directly behind the players.

While others opted to express their frustration in more creative ways.

A few more aggressive viewers called for the person responsible for the new Toptracer to be fired.


Here’s hoping some of the kinks get worked out. Until then, we can all go back to watching Brooks tear Bethpage and the field apart and pretend like all is right in the golf-watching universe.