Graphic Content

Park video game and part Willy Wonka, TrackMan shows you exactly how the pros shots stack up.

Where: The Golf Channel

What it is:
Graphic that illustrates the precise
trajectory of a shot, including launch angle, spin and speed.

How it works:
Three Doppler radar devices (one
set up behind the player and one on each side of the fairway, in front of the tee) measure every crucial component of a shot. The ball’s trajectory is then superimposed over a computer-generated image of the hole. CBS uses a similar technology that shows the ball flight on an image of the actual hole.

Wow factor:
It’s enlightening when they show two players’ shots at once. And your kids will love the Xbox-caliber graphics.

Where: CBS

What it is:
Super slow-motion imaging of a player’s swing from start to finish, and of the club and ball at impact.

How it works:
A high-definition digital camera captures a player’s swing at 40,000 frames per second. A second camera, with a shutter speed of 1/50,000th of a second, provides a vivid, close-up image of the club at impact. Both are used during live broadcasts, and are complemented by swing analysis from the CBS announcers.

Wow factor:
Reveals even the tiniest swing flaws in vivid detail. It’s like seeing a supermodel without makeup.

Putting Line
Where: The Golf Channel

What it is:
Graphic that illustrates the line on
which a player should hit his putt. Accurate to
within a millimeter.

How it works:
Before the tournament starts, techies
shoot 3-D laser images of a green, capturing the surface’s subtleties. The Putting Line adjusts for wind, speed, moisture, break (everything the pros take into account)
then shows the proper line, assuming the putt is struck at
preferred Tour speed, or with enough pace to stop 18
inches past the cup.

Wow factor:
Its precision is remarkable, though it kind of spoils the fun when you know a putt’s destiny from impact.

The Watch List
What would make golf coverage even better?

1. Players on demand – 53.9%
During the 2006 Ryder Cup,
British viewers could toggle
between different matches
on BBC1 and BBC2. It’s time
American networks diversified, too.

2. Mike ’em up – 26.1%
Player-caddie banter is part
of golf’s appeal. But we’re
only privy to it during the
silly season. Let’s mike up
caddies during big events,
just like FOX does
with baseball managers
during the playoffs.

3. Choke-o-Meter – 10.8%
Announcers talk ad
nauseum about pressure.
Why not complement the
blather with a digital
display? Hook the players up
to unobtrusive monitors
sponsored by… Molson Ice!

4. The Daly Cam – 9.1%
Attach a camera atop JD,
and let the good times
roll. See Big John blast a
drive! See Big John make a 12! See Big John
at Hooters! (Parental
guidance suggested.)

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