Dimples go high-tech at Golf Channel


The Golf Channel said Wednesday that it will incorporate a new production technology into its coverage of next year's PGA Tour that will give exact measurements on golfers' swings and ball movement.

The network is planning to use the TrackMan Tour System, a Doppler radar technology, to measure a golfer's exact, three-dimensional club movement and ball flight and provide precise data on ball launch, ball flight and ball landing, among other statistics.

TrackMan will be used on two holes during Golf Channel's live primetime telecast of the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Hawaii beginning Jan. 3.

"The technology allows for some pretty amazing statistical information, but how that translates to television will be the important part," Golf Channel vp production and executive producer Tony Tortorici said. "We will be able show a 3-D representation of a player's tee shot and then fly around it during flight to show different angles of its trajectory. Different shots from different players also can be compared simultaneously, which can provide some pretty cool visuals and reveal player tendencies."

The technology, previously available only to Tour pros, has been used sparingly for television, Golf Channel said. The network claimed it will be the first to incorporate the technology on American broadcasts of regular-season PGA Tour events.