Honda Classic: High-tech operations keep viewers close to the action
5:52 PM, Feb 25, 2013
5:53 PM, Feb 27, 2013
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.-- Whether you attend the Honda Classic tournament at PGA National or watch it on NBC, many of the details will be provided almost immediately through high-tech operations.
The whir of ice-cool air conditioning in the ShotLink truck keeps computers and wires in working order. It's a place where Andrew Marchand works for about 20 PGA tournaments every year.
The technology, he says, has come a long way. "From radios and radio frequency data radios, now we're using wireless," he said.
Just five to ten seconds after a shot is made, Marchand's team pinpoints where it went, down to the inch.
With the help of new GPS tracking, and eighteen lasers that dot the fairway, landing zones and a tower, information is provided in moments. Specific stats on each player are computed right away, comparing the new data to old information for users.
Marchand says a team member will use a range finder, which connects to blue tooth to send the information wireless to a handheld device. That information is sent by GPS to the hub, which then can be seen online, on air and on electronic scoreboards throughout the course.
Unlike tracking a game of football in a closed arena, tracking golf means miles to cover, handling the elements of weather. It is the most difficult sport for ShotLink to track.