Few golf fans would call CBS’ PGA Tour coverage the most cutting-edge of the networks. And many more have grown accustomed to a stubborn approach to innovation. So as The Forecaddie waits to get his wish on Tony Romo adding some new energy to the broadcast team, he was thrilled to hear of two moves for the 2018 schedule kicking off at this week’s Farmers Insurance Open.
For all 23 broadcasts in 2018, CBS will have TrackMan on each of the 18 tees as the network did at last August’s PGA Championship. The Man Out Front’s request for comment on this move went unanswered from CBS, but he hopes this means we will get more of the tracer technology that all of us want so desperately. The 3D radar tracking system will definitely give fans and announcers more real-time insight into ball speed, distance, curve and other goodies that geeks love, while adding a high-tech modern look for the rest who see golf broadcasting as outdated.
Another big addition comes in the form of solidifying the relationship with Amanda Balionis, who injected much-needed energy into many of CBS’ telecasts last year as the primary post-round interviewer. The former PGA Tour Productions face and current Callaway Golf host has signed on as a regular contributor, meaning Balionis will continue to employ a high-tech mobile screen to review highlights with players, query them about key stats and, in general, bring some much-needed insight into the normally stale post-round interview.
There will be one week where TMOF isn’t so sure the high-tech cart makes its way on the grounds: The Masters. But The Forecaddie hears Balionis will be part of that telecast team as the primary interviewer, fixing an issue CBS has with trying to get either Bill Macatee, Peter Kostis or Dottie Pepper from their on-course towers to the clubhouse in time for an interview. This also means Balionis becomes the second woman to be a part of The Masters broadcast crew.