Forecaddie: Every-shot technology comes to the Masters (almost)

Forecaddie: Every-shot technology comes to the Masters (almost)

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Forecaddie: Every-shot technology comes to the Masters (almost)

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The Masters always presents a tantalizing dichotomy of online broadcast technology that advances the medium, while leaving fans crying for more.

This year’s Masters marked the first attempt to record every shot of every player in the field. Adding around two dozen more cameras and a huge group of editors — the algorithms haven’t taken over yet — a Masters.com team attempted to provide fans the chance to watch video of every shot played via the leaderboard.

The new technology came out roaring for about a few hours Thursday, then suffered a mid-day first-round halt, but eventually caught up with most shots. Some intriguing omissions likely were tied to what appeared to be struggles on certain holes — 5, 11 and 13 — so things were missed, such as Henrik Stenson making an 8 followed by trimming the azaleas with his wedge.

Once the weekend rolled around, this breakthrough technology was doing almost what the chairman ordered, though it was taking longer to get video posted than predicted.

“Within minutes of every shot, this added content will now allow our fans online to follow their favorite players from their drive off the first tee to their final putt on the 18th green,” Chairman Fred Ridley said in the rare announcement of a new technology. Typically the green coats like to have people discover such things like finding a new feature, but given the dreams of other golf organizations to eventually have similar technology at their majors — mostly aimed at increasing their international rights fees — there were many eyes on this year’s surprisingly new technology.

The Forecaddie wishes he could be as effusive in praise for the broadcast coverage. Instead, the traditional gripes about the telecast window and minimal use of tracer technology were aimed at CBS, while all sorts of issues arose for ESPN, from brief transmission failures that required announcer apologies to fans angry at the attempts to play edgier music instead of the classic Masters theme.

Once again, even with the hiccups, the online coverage raised the bar and stole the Masters show. Gwk

 

 

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