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TXjammer

Filming of ball flights (PGA on TV)

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For all I know, this has been discussed on here profusely...or maybe not.  But am I alone when I say that I really really wish they would film the PGA tourneys differently for us lovers of the game?   Don't get me wrong, they do a great job, but watching a ball with nothing behind it but blue sky for 5-6 seconds at a time doesn't tell me how the ball flight tracked....and THAT'S what I would really like to see!

I know it can be done by using one camera from behind the shot following the ball with zoom, and still keeping landscape in view...I've seen it done before...forgive me for not knowing where to find it.  But all in all, you would be able to see the ball flight in its entirety, be able to see how high the flight was, whether they drew it or faded it, etc.

If this has been discussed before, what did y'all come up with?  or give me a link, please.  Can we get a petition together to send to the Golf Channel?  LOL....actually I'm serious.  : /

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I think it's called shot-tracer or pro-tracer??? If it's what I think it is I like it but I wouldn't want it during the live shot. I like they way they will show the flight of the ball for a replay of the shot. I do like to see how the pros flight and shape their shots with this technology but nothing beats seeing the shots performed in person. Anyway, the tracing technology is great and it's example #4,268 how these guys are truly playing a different game.

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I really like watching the shots replayed with the pro tracer, this gives you the exact shape, launch and height of the ball.  It's not used enough in the coverage though (imo).

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I agree with you both...but I'm not talking about ProTracer or Trackman.....I'm talking about filming the ball flight from a higher elevation so that when you follow the ball with the camera, you can still see trees and other landscape that lets you see the ball's flight in relation to the surroundings.  Know what I mean?

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I think your talking about a camera shot like the 18th at The Cheveron last month. That behind shot of their approches into the green was different then normal and I thought it was really cool. I'd guess you'd need a hole with a dogleg as a camera from behind the tee would be too far away.

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Originally Posted by TXjammer

I agree with you both...but I'm not talking about ProTracer or Trackman.....I'm talking about filming the ball flight from a higher elevation so that when you follow the ball with the camera, you can still see trees and other landscape that lets you see the ball's flight in relation to the surroundings.  Know what I mean?



Occasionally you will get a blimp shot, which is nice, but yeah I see what you mean, I just don't know of a realistic way to change it (which is probably why nothing has been done). This is one thing the PGA Tour does better than the Euro Tour though. On the PGA Tour at least you see the ball against the sky. On the Euro Tour broadcasts, they almost always lose the ball.

I really liked what they at the Open Championship where every tee shot on the 17th (Road Hole) was on pro-tracer, but that's probably not realistic (and not the point of this thread, if I am reading it right).

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Originally Posted by TXjammer

I agree with you both...but I'm not talking about ProTracer or Trackman.....I'm talking about filming the ball flight from a higher elevation so that when you follow the ball with the camera, you can still see trees and other landscape that lets you see the ball's flight in relation to the surroundings.  Know what I mean?


Check youtube for vintage British Open highlight (think 1980s) and you see a much different style of coverage. You'll see a guy in the fairway or rough hitting an approach and you see the entire shot as a spectator would. You might see the camera move, but the ground is almost always in the frame. It was a simpler time.

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I agree 100%. I want to see the height of the shot and the curve on the shot.

Unfortunately, until we can start putting cranes directly behind every player, I'm not sure how possible that's going to be...

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I think the reason why they keep losing track of the ball flight on the European Tour events is because the sky is so gray and dismal that it is hard to see the ball (I'm an ex-pat) the sky over here in the good old USA is much more blue if you know what I mean?

I was over in the UK last week, I played with an old friend in the northwest of England, the temp never got above freezing and the vizibility was not more than 150yds due to fog, I still managed to beat him LOL, shot an 87, not bad in those conditions on a course I didn't know!

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Originally Posted by montru

I think the reason why they keep losing track of the ball flight on the European Tour events is because the sky is so gray and dismal that it is hard to see the ball (I'm an ex-pat) the sky over here in the good old USA is much more blue if you know what I mean?

That's certainly part of it, but I think something also has to be said for the experience and cash flow of the big-name U.S. golf outlets. NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN, TNT; they've been doing this for a long time and their huge PGA Tour (or U.S. Open, or Masters, etc.) contracts let them hire the best. Also, the Open Championship cameramen seem to do a much better job than normal events in Europe. The Open is a big money event, like PGA Tour events are.

I hope no one takes this as an attack or anything similar on Europe, but the money just isn't the same as over here.

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Originally Posted by iacas

I agree 100%. I want to see the height of the shot and the curve on the shot.

Unfortunately, until we can start putting cranes directly behind every player, I'm not sure how possible that's going to be...



Maybe you're right there....but that's exactly what I'm talking about.  You could have one camera on the ground watching the swing, then cut to the one in the tower behind the tee box (I don't think you would have to be up high enough to need a crane)....and let's face it, to put a camera in 9 towers scattered around the course would be no relative expense.  After all, it seems to take more cameras and more tech work to do what they do now than what I speak of.  Or does it?

Bottom line is, we the viewers that can't be at the tournament in person, get a better sense of what it took to make each shot happen as opposed to just knowing simply that it went up in the air and landed, which is basically what we see now.

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I would love it if they could track the ball flight.  What they could do when your watching is your entire tv screen has the view of the ball flight and in the corner of the tv they could put a box there and have it following the ball in the air like the traditional way.  For example it could kinda be like when you are watching tv and you watch one channel and then have another channel down in the corner.... forgot what that was called.

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I agree. We may have to settle with on the ground cameras, which would have a hard time tracking the ball so we could actually see where it went, unless they used ProTracer. Watching a ball against the sky is close to useless, I'd rather see the reaction of the player and see the last 20% of the ball flight. Aerial views are cool, but doesn't show us more than a ball moving across the ground without knowing the elevation or curve. On the tees they could probably set up the mobile lifts to get higher up from the ground, but I don't see them driving those all around the course. I don't know if the tour is falling on tough times, but improving the quality of the broadcast would probably give better ratings.
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Originally Posted by Zeph

I agree. We may have to settle with on the ground cameras, which would have a hard time tracking the ball so we could actually see where it went, unless they used ProTracer. Watching a ball against the sky is close to useless, I'd rather see the reaction of the player and see the last 20% of the ball flight.

Aerial views are cool, but doesn't show us more than a ball moving across the ground without knowing the elevation or curve.

On the tees they could probably set up the mobile lifts to get higher up from the ground, but I don't see them driving those all around the course.

I don't know if the tour is falling on tough times, but improving the quality of the broadcast would probably give better ratings.

Better ratings?  NO Doubt!  I think, in my humble opinion, that it would bring back a lost audience that gave up watching golf on TV for similar reasons.  I'm still trying to find that example video...hang in there guys.

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I agree with showing the ball flights more.  I don't think the current coverage gives the players justice.  I went to the Memorial two years ago and watching how much each player shapes their shots on almost every shot (high,low,fade,draw)...its amazing.  The average viewer probably just thinks that these guys hit it straight and there is nothing to it.  You don't get to see how much thought is placed in every shot from tee to green.  They cover Tiger shot tracks a little better though getting the camera behind him to see how far he draws and fades the golf ball.  I wish they could it more though.

Not sure how they would though.  Maybe just have one cameraman follow each group around and stay 20 yards behind them on each shot .

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Just a thought......

Watching the U.S. Open last year, the cameraman was kind of showing off at one point. After a commercial, the view opened up to a pelican, so close that you could almost count his feathers....then the camera started to zoom back out.....that pelican was like a half a mile away!!!!!!

Having said that....I can't see why it would be a problem to film from behind the golf shot, and follow the ball strictly with zoom, keeping some landscape in view (even if just tree tops).

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Originally Posted by cutigersgolf

I would love it if they could track the ball flight.  What they could do when your watching is your entire tv screen has the view of the ball flight and in the corner of the tv they could put a box there and have it following the ball in the air like the traditional way.  For example it could kinda be like when you are watching tv and you watch one channel and then have another channel down in the corner.... forgot what that was called.


It's called XBOX 360. Just kidding, PIP? (picture in picture?) I am all in favor of seeing the flight of the ball and protracer is pretty cool but what I would be concerned about is the telecasts would be tricked up and watching a golf event would turn into some sort of video game like broadcast. I'm not some big traditionalist that is afraid of change but I can just see network execs sitting there with a focus groups of Jersey Shore rejects trying to figure out how to use the technology to capture this "up and coming" target audience. I realize I am overstating this a bit but you can see where adding "enhanced" features of a broadcast can lead. One of the appeals of televised golf for me is it's the opposite of a NFL broadcast where everything is the greatest thing ever in the history of Western Civilization therefore must be screamed out to make sure you didn't miss it. Just saying.

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