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Golf On TV: More Of A Good Thing: NBC Sports Expands Use Of Toptracer

Daniel Forsgren was watching golf in 2006, and he wanted to know more.

He wasn’t able to see where the ball was going. Couldn’t get a grasp of the shot shapes and strategy involved on certain holes.

Thus, Protracer was born and the way we watch golf and appreciate players changed forever. Now known as Toptracer and owned by Topgolf, the technology continues to evolve with the help of social media and its obsession with “traj.”

With so many divisive issues such as course architecture, bifurcation and the distance debate, that’s one thing pretty much all golf fans agree on these days: more Toptracer.

Thanks to a new deal with NBC Sports, that’s exactly what we’ll see beginning at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Now as the exclusive technology for NBC Sports’ PGA Tour telecasts, Toptracer will be available on all 18 holes during every NBC Sports broadcast.

Sharpe believes the arcade-style games and practice enhancers provide a big opportunity to grow the game and hook new players with the immediate feedback and reward system on games.

“We’re getting them into the game of golf in a fun way,” Sharpe said. “From a 9-year-old kid who may not be able to hit balls very often, but when he does the screen congratulates him with a point. We’re finding through technology the real solution to growing the game and keeping people playing.”

That’s good news for established players too, who want to try and re-create different shot shapes and pull off iconic flight patterns such as Bubba Watson’s huge hook from the woods on No. 10 at Augusta National to win the 2012 Masters.

It’s even better news for avid viewers, who should soon notice a big increase in Toptracer during tournaments. With the tech now in use across the entire course, we’ll start seeing certain players and iconic courses in an entirely new way.

“With (NBC Sports’) willingness to partner with us, it’s clear they see this as a vastly important part of what they do,” Sharpe said. “I think we’ll see a huge amount more than we’ve done in the past.



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