CBS Ready to Tackle Long Course at PGA Championship

In the days leading up to this weekend’s PGA Championship, much of the talk has been about the venue’s tremendous length. At 7,676 yards, the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island is the longest course to ever host a major championship. Couple that with the forecast for potential rain and high winds, and the final major of the year could wreak havoc on both golfers and broadcasters.

CBS Sports will carry third- and fourth-round coverage live at 2-7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and Chairman Sean McManus is optimistic about what the weekend will bring.

“I love it when we go to a venue where, oftentimes, the course is as much a story as the players are,” he said during a conference call on Monday. “It makes for great drama.”

As for whether the course and the elements could impact the rate of play, Lance Barrow, coordinating producer for golf at CBS Sports, said he can’t let that impact the crispness of the broadcast. Preparation is key.

“You know going in that Keegan Bradley and Jim Furyk are not quick players,” he said. “But you know their mannerisms so you know when you can go to another hole and get another player who may be in contention. You can’t lull yourself into that mindset that this guy is a slow player or this guy is a fast player. You’ve just got to be prepared for when they get ready to pull the trigger.”

Members of the CBS television crew pose with golf analysts Nick Faldo (seated, second from left) and David Feherty (seated second from right) during a practice round at the PGA Championship. (Photo Source: David Cannon/Getty Images North America)

Aside from nearly 700 staffers, CBS will have just over 50 cameras — including two high-speed cameras — on-site and will again work closely with Turner Sports, which carries complete Thursday and Friday coverage as well as early Saturday and Sunday coverage on TNT.

“We’re very close to the Turner people,” said McManus, citing the networks’ cooperation on the NCAA Tournament. “They know our team, we know their team; we’re really joined at the hip for the tournament. That being said, we have the same relationship with ESPN at The Masters. The way the major championships are produced right now with, pretty much, around-the-clock coverage, it’s really become second nature to us now, and it’s part of the way you cover a major golf championship.”

Protracer, which tracks the flight of shots, will be used as a live element on selected holes at Kiawah Island this weekend.

A feature returning to the broadcast will be Protracer, the graphics engine that tracks the flight of shots in the air. Barrow added that he is excited for the opportunity to use the Protracer, which is typically used on replays, as a live element on selected holes this weekend.

“I think that will be a fascinating feature here at Kiawah because of the winds,” he said. “It will be very interesting to see how [they] could affect the flight of the ball or the players.”

All of CBS’s live PGA Championship coverage will be streamed live at CBS is also serving as the host broadcaster for the PGA, and its broadcast feed will be carried to more than 200 countries.

For the first time, CBS Sports Network also makes its way into the fold. The cable sports network will air preview-and-analysis show On the Range Thursday-Sunday at 8:30-10:30 a.m.

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