I always enjoy catching Masters Sunday. I’m not a major golf fan by any means, but there’s something special about witnessing what takes place at Augusta National. This year was no different as 21 year old Jordan Spieth finished the tournament at 18 under par in route to taking home his first green jacket.
Golf, like baseball, is a slow sport to watch. Lots of build up for little action. For baseball, on-screen animations have helped to improve the viewing experience.
As I was sitting there watching Spieth hold his lead through the last 13 holes, I thought about ways to make watching golf more entertaining.
There is so much strategy and knowledge that goes into reading the greens and trying to calculate what will happen to the ball if it is hit a certain way. Even with high definition, it’s impossible to see exactly how the greens are cut from my couch.
Modeling the virtual strike zone employed during baseball broadcasts, I think there should be even more animations for golf broadcasts that walk the viewer through the most ideal place to hit a ball and the best potential landing spot on a green. If a player hits a ball off course, there should be an animation to show where the point of contact was on the ball and a graphic showing the course of the ball from first contact to where it lands.
Golf received a major win today by Spieth taking home the green jacket — a new superstar to replace the fading names of Mickelson and Woods. The announcers even noted during the broadcast that this year had more young people than they had ever seen before.
Now, the PGA needs to ride this wave of popularity by adding elements to the broadcast that will have casual fans like myself tuning in for more than just the Masters.