Golf Channel Debuts Innovative Instructional Camera Technology

Just because you’re locked in your house for another snow day doesn’t mean you have to let your golf swing sag.

This week, the Golf Channel debuted an innovative wraparound camera technology to its golf-instruction franchises when former major champion Hal Sutton appeared on Golf Channel Academy.

32 GoPro HD cameras on a rig capture the swing of golf pro Hal Sutton for original program “Golf Channel Academy.”

32 GoPro HD cameras on a rig capture the swing of golf pro Hal Sutton for original program “Golf Channel Academy.”

The network’s production team has fixed 32 GoPro HD cameras onto a semicircular rig that allows talent to break down Sutton’s swing through a range of 180-degree angles versus the traditional “down the line” and “side” camera angles.

“We’re trying to show golf instruction as different, entertaining, and informative as we can,” says Kevin Schultz, director of instruction at Golf Channel. “In our world, everybody knows a ‘down-the-line’ and a ‘side’ angle is typical. That’s what golf instructors use and what they like to see. So we’re trying to see different angles and try to make it look cool and exciting.”

WATCH: Golf Channel Academy’s GoPro Rig In Action

According to Schultz, the network plans to use this technology on more original programming throughout the year. Testing is also being done on a similar, vertical rig.

Golf Channel reps say the technology is currently being deployed only in a postproduction environment because it can take up to an eight-hour editing session in Adobe After Effects to get a full shot done.

Filmed at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, the five-episode Golf Channel Academy is co-hosted Gary Williams and airs Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. ET. Sutton will take viewers through every facet of his golf game — full swing, driver, bunker play, short game, and putting — providing tips and insights from lessons he has learned throughout his career, which includes 14 PGA TOUR victories and the 1983 PGA Championship. The visual effect will appear in all five episodes of Sutton’s appearance on Golf Channel Academy.

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