2018 PGA Championship: CBS Sports to introduce 4D replay at Bellerive Country Club

As CBS Sports prepares to broadcast the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive next week, some fairly innovative technology is also in the works for the event. This will be the 28th straight PGA Championship for CBS Sports, but the first that will combine all of the following pieces of technology.

  • 4D replay
  • Toptracer
  • Hawk-Eye Green Technology
  • Rover cam
  • Cup mics

These five are among the several goodies CBS Sports will serve up from St. Louis for the final major of the 2017-18 PGA Tour season. The 4D replay is probably the one that pops the most, but I'm also excited about the Hawk-Eye, which will provide better green-reading angles for viewers at home.

Anyway, here's a little more on the 4D replay.

CBS Sports will be the first U.S. broadcaster to use 4D Replay on golf at the PGA Championship.  A camera array covering 270 degrees of the 15th tee box will allow for 3D manipulation of the video.  The video not only can pan anywhere within the 270 degrees of coverage, but can also be zoomed in and slowed down in playback to get a unique look at the tee shots from the best players in the world attacking the challenging Par 4.

If you've never seen 4D replay, here's what it looks like.

I talked to Ken Aagaard, who is the EVP of innovation and new technology on the television side, and he said he's pretty thrilled with what's in store for Bellerive.

"It's always exciting to do something new that has never been seen before on a U.S. broadcast golf show," Aagaard said. "And that would be our 4D technology, which will live on the 15th tee. It will be another great analytical tool that our expert talent like Peter Kostis can use to describe golfers swings and becomes complementary to our tried and tested SwingVision high-frame-rate cameras."

While the technology is splashy and exciting, it doesn't much matter if it doesn't provide the viewer with a clearer and more robust picture of what's happening with the golf on the course. That's the goal in all of this, noted Aagaard.

"All of the technologies we mentioned above are a great visual that helps tell the story of the players and the tournament," Aagaard said. "The goal is not to do technology just for technology's sake. We want it to enhance the viewer experience and complement our knowledgeable talent. These are great tools that are used superbly by our production team. This means the viewers will see more and newer ways of telling our stories."

Whatever the story ends up being for the final major of 2018, you know it will be a compelling one. We've had a sublime run of major Sundays over the last few years, and this week shouldn't be any different. Except, you know, you'll be able to re-live it in 4D.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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