ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 14, 2019 – Topgolf Entertainment Group and NBC Sports Group today announced a new strategic technology partnership designed to bring golf fans closer to the sport through enhanced PGA TOUR tournament coverage and modernizing experiences at local golf facilities through the cutting-edge technology of Toptracer. The announcement was made jointly by Erik Anderson, Topgolf executive chairman and Ben Sharpe, Toptracer president; along with Mike McCarley, president, GOLF, NBC Sports and Will McIntosh, executive vice president of strategy, GOLF, NBC Sports.
“Topgolf has always been committed to bettering the industry through technology, be that enhancing the guest experience at our venues, improving PGA TOUR broadcasts through innovations like Toptracer, or helping driving range operators transform their facilities into entertainment destinations with Toptracer Range,” said Sharpe. “This partnership further enhances our efforts to provide golf fans exciting ways to watch, play and enjoy this wonderful game.”
“Topgolf and NBC Sports are two companies focused on technical innovation across the golf industry,” said McCarley. “This forward-thinking partnership allows us to combine our strengths to modernize how fans engage with golf. We’re thrilled to expand our partnership for high-quality PGA TOUR coverage, but we’re equally excited to showcase technology like Toptracer Range for golf courses to help evolve the golf experience for the future and bring new fans to the sport.”
EXCLUSIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR NBC SPORTS’ PGA TOUR TELECASTS
Topgolf and NBC Sports’ new multi-year agreement includes the expansion of Toptracer as the exclusive ball-tracking technology for NBC Sports’ PGA TOUR telecasts on GOLF Channel and NBC, as well as Golf Central wraparound news coverage from golf’s biggest events. In addition, Topgolf and NBC Sports will collaborate on future programming and content development initiatives.
NBC Sports will now have the capability to utilize Toptracer on all 18 holes during its PGA TOUR coverage in 2019 starting with the Waste Management Phoenix Open (Jan. 31-Feb. 3). Toptracer will be featured during tee shots either via live video or via NBC Virtual Follow, a live trace over a graphic representation of the hole. Toptracer also will be featured on fairway shots via two radio frequency (RF) cameras that can travel anywhere on the course. Topgolf’s premier driving range technology, Toptracer Range, also will be the exclusive shot-tracking technology for Golf Central wraparound news coverage on-site on the driving ranges from golf’s biggest events.
Toptracer technology tracks the flight of a golf ball within a camera feed, as well as provides real-time 3D ball flight data analytics such as ball speed, apex, curve and carry that is integrated into virtual graphics.
GOLFNOW AND TOPGOLF COLLABORATE ON TOPTRACER RANGE
As part of this new partnership with NBC Sports Group, GOLFNOW and Topgolf’s sales teams will collaborate to introduce Toptracer Range to golf facilities worldwide.
Toptracer Range helps traditional facilities attract both avid and novice players by transforming driving ranges into practice and entertainment destinations. It combines tech and fun to create a superior experience that is perfect for all skill levels, allowing friends and family to compete in a variety of games or play virtual golf on simulated courses.
Cameras mounted around the facility interact with in-bay monitors to display an array of details on each shot, providing data similar to what is seen each week on the PGA TOUR. The information is instantly recorded and displayed on the screen through a player profile that can continuously be accessed via the Toptracer Range community application (free on iOS and Android). This allows golfers to track their progress throughout the season.
“Golf is growing, in part, because people are consuming the sport in different ways, and we’re in the business of helping our golf course partners leverage these new concepts to attract more golfers to their facilities and build their businesses,” said McIntosh. “Toptracer Range is a perfect example, and we’re looking forward to showcasing this new technology to our partners around the world.”
GOLFNOW will now sell Toptracer Range as part of its offerings, providing golf facilities with the same ball-tracking technology that traces the shots of the game’s best players on television and further expanding Topgolf’s footprint to golf facilities worldwide. This initiative will complement the recent integration of Topgolf into GOLFNOW’s website and mobile application, which currently allows more than 3.5 million registered users to book reservations at select Topgolf venues through its world’s largest online tee-time platform. GOLFNOW helps golfers and golf courses better connect through the world’s largest online tee-time marketplace – which facilitated the booking of more than 16 million rounds of golf in 2018 – and via the technology and services it provides to its nearly 8,000 golf course partners in 26 countries around the world.
ABOUT TOPGOLF ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
Topgolf is a global sports entertainment community creating great times for all. With a worldwide fan base of nearly 100 million, Topgolf prides itself on its special blend of technology, entertainment, food and beverage and the inherent good that can be accomplished when a community of all walks of life comes together.
The first brand expression of this togetherness is a Topgolf venue. These multi-level complexes feature high-tech golf balls and gaming, climate-controlled hitting bays, renowned menu, hand-crafted cocktails, events, music and more. The nearly 51 U.S. venues along with four international venues entertain more than 17 million Guests annually.
Beyond the venues, Topgolf fits seamlessly into the lives of our engaged community with emerging brands such as Topgolf Swing Suite, a luxury simulator experience; Toptracer, real-time tracking as seen on TV; Toptracer Range, bringing the tracing technology to driving ranges around the world; and WGT, the world's largest digital golf audience. As a growing lifestyle brand, Topgolf is discovering new ways to engage and delight our Guests through original content series, pop up social experiences like Topgolf Crush, and even through building music venues like The Cowan in Nashville.
To learn more and join the fun, follow @Topgolf or visit topgolf.com.
Toptracer is transforming the game of golf on the range, on the course, on television and even in major sports stadiums. This dynamic technology tracks the flight of a golf ball, displays its path in video and analyzes every shot hit. Topgolf has leveraged the technology to golf facilities, driving ranges and tournament directors for a more interactive golf experience. Additionally, Toptracer continues to enrich the experience of watching golf on TV during some of the biggest tournaments in the world, including the PGA Championship, The Open Championship and Ryder Cup. To learn more, visit toptracer.com.
ABOUT NBC SPORTS GROUP’S GOLF DIVISION
NBC Sports Group’s GOLF division delivers multimedia golf content, technology and services. Anchored by GOLF Channel – co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 – GOLF content is available to nearly 500 million viewers in nine languages across more than 70 countries around the world. GOLF features more live golf coverage than all other U.S. networks combined, including global tournament action from the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, European Tour, NCAA, THE PLAYERS, The Open, Olympics, Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup, as well as high-quality news, instruction and original programming. Delivering unmatched coverage from the world of golf via GOLF Digital, fans can access GOLF’s 24/7 live streaming through the NBC Sports App, as well as complementary coverage via PGA TOUR LIVE on NBC Sports Gold. In addition to these all-encompassing media platforms, NBC Sports connects the world to golf through a wide array of digital technology and lifestyle services, including: GOLFNOW, the world’s largest online tee time booking platform; Revolution GOLF, the world’s largest direct-to-consumer digital platform in golf, offering best-in-class video instruction and game improvement products; GOLF Advisor, the ultimate digital destination for the traveling golfer, featuring the largest number of user-generated golf course ratings and reviews in the industry; a North American network of GOLF Academy instructional facilities; and GOLF Am Tour, the world’s largest amateur golf tour. With its world headquarters in Orlando, an international office in Belfast, and regional offices across North America, Europe and Australia, GOLF’s global reach also features partnerships with Sky Sports, and St Andrews Links as the Official Media Partner.