Sep 28, 2012

Posted in Featured Articles

Fly Over Winthrop

Fly Over Winthrop

Ever wonder what the Winthrop Gold Course holes look like from the disc’s point of view? Well, plans on showing you during their fourth year covering the USDGC.

Along with covering all 18 holes for the first time, will also be providing fly-over footage of as many holes as possible, said DGplanet Executive Producer Dr. John Duesler.

The fly-overs (filmed a week prior to competition) will accompany the broadcast similar to how television networks use them to illustrate golf holes during PGA tournaments.

In fact, you might recognize DGplanet’s aerial footage from another championship, The 2012 PGA Championship, in which DGplanet’s parent company, Terra Firma Media Group, provided CBS sports with aerial video of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, S.C., prior to the event (Aug. 9-12th ).
(The PGA Championship used virtual fly-overs for their hole illustrations.)

Other than limited footage filmed from an actual helicopter at the 1993 Worlds in Huntsville, AL, and other less successful attempts, Duesler said this will be the first time fly-overs will be used as a finished product in disc golf broadcasting.

DGplanet uses a remote controlled, multirotor helicopter called an Octocopter, which uses a movable video camera attachment to collect the footage.

Watching Winthrop fly-over samples made months ago, viewers feel like they’re almost on a steady amusement park ride toward the basket
“It almost puts people on the same line of sight as the Frisbee is flying,” said Duesler.

Duesler said CBS ended up using much of their Ocean Course footage, which was used for opening sequences and other artistic shots. They were especially pleased with one Octocopter shot that captured a hole’s fairway then ended by focusing on the PGA Championship’s Wanamaker trophy sitting on the green.

He said they were thrilled to pull-off the aerial technology earlier than expected and in such difficult to handle winds
“It was a huge feather in our cap,” said Duesler, former PDGA Marketing Director.

In fair conditions, operating the Octocopter isn’t rocket science, according to Duesler, but you have to know what you’re doing. One person maneuvers the Octocopter, while another works its attached video camera.
“The thing is to get coordinated with the person you’re working with,” said Duesler, adding that video editing then completes the effort.

The added hole coverage and the fly-overs may help bring in even more viewers than the 25,000 to 30,000 they’ve counted in recent events like the Memorial and the World Championships.
Those figures are much larger than the 15,000 or so active PDGA members, says Duesler.

That’s why DGplanet believes that by showing the best disc golf has to offer, more will watch and consequently push the sport closer to the mainstream.
Click here to learn more about DGplanet’s coverage schedule.

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