Golf Channel will tee off into the 3D world with its coverage of the Sony Open in Hawaii next month.
Working in conjunction with its parent Comcast, production company NEP and Sony, Golf Channel will provide 16 hours of 3D coverage, eight live, on Jan. 15-16 from the 2011 Sony Open at the Waialae Country Club in Oahu.
The production -- presenting views from Green No. 2 and the third and fourth holes and Green No. 16 and holes 17 and 18 -- will employ six Element Technica rigs equipped with Sony 3D cameras.
Golf's 3D schedule calls for live coverage from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (ET) on Saturday Jan. 15, followed by a two-hour encore, with a return to live action from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., and then another re-air. The network will deliver a similar eight-hour schedule on Sunday, the tournament's final day, with the tee time for the first live, two-hour window moving up a half hour to 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Play-by-play man Brian Hammons, analyst Curt Byrum and course-reporter Steve Sands are set to call the 3D action for Golf, which also will provide HD coverage of all four rounds of the tourney.
"The Sony Open will be the first co-sponsored PGA Tour event ever to be broadcast in 3D, and the vistas from Waialae Country Club will be stunning," said Golf senior vice president of programming, production and operations Tom Stathakes. "We're looking forward to working with our partners Sony and the PGA Tour to make this a one-of-a-kind viewing experience."
Golf's upcoming coverage from Hawaii actually will mark the second time the sport has provided 3D vistas into viewers' homes.
Last April, ESPN and Pace, with Sony supplying the cameras and serving as the sponsor of the telecast, produced 3D views of select holes at The Masters, coverage of which Augusta National Golf Club made available through Comcast to such other distributors as Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision Systems, Canada's Shaw Communications and a pair of European operators.
At press time, Golf, in addition to partnering with Comcast, was in discussions with other distributors about carrying the 3D event.
The PGA Tour said the 3D feed would also be made available to its broadcast partners around the world with 3D capabilities.