Sports networks continue to look at how drones can improve their coverage. Recently we told you about Fox using one during a motorcross event. Now another network is experiment with a drone in a sport that really lends itself to drones.

Golf Channel recently received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to use one at this weekend’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. Putting a camera on a drone, Golf Channel was able to get some breathtaking shots at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, FL.

Some of the aerial shots that the production team was able to capture and will use during this weekend’s coverage of the tournament on both Golf Channel and NBC include:

  • Beauty shots of holes 3, 6, 8, 9 including green complexes
  • Beauty shots of finishing holes 16, 17 and 18 at sunrise and sunset
  • Sweeping shots of Bay Hill Lodge, the Rolex Clock, iconic flowerbeds featuring the iconic Arnold Palmer umbrella logo and Bay Hill sign
  • Arnold Palmer on the 18th green giving his signature thumbs up
  • The path John Daly took several times on the par-5 6th hole in an attempt to carry the water before carding an 18 in 1998
  • Robert Gamez’ plaque in the 18th fairway marking where he holed out to win the 1990 Nestle Invitational for a one-stroke victory over Greg Norman

Here’s a video of some of the footage taken last week before the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

Some nice shots there. Fox also wants to use a drone at the U.S. Open in June. It’s probably a matter of time before we see drones flying at MLB and NFL stadiums taking aerial footage of the action on the field.

Seeing drones at a major sports venue will take some getting used to, but the Spider Cam has become an accepted feature for NFL and NASCAR coverage so fans will likely get accustomed to them down the line.

[Golf Channel]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.