CBS's fun new par-3 'Predicta-ball' technology, explained

February 11, 2023

SCOTTSDALE — CBS promised golf fans some innovations to its broadcasts ahead of this season, and they're wasting no time delivering.

Max Homa kicked things off with an on-course interview en route to victory at the Farmers Insurance Open. Keith Mitchell followed with an on-course interview of his own at Pebble Beach. The broadcast also introduced a new par-3 technology, and this week at the WM Phoenix Open, they're unveiling its name.


It's hard not to love a good pun, but I'm a fan of the tech itself. The technology was set up on TPC Scottsdale's 178-yard fourth and 229-yard seventh holes on Saturday. It tracks the ball as it’s moving through the air using radar, then uses that information to provide a real time projection for where the golf ball will land when it comes back to earth.

As a player is over the shot, you get a computerized birds-eye look at the hole and yardages to the front, pin, and back. A small detail that helps us, for a moment, imagine what we'd do if we were playing the hole.

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After the player hits the shot, and once the ball approaches its apex, a large circle appears on the green. That's an early projection of where the ball is going to land.

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As the ball moves, the projection gets rapidly more accurate. The circle shrinks rapidly until finally, it pinpoints the exact location the ball lands, seconds before it does.


I'm enjoying it. A lot more than I thought I would, frankly, because I like that it adds a different dimension to what I'm watching. The tracer is showing you what's happening, while Predicta-ball is showing me what's about to happen. We get both the journey and the destination. And some delightful viewing along the way.