Fans watching ESPN’s live coverage of golf’s oldest major, The Open, from the famous Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland, have seen the introduction of a new concept in televised golf: a rotating main announce booth.
Situated on a platform high in the air adjacent to the 18th fairway at St Andrews, the booth can rotate to provide a view of several different scenes out the window behind the main anchor desk.
Starting with a view of the 18th hole fairway and green, and the first hole tee and fairway, the booth can rotate around to look at the No. 1 green, and then continue around to a view of the 18th tee and the famous “Road Hole,” the 17th.
The booth’s movement is controlled by a joystick in the hand of the anchor announcer. Mike Tirico, who is hosting coverage of The Open for the 19th consecutive year, introduced viewers to the rotating booth after a commercial break during the telecast of Thursday’s opening round.
Mike McQuade, ESPN vice president, production, who oversees the network’s golf coverage, Bill Lacy, senior vice president, production, IMG Productions, and Dirk Jager, principal of Tall Order Structures, worked together to develop the concept of the rotating booth.
In addition to the main booth, the structure also holds a studio below that ESPN is using for SportsCenter updates from The Open and an annex containing commentary positions that was used for the ESPN3 “Road Hole” feed.
ESPN’s live coverage of The Open concludes Monday with the final round. The live telecast starts at 6 a.m. ET, with a three-hour encore on ESPN2 at 7 p.m.
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