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The BizGolf In HD: The First Sign Of Spring!

I live in a purple state. You know, from the colored weather map in the USA Today “A” section. From November through April, New York state is shaded purple just to prove that a continuous wave of Arctic air is making its way past my similarly colored frozen fingertips.

That’s why I look for positive signs of spring each year. Any video clip of a red-breasted robin nibbling frozen worms is guaranteed B-roll for the weather segment in the 6 p.m. news! But now, thanks to digital technology, I have a new indicator of warm breezes soon to come: The Masters Golf Tournament in high definition on CBS.

If you’re reading this in Las Vegas at NAB, quick, call your travel agent and escape early! Get home before 4 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 10, and treat yourself to a visual feast for those scenery starved eyes (of course there might be an HD off-air feed somewhere in the Las Vegas Convention Center—for you the coverage starts at 1 p.m.). The 2003 Masters from the Augusta National Golf Club will feature four days of HD coverage. In fact, this year’s event will be CBS Sports’ largest HDTV production ever, featuring 42 high definition and 10 handheld standard definition cameras.

Better yet, the standard analog and HDTV productions will be unified. This means no separate announcers—a marked improvement over various network sports productions in the past that have unfortunately featured two different announce teams.

“We are very pleased to take the high definition experience to a new level at The Masters and Augusta National Golf Club,” said Sean McManus, president, CBS Sports. “The HDTV pictures of all 18 holes will further enhance the experience for viewers of the most renowned tournament in golf and one of the most spectacular venues in the world.”

He’s right: You don’t have to be a golf fan to enjoy this broadcast. Augusta National is well known for its luscious landscapes and its beautifully manicured greens. Plus, the controversy surrounding the club’s failure to admit a female member to its ranks gives you something new to look for in the crowd this year. HD’s 1080 lines of resolution means that you can read what’s printed on every ticket holder’s T-shirt!

I don’t know if Tiger Woods will be able to win this thing again for the third consecutive year. But I do know this: If the CBS production of The Masters is as stunning as it was for February’s Grammy Awards ceremony, April 12-13 is going to be one very unproductive, but enjoyable, weekend in my house.

Jeffrey Ulrich is a member of the sales team at WHEC, Rochester, NY. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the position of HBI, Inc. He can be reached through his website or at