The season kicks off Thursday with the telecast of the Mercedes-Benz Championship from the Plantation Course in Maui, Hawaii, which will air for the first time in high definition. Golf Channel will then stay in the islands for the Sony Open, the Champions Tours Mitsubishi Electric Championship and the LPGAs SBS Open at Turtle Bay. All will be shown in HD for the first time.
Golf Channel HD and its standard definition channel will simulcast more than 100 tournaments in 2009 including the McDonalds LPGA Championship, the Presidents Cup and the Solheim Cup.
Golf benefits from HD more than almost any sport. For the first time, Golf Channel HD viewers will be able to fully appreciate the stunning beauty of Hawaiian courses like at Kapalua and Turtle Bay or at Scotland's Loch Lomond, said Golf Channel president Page Thompson. With the incredible picture quality and wider screens, HD viewers will be able to immerse themselves more fully in the strategy of the game, now seeing the full scope of the rolling terrain and the subtle contours of the greens that are so difficult to perceive in standard definition.'
Bolstering Golf Channel tournament coverage will be technical features designed to enhance the HD viewing experience, including the Emmy Award-winning Putting Line powered by AimPoint graphics technology, which shows where a golfer must start his putt in order to hole it at the optimum speed and the path the ball must follow.
Complementing live golf action, Golf Channel also will feature more than 125 original hours of news in HD. Live From will generate news coverage from the PGA Tours major championships, The Players Championship, Presidents Cup and Solheim Cup.