Technology has revolutionised golf and now TrackMan and statistical data will add an exciting visual element to Australia’s ‘Summer Of Golf’ coverage.

When Cameron Smith dials in a wedge at Royal Queensland or Min Woo Lee pounds his trademark ‘stinger’ around The Lakes, this ‘Summer Of Golf’ will be different. For the first time in Australian broadcasting, the popular shot-tracking feature of TrackMan will give viewers an insight into ball flights and shot shapes.

TrackMan and the PGA of Australia expanded their partnership earlier this year. As a result, TrackMan technology will be incorporated into TV broadcasts of the PGA Tour of Australasia as well as select events on the WPGA Tour of Australasia and PGA Tour Legends. Additionally, TrackMan has expanded its presence at the PGA Learning Hub at Sandhurst Club in Melbourne where its units are attached to each of the golf simulators, which are open to the public 24 hours a day.

TrackMan is a radar system that uses Doppler technology to track a golf ball in motion. TrackMan units will be set up to capture tee shots at certain holes throughout tournaments this spring/summer. But it’s not the only innovation that Australian viewers can expect.

“We are looking at other ways to enhance the broadcast,” says Nick Dastey, tournaments director for the PGA of Australia. “So TrackMan’s one thing. We’re looking at a couple of other things around stats and data that the viewer is used to getting when watching some of the bigger overseas events.

“I love being able to see how the players are tackling a hole and the graphic that shows where all the pars, birdies, eagles, bogeys come from. And Strokes Gained to the field – or Strokes Lost to the field – is becoming a big thing on all broadcasts now.”

In another proactive move, the tour is seeking to bring out the personalities of players. This includes ‘miking up’ players for on-course interviews and pre-recorded ‘stunts’ like those undertaken by the European/DP World Tour.

“We want the players to be involved in the broadcast as much as we possibly can, while also respecting they’ve got a job to do on course, but utilising them in different ways and really trying to get their story across to the viewing public. That’s being driven from the players as well. We had a great players meeting last year at the Queensland PGA where this was one of the big topics and certainly had the buy-in from the players to want to be involved where appropriate.”

Getty images: Isaiah Vazquez


Most professional golfers have a preference on the shot shape they wish to hit the ball. However before TrackMan came along, it was difficult for the untrained eye to appreciate how elite golfers can hit a huge power fade that moves 30 metres in the air.

The average golfer doesn’t fully appreciate the extent of TrackMan’s capabilities says Brad James, Golf Australia’s high-performance director. What the viewer sees on TV is a visual of a golf ball’s flight. But a beautiful curve tracing ball flight doesn’t quite show how powerful that tool really is from a teaching standpoint.

TrackMan can be used for shot analysis, virtual golf and playing games. It provides information about why a ball did what it did. It can validate why you think the ball went left. Or went right. High or low.

TrackMan provides extensive game-improvement data, allowing golfers to gauge distance accurately or check club path and launch angle. Min Woo Lee’s coach Ritchie Smith used TrackMan to fine-tune his star pupil’s wedge game prior to the US Open at Los Angeles Country Club where Lee tied for fifth.

Priced at $30,095 for a TrackMan 4 unit, it’s an amazing tool with regard to challenges and skill tests, enabling a golfer to compare themself against the best players in the world.

“I think we need to do a better job of bringing TrackMan to life as a sport. And ultimately this is what it’s made for – [not just] to show pretty lines on the TV,” James says. “Five years ago people were saying it would destroy golf. Too technical, too much information. Now that people understand actually how to use it, it can be such a benefit to the athlete’s overall development.”

Players will venture to Kalgoorlie again for the WA PGA Championship.


As for the tour season, a jam-packed sequence of eight tournaments in nine weeks should whet the appetite for golf-starved viewers in the pre-Christmas period. The ‘Spring Carnival Of Golf’ will offer a total of $5 million in prizemoney, culminating with the staging of the two ‘Aussie majors’. The Australian PGA and Open will both be co-sanctioned with the DP World Tour and thus welcome a sprinkling of international players to compete against homegrown talent.

The 2023-2024 tour schedule officially began in May when Lachlan Barker triumphed at the PNG Open. After a three-month hiatus, Daniel Gale captured the NT PGA Championship at Darwin’s Palmerston Golf & Country Club in August. Another hiatus set the scene for an intriguing Spring/Summer of Golf.

“From the start of October through to December, there will be a PGA Tour of Australasia tournament to attend in person or watch on television almost every week, highlighting the elite players in our game on some great golf courses,” PGA of Australia chief executive officer Gavin Kirkman said.

The spring swing begins in Perth on October 5 when Joondalup Country Club is the new home for the WA Open on its Quarry and Lake nines. From there it’s onto the Goldfields-Esperance region where Kalgoorlie Golf Course stages the WA PGA for the 12th occasion.

Making its tournament debut is TPS South Australia hosted by Greg Blewett. To be staged in the McLaren Vale at Willunga Golf Course, the former Test cricketer’s event will be the first Webex Players Series event to be held in SA. Males and females will compete on the same course for the same trophy and prizemoney.

Moonah Links is on the schedule for a fourth Victorian PGA Championship.

After a week’s break the men’s tour resumes in Brisbane where Nudgee Golf Club hosts the Queensland PGA. Then it’s off to regional Victoria for the Gippsland Super 6 at Warragul Country Club followed by a short trek to the Mornington Peninsula where Moonah Links Resort will stage the Victorian PGA for the fourth time. This represents the final opportunity for players to acquire a start in Australia’s two most prestigious and lucrative tournaments.

The Fortinet Australian PGA Championship will boast the largest men’s purse of the season with $2 million in prizemoney. Cameron Smith makes his much-anticipated return to defend the Joe Kirkwood Cup at Royal Queensland where we can expect excitement. In a pre-tournament interview, Smith stated he would like to see easier pin placements on the ‘Party Hole’ at RQ. That would be a smart initiative by the tour given the reaction to Chase Koepka’s ace on LIV Golf Adelaide’s party hole that went viral on social media.

The Lakes will co-host the Australian Open.

The Australian and The Lakes golf clubs will co-host the ISPS Handa Australian Open the next week. The innovative format will once again see elite men, women and all-abilities golfers play alongside one another for separate trophies. A combined $3.4 million will be offered in prizemoney to the professionals.

Two non-tour events will follow the Australian Open. The Cathedral Invitational will be played over 36 holes at Cathedral Lodge & Golf Club (December 5-6) while the 54-hole Sandbelt Invitational forms part of the Geoff Ogilvy Foundation’s desire for experienced players to pass down their knowledge to coming players.

Select players will head to Cathedral Lodge & Golf Club for the second Cathedral Invitational.


The new year swing is set to feature nine men’s tournaments, bringing the total number of events to 19 for this season’s PGA Tour of Australasia. That’s a significant increase from the 13 tournaments played in the 2019 calendar-year season.

Four of the five Webex-sponsored Players Series of mixed tournaments will be staged in the new year with purses of $250,000: TPS Victoria hosted by Geoff Ogilvy at Rosebud; TPS Murray River in honour of Jarrod Lyle at Cobram Barooga; TPS Sydney hosted by Braith Anasta at Bonnie Doon; and TPS Hunter Valley hosted by Jan Stephenson and Peter O’Malley at Oaks Cypress Lakes.

Women have won three of the 10 Players Series tournaments thus far, including both TPS Murray River events. The women play from slightly shorter (or scaled) tees to negate the physical advantage of their male counterparts. It’s an intriguing format and creates a delicate balance so as to not advantage either sex.

“The events themselves have been successful. We’ve had a pretty good mixture of male and female winners now,” Dastey says. “I think we’re getting the setup of the golf courses right. It’s not an exact science and never will be an exact science. There’s always different variables that make the holes play differently.

“Before every event we get different male and female players out there and really look at how they’re playing the golf course. What sort of clubs they’re hitting off tees, where they’re hitting it to. And try to scale the holes accordingly to make them play as close to being the same as possible.

“From the shortest female hitter [190 metres] to the longest female hitter [250m] is a fair discrepancy. And from the shortest male hitter [240m] to the longest male hitter [290m] is a fair discrepancy. [We’re] trying to get effectively a similar club in their hands for the shots into the green.”

The Heritage Classic returns to the schedule after an 11-year absence with The Heritage Golf & Country Club in the Yarra Valley to host the $200,000 event (January 11-14). The Vic Open will once again be a highlight at its established home of 13th Beach Golf Links (February 1-4) where a purse of $420,000 will be offered to both the men’s and women’s fields. The National Tournament at The National Golf Club will again be played at the iconic Mornington Peninsula facility. In total, Victoria will stage six tournaments this season (seven when including TPS Murray River).

Across the Tasman, the New Zealand Open (February 29-March 3) and New Zealand PGA will conclude the season. However, the New South Wales Open is seeking a change of date to late 2024 and won’t feature this season.


The long-term goal is to have 20-25 events per season along with an expanded TV product within the next 12-18 months. Creating pathways onto the world stage is a priority. The PGA Tour of Australasia’s Order of Merit ranking offers substantial opportunity for local players with three DP World Tour cards up for grabs as well as exemptions to international qualifying schools. David Micheluzzi, Tom Power Horan and Andrew Martin have gained access to the 2024 DP World Tour by virtue of finishing as the three leading players from last season’s OOM. Micheluzzi was also rewarded with entry into the 2023 Open Championship, PGA Championship and Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament.

In a further sign of working with our European counterparts, the DP World Tour held a Q-School First Stage at Rosebud Country Club on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in late August. And, the Asian Tour Qualifying School made a welcome return to Australia after a 17-year absence. Mount Derrimut Golf & Community Club in Melbourne was selected to host First Stage of Asian Q-School (September 26-29) from which top placegetters acquired spots for Final Qualifying in Thailand (January 16-20).

“A First Stage Qualifying event being played in Australia reflects increased interest in the Asian Tour and our need to broaden qualifying school’s reach,” said Cho Minn Thant, Asian Tour commissioner and chief executive. “It also demonstrates the strong bond we have always enjoyed with Australia’s talent pool year in and year out. This way we can help lessen the burden if travelling for Stage 1.”

From pretty curves on television to explosive young players seeking exemptions onto international tours, the PGA Tour of Australasia is building a robust future during uncertain times.