A lot of folks won't like it, but I'm pretty sure the look and format of Golf Channel's Spotlight coverage is televised golf's future. DIRECTV has its own "mosaic" setup that was lauded last year at the Masters and also presented in a different stats-driven version at The Memorial. And Golf Channel's debut of an enhanced Spotlight this weekend, we probably saw the future of televised golf by filling up the edges of the modern landscape-style screen with information both useful and useless.
In our short attention span world, the future fan will demand the increased information that was part of the Spotlight show, particularly during early round coverage when there is very little tournament drama playing out.
While I enjoyed some of the stats listed, much of the season-long stuff was irrelevant unless one of the listed players was teeing it up on a Bear Trap hole. Thus, there should have been more stats related to the players in the Bear Trap or on the leaderboard would have made the graphics seem less intrusive, even if the stat in question sits on the screen for a long time. And surely live Trackman readings from a shot are in the offing, which I'm pretty sure will blow readers away. And as always, the Protracer was stellar, especially when shown live (see photo below).
My quibbles with the coverage involve not quite doing enough to capture the third protaganist in the "Bear Trap" drama: the holes. Hole maps, green dimensions, ShotLink stats or even the always fascinating ShotLink "scatter chart" would have added more useful information and context (especially as the par-3s were causing earlier players that was mimicked by the leaders coming through.) Alternative camera views were placed in the righthand window, so visual components can work there.
Here's how it looked (at times the lower bar was used for Program Alerts):