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Trimble Technology Provides Measurements for PGA TOUR's
SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 17, 2001 - The PGA TOUR has a new, enhanced scoring system for which Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) technology is providing precision measurements.
The PGA TOUR's ShotLink scoring and statistics system, developed in partnership with IBM, is a revolutionary technology that captures and reports vital real-time information on every shot, by every player, in every tournament. Using Trimble Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to map the majority of the golf courses and Trimble laser technology to measure the length and accuracy of every shot around and on the greens, ShotLink will enable viewers to gain in-depth information on every shot in TOUR action. ShotLink is being phased in on both the PGA TOUR and SENIOR PGA TOUR.
For the ShotLink System, the PGA TOUR purchased 105 Trimble 5600 Total Stations with DR200+ technology in the fourth quarter of 2000. The state-of-the-art laser survey systems accurately measure distances within 1/8 inch, with a range exceeding 656 feet (200 meters).
"We needed the most accurate laser measuring tool for our ShotLink System, particularly around the greens," said Steve Evans, PGA TOUR's vice president of information technology. "After extensively testing several different equipment brands, we chose Trimble because it met all of our requirements: the system is highly accurate as well as easy to use. Also, the laser system allows us to collect the data without intruding on the competition in any way."
Typically, 18 Trimble laser systems will be used at each PGA TOUR and SENIOR TOUR tournament stationed near each green. Other laser systems will be located near the landing area of each fairway, and a third at the second landing area on par-5s. The ShotLink System uses known base points, usually permanent features on the course, such as sprinkler heads; the base points' locations are known because the entire golf course has been previously surveyed using Trimble GPS, as well as other technology. By sighting the ball and two other known points, the system automatically provides ShotLink technicians with the precise location and distance to the hole for each ball. During each event, walking scorers will also carry Palm handheld devices to input the lie, stance and club on each shot. The laser instrument systems will then relay the information to a database for use on the on-site Intranet, by broadcast television and, eventually, on PGATOUR.COM, the TOUR's official Internet site.
The base course mapping information necessary for the system's use has been compiled over the last 1 years. Teams of at least three people have spent a week on almost 60 of the 90 tournament courses on the two TOURs. The remaining courses are being mapped in 2001. On a majority of the courses, the teams have mapped every inch using a Trimble GPS Total Station® 4700 survey system. With these precise measurements, a three-dimensional map built of each course will be used to create a virtual golf course in cyberspace, making every player's shot available in real-time on the Internet. The 3D maps will also allow announcers to show the peculiarities of particular courses, such as depressions in the sand bunkers and pitch of the green.
ShotLink will also allow tournament officials to keep viewers abreast of golfers' tendencies - how far a golfer usually hits a ball with a certain club, or how accurately he putts from a certain distance - and these numbers will be updated during the tournament. Viewers will be able to click on the tour's website, www.pgatour.com. In addition to following the player, viewers will see what other players have scored from the same or similar positions.
About the Equipment
Trimble's 5600 Total Stations with reflectorless DR200+ technology are state-of-the-art survey systems that accurately measure distances within 1/8 inch, with a range exceeding 656 feet (200 meters). Trimble's GPS Total Station 4700 is a real-time kinematic (RTK) GPS survey system for fast, accurate surveys of all types. With the GPS receiver in a backpack or hip pack, the 4700 significantly increases productivity and efficiency.
About the PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers. Its primary purpose is to provide significant competitive and earnings opportunities for past, current and future members of the PGA TOUR, SENIOR PGA TOUR and BUY.COM TOUR; to protect the integrity of the game; and to help grow the reach of the game in the U.S. and around the world. More than 125 events are being contested on the three tours in 2001, for more than $250 million in prize money. In addition to providing competitive opportunities for its membership, TOUR events also generate significant sums of money for charity. TOUR events have raised approximately $575 million for charity since 1938, the first year such records were kept. The PGA TOUR's web site address is www.pgatour.com.
Trimble is a leading innovator of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. In addition to providing advanced GPS components, Trimble augments GPS with other positioning technologies as well as wireless communications and software to create complete customer solutions. Trimble's worldwide presence and unique capabilities position the Company for growth in emerging applications including surveying, automobile navigation, machine guidance, asset tracking, wireless platforms, and telecommunications infrastructure. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Trimble has more than 2,000 employees in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Media Contact: LeaAnn McNabb of Trimble: 408-481-7808