The 2014 U.S. Open, under way at Pinehurst #2 in North Carolina, marks the end of an era: next year, Fox Sports will take over coverage for all four days. But sentimentality is being laid aside as both ESPN and NBC focus on the job at hand.
“It’s pretty straightforward,” says NEP Technical Manager Ken Carpenter, who oversees NBC’s golf operations. “This is our third time here for an Open, and none of the cable runs are ridiculous.”
There are 60 cameras on the course, including five RF minis, two wireless X-Mos, a wireless Steadicam, and a wireless Flycam. There are also some POV cameras, including on a tree at the fifth hole and on the bronze statue of Payne Stewart behind the 18th green.Each Open championship tends to provide unique challenges because the course and compound layout can vary wildly. The first challenge this year was getting cables across dirt roads, which required that the cables be buried. The other challenge was the heat during setup, when temps hit the mid to upper 90s; temperatures during the tourney are hovering in the mid 80s. And then there was the quick turnaround for NEP’s ND3, which worked the Belmont Stakes in New York last weekend.
“The hardest part was protecting everyone from heat exhaustion as there was also no breeze,” adds Carpenter. “If there was some, the pine trees would block it.”
NBC’s set is located alongside the 18th fairway, where the Flycam is also located, flying over the clubhouse between the first and 18th holes.