Q5X PlayerMics are deployed for crowdless matches

Rescheduled and resumed, PGA play is getting a new level of intimacy, thanks to the addition of microphones on the golfers broadcast in real time for the first time by CBS Sports.

For the Charles Schwab Challenge, originally scheduled for May 21-24 but postponed to June 11-14, golfers wore Q5X PlayerMics, supplied by rental vendor BSI via Professional Wireless Systems. Four additional microphone units that PWS had shipped in by Q5X ahead of the tournament were also used for last week’s Travelers Championship in Cromwell, CT, and will be deployed for this weekend’s Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.

“This is a new application for the PlayerMic,” says Q5X CEO Paul Johnson, noting that the lack of an audience has created a sonic gap in the production sound. “What’s also different is that the microphones are being broadcast live from the golf courses. It helps you get up close to the golfers.”

Very close. During the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, as Jon Rahm swung on a chip on the eighth that rolled into the hole for a birdie, golfer Brooks Koepka uttered a decidedly NSFW gerund that was picked up clearly, eliciting an on-air apology from announcer Jim Nantz.

“Well, we were hoping for better audio with no fans surrounding the course,” Nantz said. “Apologize if anyone was offended by what they may have heard there.”

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