Topgolf Entertainment Group (TEG), a global leader in sports entertainment, has acquired Protracer, the company that pioneered technology to track the flight of a golf ball, display its path in video and analyze every shot hit.
Sweden-based Protracer’s proprietary software is the only technology on the market that actively tracks all ball flight paths across an entire field of vision, powering television broadcasts and golf driving ranges. Its broadcast television product has been entertaining golf tournament viewers for years across Europe, Japan and the United States with features in coverage for The Open Championship and Ryder Cup.
TEG, which recently announced an alliance with the PGA TOUR and LPGA, will use the technology to build media content and innovate how fans engage with golf on television and digital streaming.
“Technology has been at the heart of Topgolf® since day one. This addition to our portfolio continues our mission to grow the game of golf by using technology to make the game more engaging and accessible,” said TEG Co-Chairman and CEO Erik Anderson. “This acquisition furthers our relationship with the professional sports organizations, and we will invest in this technology to advance our mission to create extraordinary sports and entertainment experiences.”
TEG will continue to license the technology to driving ranges, providing a better experience to golfers beyond Topgolf venues. Protracer currently has customers in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Portugal and the Netherlands. The entire Protracer team will continue to work from the company’s office in Sweden.
“The Protracer team is excited to join forces with Topgolf since they share our mission to make golf fun, entertaining and accessible to all,” said Protracer Founder and CEO Daniel Forsgren. “We are inspired to be part of a team who believes in innovation and will help us advance our technology and product experience to the next level.”
About Topgolf Entertainment Group
Topgolf Entertainment Group (TEG) is the parent holding company of Topgolf, Topgolf International and Topgolf Media. TEG is led by Co-Chairman and CEO Erik Anderson.
Topgolf is a global sports entertainment community creating the best times of your life, with 26 locations serving more than 8 million guests annually. Players hit golf balls containing computer microchips that track each shot’s accuracy and distance while awarding points for hitting targets on the outfield. Each venue offers an upscale and playful experience, featuring an impressive food and beverage menu, music, games, climate-controlled hitting bays and hundreds of HDTVs. Topgolf also brings fun, interactive experiences to the community through its Topgolf U lessons, leagues, tournaments, KidZone parties and social and corporate events. To learn more about Topgolf, follow @Topgolf or visit topgolf.com.
Protracer was founded in 2005 with the goal to enrich the experience of watching golf on TV. By developing a unique software capable of tracking the flight of a golf ball in a camera feed, and adding graphics to make this visible on screen, Protracer has achieved this. Several of the world’s largest broadcasting companies expressed interest, and soon Protracer was being featured in TV coverage from the biggest golf tournaments in the world, such as The Open Championship and the Ryder Cup.
In 2012, Protracer launched the first prototype of Protracer Range, a system utilizing the original Protracer TV technology to track and analyze every shot hit on a driving range. It makes golfers’ practice sessions more rewarding but, more importantly, makes it a lot more fun to go to the driving range.