The Professional Golfers' Association ( PGA) has launched its own broadcast channel over the internet on the back of a new dedicated broadband service for golfers.
PGA TV is set to drive golf enthusiasts to subscribe to PGA Broadband, which also features an extensive variety of 'infotainment' on the game.
The exclusive presence of PGA TV on PGA Broadband signals the first phase of its development, with the broadcast of 'live' daily news bulletins, tournament highlights, golf tips and instruction, interviews with the stars and real-time leader boards.
This innovative move into the digital age also marks a first for the golf industry, and provides exclusive viewing aimed at attracting a community of golfers to the trusted PGA brand.
The live and on-demand coverage of the game and activities surrounding the sport is being produced by In the Box Media and is as close to TV broadcast quality as currently possible on the net, with streamed video bit- rates reaching up to 800kbps.
It also provides the PGA with a media communications platform to instantly comment on any issues arising from the world of golf.
Priced from £17.99 per month, the new PGA Broadband high-speed 2 meg service is likely to appeal to internet savvy golfers, as it delivers broadband internet connection with unlimited downloads, and provides up to five email addresses ending @pgabroadband.com.
The opportunity for golf fans to secure a well known name as their email pseudonym is also expected to fuel interest in the service, as Mike Gray, commercial director of the PGA explained.
" Email addresses and domain names are collectable items and the cach> for golfers to have a PGA branded address gives them a real sense of belonging to the game.
"The first derivative of many well known names, such as 'Tiger', have already been excluded, but of course would be made available to the world's number one golfer on request", he added.
The PGA is hoping to tap into its readymade market of over five million golfers in the UK, and plans to sell the broadband service via its network of 4,500 golf club professionals at over 2,500 facilities across the UK and Ireland, as well as through its endorsed Golf Pages magazine.
Sandy Jones, chief executive of the PGA, said: "The association has definitely come of age through this exciting digital initiative, and demonstrates how the very best traditions of the game can be communicated using today's modern technology.
"Broadband is a way of connecting to the public and the world, which means we can now immediately respond to any issues of international importance through this channel.
"To have exclusive content is superb and I think that's attractive to people who watch and listen to golf.
"It also enables us to develop our own golf community through the network of PGA professionals and use the broadband medium to provide exclusive lessons and tips across the spectrum of the game," he added.
The initiative already has the hallmarks of success having been developed as a joint venture with Viatel, the company behind the successful broadband service of football giants Chelsea and Manchester United.
Installation is quick and easy via a CD disc, and subscribers to PGA Broadband also receive a free modem and benefit from spam and antivirus software as standard.
Even switching to the new high-speed broadband service from other providers is simple.
All you have to do is provide a Migrations Authority Code (Mac) and PGA Broadband will take care of the rest.
Online help and technical support is also available. Further details can be found on www.pgabroadband.com or by calling the hotline on 0870 142 0754 open daily from 9am - 9pm.