I was lucky enough to get a pass to a practice day at TPC this year. I’ve been out there several times and it is always fun. I’m not a golf fanatic but walking around the beautifully manicured environment there is so peaceful and pleasant. If you ever get the opportunity, I recommend that you go.
Watching the players in person really makes a difference with golf. I would never watch golf on TV but in person it is really impressive. When you stake out a little piece of real estate and watch various golfers play though the same hole you get to see just how intense the competition is here. The only difference between Mr. #4 in the world and Mr. #4004 is that Mr. #4 never misses and Mr. #4004 hit a bad shot once.
It was fun to try and do a little sports photography (a first for me). I was out there at about noon so I had to fight the worst light. It wouldn’t be a big deal if you could use a reflector or flash, but obviously, that would be a problem so you gets what you gets. I also didn’t want to deal with multiple lenses so I was just set up for close up action shots.
I’m glad I did a little checking round before I went. I found out that it is really bad etiquette to photograph a golfer during his back swing. I also saw story after story where photographers claimed the golf was the hardest sport to photograph. I still don’t know if I agree but it was a lot tougher than I expected. I was out there about four hours and only got a few even passable photos. You deal with light, the position you are allowed to be in relative to the golfer, the speed of the their swing and the speed of the ball. I was amazed that even at 1/3200 sec the ball and club were still blurred.