2014 started with a bang, rather a swish of a golf club. Hawaii is golf central in January. Everyone from Barack to Vijay come to the Islands to hit our beautiful links. My first two weeks of the year are filled with the smell of grass, the pain of walking 18 holes plus an additional 18 holes, and the sound of…well…nothing as pro golfers are too sensitive to the sound of the camera shutter or the sound of anything else. An NBA player or Premiere League footballer can be screamed at during a free throw/kick…but a golfer? Well, silence is the only way to oppose this noble and elite sport.
My week spent at the Kapalua course for the Tour of Champions in Maui was hell. The hilly greens could easily be a ski resort and hiking is the only way to really describe covering the action on this course. The outstanding views of Molokai are touchable from many of the holes and all considering the current weather pattern on the mainland (Jan 2014) there is no better place to be…just don’t ask my knees, thighs or calves the next day. What a pain! Hoisting 400mm f2.8 up hill is no fun.
My next assignment is the relatively flat Waialae Country Club course for the Sony Open staring Wednesday. Its warmer, not as scenic but there are no hills. However, there are many more golfers to cover and be sensitive about ensuring an errant camera shutter disrupt their concentration.
Mr. Obama, above, started my year on the first at Mid Pacific Country Club. The club is one of the few Mr. Obama can play at where the public can actually catch a glimpse of him. Most of the courses he now plays in Hawaii are secluded and difficult to get to but Mid Pac’s 18th hole sits on a public street across from a popular hiking trail. Obama, hat askew, hit off the fairway onto the green and made a long putt that would make any golfer proud. All considering he’s played about 12 rounds of golf during his 15 day Hawaiian vacation, he should be able to make all his putts!