No Still Photography Allowed

No Still Photography Allowed

If that were only the truth!

I just finished my nine day odyssey at the 2012 Sony Open in Hawaii.  I’ve had my complete fill of sun, pollen, sunburn, Old Spice, pesticides, idiot volunteers, and sensitive golfers.  Oh how we marched and humped the flat yet hot course out at the Waialae Country Club chasing Ryo-kun and any golfer who dared to stray into first place for those few 100 yards or so.

I’ve shot the Sony Open in Honolulu for the last several years and it never seems to get any easier with all the running around and struggles of the course and not to mention the hours of being out in the sun.  Every year at the end of the tourney, I get what I call a sun cold…better yet, a golf cold.  I have my face down in the grass for multiple days inhaling all the pollen and pesticides I could ever want in a long drawn out week.  Come wednesday, I get sneezy, congested, and irritable.  The irritability just might be my irascible personality run afoul by the incomprehensible logic of volunteer marshals, the errant golf balls from the Pro Amers, and a weighty 400mm F2.8 lens digging into my neck muscles.

 Golf is one of those sports that just begs to ask why anyone would pursue such a unreasonable game where a putt depends on whether the grains of the grass are facing towards or away from you, or whether your ball will slice or hook on the based on how your hands grip the driver.  How ironic that basketball players get booed and screamed at when doing free throws from the line but golfers can’t take even a bright shirt if its in their eye sight.  A gentleman’s sport, indeed!  Especially when you hear certain golfers swearing like sailors when a ball goes off course or a putt doesn’t fall just like they envisioned.

Regardless of my own prejudice of the game (note…I’ve been know to roam the cloudy cool hills of the Pali golf course so I’ve no real complaints) I truly enjoy shooting the sport.  The anticipation, the surprises, the reactions are all so great.  Its completely boring most of the time as so many of the players possess that calmness the sport demands which doesn’t allow them to showboat or hoot and holler when sinking an eagle.  Sure you get the fist pump but you’ll never get the true “jube” shots you’ll find in other sports.

Whether its pure madness to follow the Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa, who I truly think looks like an real life anime character, I’ll never truly understand.  I think its the pack mentality of rushing around with a dozen or so photographers from the US and Japan, all struggling to capture that unique image of the golfer in pure rapture or total disbelief in his ability to make a two inch ball land in just the right spot.  Even though you can’t communicate with each other due to a language barrier or a sensitive golf caddie, we share the same sweat, pain, sunburns, and struggle.  One big unified mass chasing a bunch of dopes chasing a little white ball.

I do have a favorite shot of the week and its of this guy David Hearn hitting out of the bunker on the ninth green.  I just found his expression of fear, worry, hope, and more fear more appealing than most of the stuff I shot that day.  He fizzled at the end of the tournament allowing moustached Johnson Wagner to win all the marbles.  Do I dare say Mr. Wagner’s prowlness is due to his hairy lip?  We’ll never know.