This past Saturday I spent the day photographing golf at the OGA Golf Course in Woodburn, Oregon. My good friend Noah is the head coach for Willamette University, the tournament host, and he had me out so I could follow the players and try to create some interesting images. It was a good day out on the course; the weather was pretty calm, the light soft and even, and the greens were pretty soft allowing for a lot of birdie opportunities. Golf is an interesting sport to photograph and I find it fairly difficult, especially in tournaments with small crowds. With small crowds it makes you the photographer really stand out with the few spectators that are out. You have to work really hard to not be a distraction to the players making some of the better vantage spots off limits. I played tournament golf all through high school and college and have a good sense of where I am allowed and where it’s questionable. My only regret from the day was not being able to spend hardly any time with the women’s team.
Final Results: It ended up being a tough tournament for Willamette as they finished in 7th overall. But one of their players Ryan Kukula finished in 2nd individually overall and was acknowledged as conference player of the year.
Gear Talk — I spent most of the day shooting with either a 70-200 f/4 or a 300 f/2.8 with the 1.4 extender making it effectively 420 mm. The 300-400mm range is a great spot to be for the golf because you can be a decent distance from the players and still fill more of the frame. Again on tournaments like this you almost have to stand farther from the players because you stand out so much with your huge camera and lenses.
Here are some of my favorite images from the day – (not all of Willamette U. Players):
Coach Noah Horstman and Ryan Kukula