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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2008-01-29

It's That Time of Year Again: Observations and Tips from the Links
Robert Beck offers wit and wisdom to help photographers shoot the game of golf.

By Robert Beck, Sports Illustrated

Photo by Robert Beck / Sports Illustrated

Photo by Robert Beck / Sports Illustrated

Tiger Woods in action during the first round of the 2008 Buick Invitational on Thursday, January 24 at Torrey Pines.
It's that time again and the King of the K and I are saddling up for the golf season. So far we are looking at the Buick Invitational, the FBR in Phoenix where my daughter will help me, the AT & T, the LA tournament, the Match Play in Tucson, the Nabisco, the Masters, The Player's Championship, the Homeboy US Open and the British. That is a lot of hoofin' with a six, four, 70-200 and 24-70...with four spanking new Nikon D3 bodies blowing pixels onto those 4 gig cards. What I'm getting at is that we got to be in shape. I cut back on my trips to VG's and Kojo is trimming his Monster Drink intake.

I've even purchased a stand-up paddleboard for core enhancement. Before we head out on the course we make sure we have our shades, hats, sunscreen (put on your own), water, snacks, spare battery or two, plenty of cards, list of tee times for golfers, on course stickers from the helpful PGA people, optional rain gear (with eyepieces), comfy shoes (Goretex if you are heading out early or in the rain) and gum. Make sure your cell phone is in the off position.

When on the course always give way to players and caddies...Even if it means you miss a shot. There will be plenty of photo opportunities. Try to stay out of the way of the patrons. 'Not always possible but good karma. Don't antagonize other shooters either. Don't crawl up a knoll to get that not-a-once-in-a-lifetime wide angle shot. You don't want to screw the forty shooters who set up before you got there and are now desperately trying crop your arse out of their frames. Know what your employer needs and shoot accordingly.

Photo by Robert Beck / Sports Illustrated

Photo by Robert Beck / Sports Illustrated

Kojo Kinno in action during the first round of the 2008 Buick Invitational on Thursday, January 24 at Torrey Pines.
Shoot early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Eat lunch when the light is harsh or shoot backlit. Every player has a different swing and pre-strike routine. Learn them so you know when to shoot. Try not to shoot during a backswing. If you do, you will be at the mercy of caddies, players, policemen, fans, tour officials, marshals, other photographers and anyone within a fifty - mile radius. There is no hiding. Take it like a man and go shoot another sport for the next couple of months.


(Robert Beck and his trusty sidekick and colleague Kojo travel the country covering golf and other stories for Sports Illustrated.)

Related Links:
Beck's member page

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