Golfing on Father’s Day

My daughter treated my husband for an 18-hole golf session on Father’s Day. Have not touched a golf club for 13 years, Steve had said half a dozen times that he was not sure if he could hit anything with his injured shoulder and the long recess from the golf course. But, he was going for it and I am getting a free ride to photographing.  I have never been one and had no clue what I would be shooting.
The only thing I have something to do with golf is the product development of men’s and women’s golf belts and accessories. I know all major golf apparel brands and managed a Nike and Tiger Wood golf belt line. And, yes, I played Wii golf. That is all.
I have always thought that golf is not a real sport because it is slow-paced and no substantial physical activity is involved. People stroll on the course, hit the ball when it’s their turn, and the goal is simple, just to get the ball in the hole. I thought it is purely a social event to gather family, friends, and business associates. However, after four hours of walking down the course to watch my husband and daughter play, I came out with a new perspective. I am of course not here speaking for professionals who live on golf and the golf course is their office.

First of all, I say I would rather carry my camera bag than a golf bag. It is quite a load of stuff to carry and move from one hole to the other throughout the whole session. I guess you can ride in the golf cart or hire a caddy, but what’s the fun if all you do is hit the ball and no fitness effort is made? What’s the purpose of having nice and soft green acres when golfers sit in the cart and take the bare dirt roads? Walking the course conducts good exercise in a beautiful and peaceful environment.
Laura is an absolute athlete.  She plays all sorts of sports and she goes to the gym regularly. I play nothing and I sit in front of the computer most of the time. I should be the one who invests more time to stay healthy.There is an intangible price to pay to stay active, fit, and energetic. The tangible price paid to buy convenience, comfort, and more or less, status,  can never replace the reward paid by the intangibles. One of my goals to age gracefully is to stay fit. Walking on the soft green is surely an enjoyment.

I have never taken golfing pictures. It was a funny start. I aimed and I shot when they hit the balls. Guess what, I knew immediately that it was not right. The ball was either somewhere in the air or bouncing on grass. Golfers seemed to always have the club in the lower position, not too exciting.

Wrong to press the shutter at the moment when the ball is hit because there will be no ball in the scene.  Firstly I learned that I should snap before the club hits the ball. I second realized to have a 1-2 second delay before I press the button to get a more interesting shot of the player raising the club high.

Without seeing this picture, I did not realize the power of the club and the impact of the hit.  As you can see, the club rattled like a musical string. I have no doubt here that the golfer has released quite a powerful force.  It is surely not as easy as I used to think.

On this day I learned that there are three basic tools to finalize a round,  the club, the driver, and the putter. The club is cast heavy, designed to hit long-range distances.  The driver helps to guide the ball close to the Green center, I say, a hurdle remover. The putter is used to finish, the sensitive and decisive maneuver. Inside the perfect green, there is still skill and technique required.From the eyes of a complete spectator, I see patience and endurance displayed in this last fragment of the game. It involves estimation, experience, and perfect execution. I also don’t doubt the significance of good luck.

No caddy, no golf cart, we figured this will be our daily walk.  I was quite surprised to see this local golf course has so many handsome and lofty trees, ponds, and rolling greens.  The grass is soft here and I saw lots of ducks napping by the ponds. Mommy duck hid her babies in taller grass and she was the guard. The grass is soft. My steps are light. She did not sense my presence till I got close. I had a close look at the frightened babies and weary mommy but I tried to leave them alone sooner, no pictures. Mothers are naturally great when come to protecting their babies…

If not for the people behind us, I would want to spread out on the tender green and enjoy a nice nap. I tend to forget where I was till I was reminded to stay out of the hitting range. And yet, it is irresistible, I managed to get down low to the ground and have a little fun with the ball.

Not a sunny day, otherwise, I think it would be cool to have more bokeh behind and more light around. Best of all, if there were no golfers around and I can have the place all to myself. Good enough, I concluded. I had my experiment done and I at least got a few shots though not perfect.

Golf can be a wonderful sport if a golfer walks the course and carries the bag himself to get the full benefit of fitness; Enjoys the green and feels rejuvenated. While some tension is inevitable from one par to the other, remains calm and not too wound up with a win or loss. Treat it as a sport, not a game. An amicable social, not a business battlefield. A family fun gathering, no hassle of party food preparation. Sound great, don’t you?

I may end up trying to golf myself some time. Who knows?

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