So I got a call from my pals out at UT Golf Club yesterday, needing a shot of #12. I dug up this one and thought about what a handy tool HDR has been for me and golf. I shot this one at high noon a few years ago. Before, shooting a golf course at any time other than “the golden hour” was a bad idea. Noon was out of the question. Not anymore. You real estate marketers remember this when you’re told you can’t shoot in the middle of the day.
A few guys from the golf staff at UT Golf Club on the 18th tee. This hole, in my opinion, is the best closing hole in the Austin area. And all the times I’ve played bogeyed it, I always thought to peel a draw off that right fairway bunker. GM Steve Termeer (there in the white cap) says no. The correct line is at the left bunker. Who knew? I guess it pays to listen to a good player.
Surely that’s what Roy Bechtol and Randy Russell (together or apart) felt when Lajitas announced that Lanny Wadkins would assume responsibility for redesigning the golf course out there after the massive flood. I shot this one back in 2001. Couple of questions: Why wouldn’t they bring Bechtol and/or Russell back for the fix? Both of them know every square inch of that place. They know the drainage issues, environmental challenges, agronomic nuances and everything else better than anyone. And with all due respect to Lanny, his playing career and his golf course design philosophy, if they were looking for a “name” to attach to the design, why not go get one that commands a bigger bang for the buck in terms of dirt selling? I don’t expect an answer. Just curious.
Here’s a shot of the 9th green and approach area out at UT Golf Club. This hole has dozens of great photographs just waiting to be captured. It’s a great par-5, too. Big, bending, well-bunkered with a small green. The only thing I don’t like is that it looks like the safe play is left of the green. Not so. There’s a big shaved collection area over there that’s a fairly tough up-and-down. At least for someone with the yips me.
Congratulations to everyone at UT Golf Club for finally getting in the new clubhouse. And for the rest of you, go take a look at it. Really, really nice. Some of my photos are hanging up in there somewhere. This one here of the par-3 2nd hole isn’t one of them, but looking at it brings a few things to mind in the spirit of teaching golf photography in the Hill Country.
First, mornings are a crap shoot. The light is usually perfect, but maintenance crews making tracks in the dew can ruin a sublime golf landscape. Also, remember to dress well. By “well,” I mean be prepared to experience the proverbial witch’s tit. At least in the spring and fall.
Second, don’t let anyone tell you that you need a ____ing ladder. This is just my opinion (which is the most important one on this blog), but the best golf photos are from the ground. Isn’t that where golfers are?
I just read a story by Steve Habel of Bechtol Golf about how the recent flooding of the Rio Grande demolished the golf course at Lajitas almost beyond repair. Shame. I shot this one back in 2002, and I really enjoyed the golf course, the town, the feel of the place. Gavin Heap was the pro then. Maybe he still is. Word has it that the golf course will reopen in March 2009. I’ll go back, for sure. The silence on that golf course is unbelievable.