Teed off

Pacific golfer T.J. Bordeaux tees off at the Pacific Invitational Golf tournament at the Brookside Golf and Country Club in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D2X. Lens: Nikkor 33mm. Exposure: f/8 @1/500, ISO 200)

“Golf is an awkward set of bodily contortions designed to produce a graceful result” – Tommy Armour

I’m not much of a golf fan. Personally, I find it hard to get excited about the sport. Basketball has its fast breaks. Football has bone-crushing tackles. Hockey has body-pounding checks into the boards (hey, there’s an idea: full contact golf. I’d pay to see that!). Baseball has… well never mind.  For me, shots of golfers putting rank right up there with watching paint dry.

One dynamic moment is the tee shot. Golf etiquette requires photographers refrain from shooting before the ball is hit during tournament play. (if the Los Angeles Lakers’ Magic Johnson, who’s 1989 free throw percentage rate was .911, could shoot in front of thousands of screaming fans, you’d think golfers could stand just a little noise). Which is fine because at the start of the swing the golfer’s head is down anyway. Many golfers wind around like a spring on the follow through. We’ve all seen the pictures of Tiger Woods twisting, contortionist-like while watching the ball fly through the air after teeing off. I can feel my vertebrae crack and pop just at the sight of one of those shots. Its an intense moment in an inherently subtle and restrained sport.

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