Tag Archives: disc golf world championships

Photo Friday: Make the Most of Pro Photo Ops

Where's my focus?

Who's my focus?

Last week’s Disc Golf World Championships in Kansas City wasn’t only about the amateur players like the #2 son. The pro world championship was conducted at the same time. On our last full day in KC, the Mister, #2, and I went to the very-long and hilly Blue Valley disc golf course to watch the top four male pros—Avery Jenkins, Josh Anthon, Matt Orum, and Cale Leiviska—battle for the $5,500 prize and the right to call themselves the best pro male disc golfer in the world.

I, of course, carried my Nikon D300 and Nikon 105mm lens to capture the action. But there was one teensy problem . . . well, okay, one big problem: About 1,500 people also were watching, and I think they all wanted to stand in front of me!

The leaderboard . . . just like in the Pro Golfers Association!

The leaderboard . . . just like in the Pro Golfers Association!

On the first couple holes, this photo of the leaderboard was the best picture I snapped. People were all over the course surrounding the players as they teed off, threw upshots, and putted. Frustrating! What was I to do to get decent photos of the pros?

Fourth-place finisher Cale Leiviska putts.

Fourth-place finisher Cale Leiviska putts.

Simple! I moved around and tried to anticipate where the players would be. If you snooze, you lose when it comes to being in the right photographic place at the right time. I didn’t always guess right, but I carved out my spot enough times to get some good photos. Of course, I was pretty winded by the end; those hills are especially torturous when you’ve got a lung infection!

Avery Jenkins putts for a birdie (that he missed).

Avery Jenkins putts for a birdie (that he missed).

As much as I didn’t like the crowd blocking my shots, I did want them surrounding the players. Having all the people in the photos helps to tell the story of the finals—there’s so much pressure on these top pros to perform well amidst these loyal minions.

Matt Orum putts.

Matt Orum putts.

This is a much better photo of Matt Orum than the first one. I only wish he had used a colored disc; it was unfortunate timing that I stopped the action of his white disc against a white truck in the background.

Sidebar: A note for the Texas A&M fans—Matt is not an Aggie! He’s from Alabama, as in the Crimson Tide. I must admit, though, that “Aggie” was the first thought that popped in my mind when I saw Matt dressed in maroon.

The Mister and the #2 son watch the action.

The Mister and the #2 son watch the action.

It’s nice to get a photo or two of some faces in the crowd to help document the event. These are two usual suspects who I love taking pix of!

Avery putts downhill from my location.

Avery putts downhill from my location.

The setting for the finals was a beautiful, scenic park in Kansas City. It was nice to show some of that beauty when I stayed up on a hill and took photos of the players putting at a basket that was next to a lake.

Sidebar: Quite honestly, this was just a lucky photo. I was too tired to walk down the hill to get closer to the action. In the Houston area, almost every disc golf course is flat; you don’t need to be in great shape to take photos. KC was a challenge for me!

Josh Anthon watches his clutch par putt soar towards the basket on hole nine.

Josh Anthon watches his clutch par putt soar towards the basket on hole nine.

Even though there were four guys in the finals, the real drama was between Avery Jenkins and Josh Anthon. Avery had taken a two-shot lead into the nine-hole final, but Josh caught up, and the two were tied going into hole nine. Avery threw and hit the bottom of the basket, putting the pressure on Josh to make his par putt and force a sudden-death playoff.

Relief and happiness for Josh!

Relief and happiness for Josh!

The Mister and I had walked ahead to hole nine and claimed our spots where we couldn’t be blocked to watch and shoot the action. I was in the right place when Josh canned his putt and showed a mix of relief and joy afterwards.

Avery bested Josh on the fifth hole of sudden death to become the world champ. And because I was able to move around the crowd, I was able to get photos of the top four in action that always will be memorable to the Mister, #2, and me.

So remember that if you want to make the most out of pro—or any—photo ops, be on the move with your camera!

Lessons Learned at the Disc Golf World Championships

The happy #2 son during a good round.

The happy #2 son during a good round.

Hmmm . . . I’ve blogged about coming home from last week’s Disc Golf World Championships in Kansas City, flying there, and the Mister’s expensive laundry. Am I missing something?

#2 tees off.

#2 tees off.

Duh! The actual tournament!! The #2 son played six rounds of 18 holes each; I got to watch his second tour of a disc golf course Thursday and his final one on a very-demanding course Friday.

#2's long upshot towards the basket

#2's long upshot towards the basket

The #2 son finished 14th out of 25 boys in the age 16 and under division. He played better than his ranking in four of the six rounds. But, more important, he got experience at his first worlds, and he got to meet other boys from all over who are just as passionate about the sport. I think he learned something from everyone in his groupings and who he watched play.

Joe putts.

Joe putts.

Take Joe here, who is from Nebraska. This was his third worlds. #2 learned from watching his cool under fire, even though he’s only 14 (the same age as #2).

Frosty putts.

Frosty putts.

Frosty lives in KC. His favorite course was the difficult one (Water Works) they played the final day, and he really rocked on it. That showed #2 that a hometown advantage can be very important.

Jerry tees off.

Jerry tees off.

Idaho’s Jerry was the class clown . . . until he started playing poorly. The lesson for #2? Don’t lose your focus!

Jarred concentrates on making the putt.

Jarred concentrates on making the putt.

Jarred, a fellow Texan from Beaumont, proved to be a great guy to pal around with. He and the #2 son had a lot of fun together . . . off the course.

Oscar about to can yet another putt.

Oscar about to can yet another putt.

Finally, there was Oscar Stenfelt of Sweden. He ran away with the 16 and under division, winning by a hefty 24 strokes. He bested #2 by a whopping 69 strokes!

Lesson learned? #2 needs a lot more practice and experience! And maybe it wouldn’t hurt to learn a little Swedish?

A Thousand Mea Culpas in Advance

A tee-box marker at our local disc golf course

A tee-box marker at our local disc golf course

Apologies in advance to everyone who’s on today’s early-morning flight to Kansas City, Missouri, from Houston. And some advanced warning: You might want to have ear plugs or headphones handy. Ears will need to be plugged.

My lung infection and I will be flying to the Disc Golf World Championships to see the #2 son play a couple rounds. Oh, and my obnoxious, dry, hacking cough will be along for the ride, too, unfortunately. Even I can’t stand myself! For the first time ever, I’m hoping there will be a crying baby or two on the plane. Anything to cover up the racket I’ll be making in seat 10A.

Sidebar: The #2 son had a frustrating day on a difficult course yesterday. Seems like every tree had his name on it. But I know he’s a resilient athlete who will rise to the occasion today, as he plays his two rounds. Especially with his ever-lovin’, ever-coughin’ mama watching him. Note to self: Keep shutter speed on the Nikon D300 high enough to avoid camera shake.

Sidebar 2: So what lenses am I taking to document this memory? I’ll shoot play with my reliable Nikon 105mm. Usually, my Nikon 70-200mm is my weapon of choice for outdoor sports, but it’s too heavy to carry. I’ll have Nikon’s 17-55mm and 50mm lenses to cover any other shooting situations that might arise.

And what about my broken-hearted #1 son, you ask? Will he be tagging along? Yeah, right.

What 17-year-old kid wants to walk for a couple hours watching their younger sibling play? Totally boring. So we’ve taken pity on him, and he’ll be staying with our “half” son, his best friend Chase. I’ll be worried about him, of course, but I think he’ll be happier with his friend’s family.

The Mister (who did do a better job texting yesterday, I’m happy to say . . . for his sake), #2, and I will be flying home Sunday. I sure hope I’ll be rid of this nagging cough by then. Otherwise . . . .

Apologies in advance to everyone who’s on Sunday morning’s flight from Kansas City to Houston!

Never-Ending Illness and Text Disabled

Mind if I join you?

Mind if I join you?

Once again, I’m looking out for your best interests! Instead of continuing to merely milk my never-ending lung infection by using my Sick Day sign, I have a new photo that neatly fits in my It Doesn’t Take Much to Amuse Me category. I snapped it yesterday with my iPhone at our local Half-Price Books store. I think “Old & Interesting” is a good description of me! Can I wedge in there between a couple of books?

Blackberry Curve

Blackberry Curve

See this smartphone? It’s the Blackberry Curve, the same phone I urged the Mister to buy.

Sidebar: Because the Mister’s cellphone plan at work is Sprint, he couldn’t get an iPhone. And, really, is the man cool enough to own the same smartphone as me? Think about it.

So, of course, he bought the Curve. I wanted him to be able to check his e-mail away from his office and, most important, to be able to text. To say the man is text-disabled is like calling Yao Ming tall. He visibly starts sweating and quaking as he eyes the phone’s keys, reluctant to even start typing. He even has others text for him, especially the #2 son. So I figured the Curve’s keyboard would be easier for him than that of his old flip phone.

Yeah, right. Why didn’t I just ask the man to learn Italian in a week? That might be easier for him!

logo-kcworlds-large

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the Mister and the #2 son are in Kansas City, Missouri, for the Disc Golf World Championships.

Sidebar: After two rounds, #2 is tied for tenth out of 25 players in the age 16 and under division.

The Mister was supposed to let me know how #2 was doing during both rounds yesterday. I know that there’s not supposed to be a lot of noise on the course while play is going on. Disc golfers can be like regular ball golfers in being sensitive to cell phones ringing when they’re about to putt. But how noisy is it to text if your phone is on vibrate? Or even if it isn’t?

Do you want to know how many times the Mister texted me during 36 holes of disc golf, knowing I was anxiously awaiting any morsel of news? Any crumb of information?

Do you really have to ask? A big, fat zero.

Yeah, we had a little talk about that last night over the phone. I told him at the very least all he has to do is type “b” for birdie, “p” for par, and “bo” for bogey. How hard is that for someone who has fingers and/or thumbs that work? He agreed to do that.

And you know what? He just texted me and used more than one letter! He even typed several words at once!!

Sigh! I’m so proud of him.