Photo shoot at Whistling Straits

I am so very fortunate to have an assignment to photograph the Straits course at Whistling Straits.  The PGA Championship, 2010 will be held there in August.  My assistant (a temporary retire friend of mine) and I started at 8am Sunday, 27th, from Minneapolis to Kohler.  It was grey and cloudy most of the way, but as we near our destination, blue skies and puffy clouds. We headed to Whistling Straits after checking in at the hotel.  The staff were very helpful, the caddie master drew the cart paths on a map for us. Even though I have photographed the course before (in the fall of 2003), Tom and I were speechless as we climbed up a fescue covered “dune” and took in the colorful reddish fescue, the brilliant greens of the fairway and greens against the deep blue skies with puffy white clouds. I heard Tom saying “I think I am in golf heaven”  and I agree.  The next 5 hours were sounds of my cameras firing, and us saying “Can you believe that we are here?”, “Isn’t this awesome?”.  Finally I am able to instantly share the beauty of what I am seeing and shooting with someone, as I am usually by myself on these assignments.

We went from hole to hole and made notes to return to certain holes as the sun gets lower sky.  I know Tom is thinking the same thing I am, “It certainly will be great if we can play here”, but we did not voice the urge to each other, after all, we are here to work!!  We shot until the holes were in shadows and made plans to return early the next morning to catch the warm morning glow of the sun at dawn. We decided that 5:30 am will be good. I did not consider that the western side of Lake Michigan is 400 plus miles east of Minneapolis and the sun rises more than a few minutes earlier than I am used to. It actually rose at 5 am.  By the time we got to the holes I wanted to photograph, the light was almost too flat. BUT, the shots were still unbelievably awesome!!  We rush to holes 3, 7 and 17, and also hoping to catch hole 13.  We shot all of them!!!  It truly was a wonderful experience being on the course, looking and photographing at such beauty knowing that I will be able to share it with golfers and non-golfers alike.  Finally there is only one thing left to consider, should we or should we not?  Play, that is. Tom said, “It is your birthday, lets consider the round of golf at Whistling Straits a birthday present to yourself”.

I sent an email to Leslie (she is the wonderful person that made all the arrangements) asking if she can help us get a tee time.  She replied almost instantly telling us we will tee off at 7:20 am on the 29th. Well I will not bore you with details of my round but suffice to say that I shot an 85 with two triples (one of them was a downwind 330 yard drive, and 110 yards to go), and 3 doubles.  The score is secondary to the wonderful walk on the fairways, the rough, into sand traps and onto the green, and at the same time telling myself to BREATHE in all the beauty.

I am working on the images as fast as I can but taking the time and making sure that I am able to let you see what I saw these past few days.  I am posting some of the images here on this blog, however all of them will be posted on my website at http://www.peterwongphotography.com

Enjoy!!

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2 Responses to “Photo shoot at Whistling Straits”

  1. Gen Shaing Says:

    Peter,

    You are the master. I can feel the breezy and the soft sunlight from your pictures.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Gen Shaing

  2. Chuck K Says:

    Peter,

    Thanks for sharing the story (and photos) with us. Happy Birthday and what a special memory!

    -CPK

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