Driving Range, Texas Boys & Girls PGA Championship, Brookhaven Country Club, Farmer’s Branch, Texas. Spring, 2010.
Much like watching the Little League World Series on tv, I found myself getting caught up in the sporting drama of kids competing. I was assigned to trek back and forth across 18 holes, photographing 8 to 12 year old junior golfers in the Texas Boys & Girls PGA Golf Championship on an uncomfortably humid and hot day in Dallas.
These kids are serious about driving the ball far and sinking that putt. I don’t think I heard a single complaint from any of the competitors; they played the hole, scored their card, and just plugged away under the cloudy-bright pulses of heat this Texas Spring day.
Most have a swing smoother than practically every adult I see at driving ranges in town. If they did pull too much left or right, some had a caddy/parent there to quickly point out what they did wrong. I was really surprised to see some of the younger players walking hole to hole alone, hauling a golf rig larger than themselves.
At this age, none have mastered a poker face. Every near miss and dead stop in the middle of a fairway to mentally calculate their next shot can be read in their eyes and body language. My favorite are the near face plants as the youngin’s lean so far over, trying to guide their putt into the hole.
My handler at these tournaments is usually a PGA intern that knows quite a bit about the known contenders in each age group and I find myself passively celebrating along with them when they hit a good shot. But I also try to project good vibes across a green (or hazard) to the obvious runt of a heat when witnessing them commit every comical shank or foul.
There isn’t the burden of carrying your state (or nation’s) pride on your back throughout the tournament like in Little League; but nonetheless, they leave everything out on the links in their attempt to ride home holding a trophy nearly as big as they are.
I shot and processed a roll of Ilford HP5 through one of my Pentax 67 bodies. And I’m pleased to see that it still works! I hope to run a lot more film in and out of these cameras real soon on an up coming trip. I remember the optics being pretty sharp even though I notice these scans look a little soft on my coworker here. I’ll chalk that up to my eyes getting used manually focusing again.
This was lit and shot rather haphazardly in the studio at work. I precariously leaned a couple 4x8 acoustical panels on some light stands, and set up a small soft box (without the front diffuser I think) high and to her left. Processed in HC-110 and Magic-taped to the scanner bed for this image.
I can’t wait! I have packs of film ready to go in the fridge at home.