One of the biggest challenges I face on the golf course isn’t usually the errant lies of my golf balls. Instead, I have difficulty focusing on the shots with the club versus the shots with my camera.
This dilemma was particularly evident when we traveled to Arizona last week. We played three courses in Mesa, Scottsdale and Tempe, and it was amazing how much wildlife joined us on the fairways and greens, especially as the cooler evening temperatures arrived.
I always bring a camera along when I play golf, and after spending the first day with only a 35mm prime lens (see the post Arizona Birdies), thinking I’d be more focused on my game and the landscapes, I realized my mistake. So, I brought the 70-200mm lens along for the remainder of the trip, and even though I still couldn’t get as close to the wildlife as I’d wished at some points, it was a good balance. I could capture birds as well as the gorgeous scenery by adjusting the zoom of the lens and the crop factor on my Sony A7 camera.
In between waiting for the players in front of us or my golf partners to find their lost balls (LOL!), I ventured out into the desert, which was just steps away from the lush, irrigated fairways, to see what I could find.
The courses were surrounded by natural desert, which featured a variety of birds, small mammals, snakes and lizards. While it looked sparse from a distance, when you’re within the environment you see and hear many, many creatures, especially if you take a few moments to stop, look and listen.
So, while I didn’t personally make any birdies or eagles on the golf course, I think I ended up with the most hawks and road runners! My golf game took backstage to the camera this time, and it was well worth losing the bet with my partners and paying for dinner.