Catch a Tiger by the… Tee?

A few months back Freddy Couples picked Tiger Woods for 2011’s President’s Cup in Australia under the condition that Tiger must play another tournament in the fall series.  The local golf nuts at the bay area had our fingers crossed, hoping Tiger will pick our humble Frys Open to polish up his game.  Well, things couldn’t turn out any better:  Tiger did pick Frys Open, I happened to be in town, and the teleconverter (TC-20E II) I’ve been waiting for finally arrived.  A perfect storm, sort of.

Normally, cameras are not allowed in golf tournaments; except for the pro-am games on Wednesday.  Another reason to show up on Wednesday is the crowd.  People can say whatever they want about Tiger, but he sure sells.  You don’t need directions to find Tiger at the golf course; his group is the only one that has a gallery following him around.  Having seen the extremely unbalanced fan-base, I can understand 100% why Freddy picked Tiger.  It’s a no-brainer.  Just Wednesday alone, I saw more people than than Friday last year.

I like Nikon’s TC-20E III teleconverter.  It provides 2X zoom; making my 70-200mm VR II lens maximum zoom of 400mm.  Perfect length for golf.  Although Wednesday was sort of a practice round, most golfers are still very sensitive to camera clicks.  Having a long lens allows you to shoot from a good distance; at least if the golfer gets pissed off, he needs to chase after you ^_^.  I do notice some blue fringing around white objects; and the sharpness is not super when wide open.  But hey… much cheaper than buying a 400mm lens.  Not to mention much lighter gear to lug around.  The other equipment that came in handy was my Benro C2691TB1 tripod; it actually converts into a monopod by removing one of the legs and fitting the ballhead on top of it.  Highly recommend it.


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