When I’m not golfing, skiing, or blogging, I’m building drones. I must have about 15 of them now, in varying sizes. The rage these days is “racing” drones, which are moderately small and very fast/nimble. I’ve built several, one which I used for the video below, two laps around the 4th and 5th holes at my home course, which is now closed because of the Coronavirus.
I was ripping pretty damn fast on these two racing drone laps. Hole 4 is a longish par-4 and 5 is a par-5. Just takes a few seconds to fly each hole. Winter is coming to a close and the course hasn’t started spring growth yet, which makes some of the terrain look interesting.
Fox Sports is taking a beating for its golf broadcasts from many out there who think they can do better or know better. Hat’s off to Fox Sports for introducing drone coverage to the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. As a “drone pilot” and builder of several unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) myself, I’m stoked to see some new looks.
I’m miffed that Fox Sports didn’t hire me to do this gig though. I have to be the world’s best combination golf/drone authority.
Over the last couple of years now I’ve gotten deep into aerial photos and videos via unmanned aerial vehicles, known by most as drones. I’ve build some aerial video/photo “ships” and am loving the angles and views I can capture of golf courses.
To me a drone is a large unmanned killing vehicle used in war. Unfortunately people who don’t know much call the little copters equate them with the bigger drones. Small copters like the ones I have have a bad wrap and there are some true boneheads doing dumb things with them. These “drones” can provide so many great functions otherwise not available. One such great one is the aerial flyovers of the holes at the Masters Tournament.
Augusta National – Masters Tournament 16th hole as seen by a drone
You may have not realized, but when the TV or online coverage does their hole tours, the flyover videos are shot by an aerial drone similar to what I use. Here’s a screen cap of a drone shot of the 16th hole above. The dramatic views and videos are absolutely awesome. Love them.
There’s an especially cool shot which starts in a bunker and rises up to show the hole. Another one the camera starts by some trees and rises straight up over them. Very cool.
The aerial coverage and how close the camera can get to the tree lines makes the great Masters broadcast even better.
I’m really making great progress on my golf aerials photo/video rig. If you need aerial photos or video, contact me. Yesterday’s shoot at Hidden Valley Country Club here in Sandy, Utah, produced some fantastic shots. It was quite windy, so I’m not sure the videos I captured will turn out, but the photos are fantastic.
Hidden Valley Country Club Lakes Course – Par-3 6th – click for more HVCC photos
Left: Lakes Course 9th green – Right: Mountain Course 9th green – Clubhouse behind – click to see more
I’ve enjoyed the challenge of building a setup to capture these images, and the challenge of flying it. Looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this type of media.