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.
It’s not lucky. It is by design that I live next to a golf course. I live near the 8th and 9th holes, about a five minute walk from the clubhouse and the first tee. I have a good relationship with the course, having been a very active player there, and president of the men’s league for seven really long years.
River Oaks 10th Hole Tee View
Tonight I brought out my big hexacopter (drone with six propellers) and did some photos of a few holes. The hexacopter is equipped with a mirror-less camera and a prime wide angle lens. It’s my gamer for photography and video from the air.
With the evening light I was able to capture a few very nice shots of some of the holes. The first photo above is the very tight and tough 10th hole. The black tee is at the bottom of the frame and you can see that the tee shot must be extremely accurate or it is adios white spheroid.
River Oaks 10th Hole Green View
Above you can see the 10th hole from behind the green. You pretty much can’t miss left or right on this hole, as is the case for just about every hole on this course. Bring your tee shot A-game here.
The gear I bring to golf courses lately doesn’t seem to include golf clubs or a ball. I’ve been bringing one or more of my multi-rotor copters from my golf aerial photography/video fleet. Below is a shot I captured last weekend at Soldier Hollow, home of two great courses.
Aerial Photo: Soldier Hollow Golf Courses – click for more
In the photo above the closer holes are the “Silver” course, and the farther away holes on the side of the mountain are the “Gold” Course.
Below is a shot looking back the opposite direction, including the fantastic clubhouse on the right.
Soldier Hollow Golf Course and Clubhouse – Click for more
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.