The colors are beautiful in the magic hour - Steve Rutherford
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of touring the course with Steve Rutherford, a professional photographer who has a passion for landscape portraits.
Steve and I met through a mutual friend and school teacher, Chris Heckman, at a local BBQ party and we all played a few 9's together. Chris is just learning the game which Steve play lots of golf back in his hometown of Salt Lake City and spoke highly of the public courses there. That was years ago and he only recently began to pick the game up again since moving to Portland.
We only have played the front 9 together, so it was a bit of a special treat to tour him around the back 9 which is by far the more scenic of the two halves.
Steve professional work is for designers for product photoshoots, so it was a special treat for us both to explore what his lens could capture in the "magic hour" before sunset. I just love how the sun's majestic rays carve through the trees on the October evening with a play of light and shadow.
We really had a blast together, with me as the impromptu model - (apparently I take direction well) along with the golfers racing to squeeze in the final holes before the sun slumbered over the west hills. Enjoy the gallery below... followed by a quick golf story.
"How many balls did they just it into the water?!?" Steve asks incredulously
During our shoot we came upon a threesome of players of Korean-Americans, that have been playing Eastmoreland "for years and years." As they approached the signature hole of Eastmoreland the 17th, a par 3 over the Crystal Lake. The original distance was from the forward tees so around 125 yards (now the Red Tees) and with the White tees about 145 yards and the Blue tees usually around 165 yards. It's a formidable shot, no too difficult provided you give it enough club. Though like so many golfers before that approach this hole, the water, like the lady in the lake, beckons every player that approaches. She sings a song like siren that too often distracts the mind and results in topped, shanked, flubbed, hacked, duffed shots all to a watery grave.
Steve perhaps for the first time witnessed first hand the struggle of these three men, all seniors aged from 60 years to 80+ attempt shot after shot after shot. Dutifully shouting in disgust as each new attempt failed to make the green and returning to their bags to reload. While not surprised as Steve by the relentless willingness to launch another ball into the lake (at least 11 between the three of them). What warmed my heart was the grit to keep going until they got a ball onto the green.
The gentlemen noticed us waiting to take some photography and asked me to come and hit one over. Armed with a 7 iron from the whites, it wasn't the club I would choose so I hit a low punch that actually flew like on a rope to the mid center of the green. (Which by the way, is the play, don't be tempted by sucker pins in the front right near the lake edge) They gave me a clap and slap on the back of approval - cheering for the success of overcoming the water.
While golf is competitive and we often play matches against one another, these players reminded me of the camaraderie that comes with success against the true foe - the natural landscape devised by Chandler Egan. We all together play against the puzzles he designed from the natural lay of the land and water.