Archive for June, 2011

St. Patrick, the 9th Hole

By: Tenna Merchent on June 28th, 2011

St. PatrickThis is an HDR (high dynamic range) image of the 9th hole, as you approach the green. It is a par five that is 579 yards when played from the back tees. From the far forward tees it is only 372 yards.

HDR images are created using multiple exposures of the same image. The human eye can see a broader range of light and dark than cameras can capture, by combining multiple images with the assistance of HDR software, we are able to more closely approximate what the human eye can see. In this case, a rising sun, and at the same time the inside lip of the bunker, which is a wide range from light to dark.


Risk & Over the Top

By: Tenna Merchent on June 24th, 2011

Risk taking at

I’ve been hearing this story evolve in my head tonight, and had to put it on paper so to speak. I was watching Max and Ruby with the boys, and typing when it didn’t seem rude. Then I kept going back and word smithing my thoughts.

I really liked the way it was developing, and I suppose the inner goddess decided to take the helm. I’ve been reading all sorts of stuff, aimed at feeding my creativity. The one site that I’ve actually posted on (, although it was a simple compliment I went back to tonight. I love his work and found him through the Nik podcast.

He took a photo of a gas station back area and made it into a piece of art! And he makes it look easy, which of course, in some respects it is, if you know all the moving pieces, at least like he does.

He’s a biker, as in peddle biker, not motorcycle. He got hurt and doesn’t compete any more. but still bikes a lot. An engineer by trade and an artist to say the least. For crying out loud, he’s made iPhone3 (not 4) a drooled over camera! Crazy.

So I decided to post my vision of the masses rising up against all the snobby ass professional photographers and actually creating some work that people like, instead of all this off centre crap that nobody cares about.

You may be thinking “And just what does this have to do with golf?” I’m the company photographer, writer, on-site creative. So please forgive my one day digression from all things golf.  Remember, I’m the one that takes all those over the top golf photos I share on this blog, hey, isn’t that how all this ranting got started?

The following is what I wrote and shared on his website.

I Embrace Over the Top!

Whenever I learn a new technique I love to experiment, and TURN UP THE VOLUME. Sometimes I look back at these ‘experiments’ and think yuk, “Did you really have to mess with the white balance so much that the clouds are various shades of grey, purple and pink? I mean what were you thinking! Couldn’t you see what you were doing?! Were you legally blind that day?!”

Then there were times, where I was pushing the limit to the extreme, and I look at those images and gasp, “Oh, I wish I had taken more pictures that day!”[i] I wish I had processed more images when I was in that frame of mind! I couldn’t do anything wrong that day! I should have bought a lottery ticket!”

Those are the presets that I backup and name crazy things like “Hug Bruce Lanai” because the little boy was hugging a stuffed animal named Bruce on the lanai when I was ‘Wonder Woman with a Camera,’ and every picture I took was golden. Incredibly, the photography gods further smiled on me with an AMAZING raw editing session where I yanked [ii] every slider until I found that magical image I was looking for.

I remember one of those golden days, where I took all my rejects and experimented to the max. I did things no self-respecting photographer would do, certainly not one who had been properly trained. The crazy thing is, my rejects became works of art. I showed stuff that I would normally delete to anyone I could. And they wanted to know how I did it! They were awed by my rejects!

Experienced Professionals [iii]

I went to photography boot camp, ugh, I admit it. Yes, I learned things I still use today, and I am so grateful for those skills! I also got to know a snobby and jaded photographer.

He said that if he is happy with two images a year, he was doing great. I thought, “Are you kidding? I love my pictures! I get an immense amount of joy out of taking them, editing them, printing them, watching them on Apple TV, sharing them with people, and making gifts. If getting to his skill level means I will only like two images I create a year, I’m bailing ship! I don’t want to be him, I want to love and enjoy what I create!”

I do understand his oversaturation of photography to a certain extent. When you do one thing ALL THE TIME it gets boring. You start to look for the unusual, the exotic, the thing that no one else has done. Given the internet and our knowledge of the world, that’s a pretty high bar.

So where does that leave me?

Enjoying the path.

I love photography. I love creating beautiful images, that when I show them to people they gasp with delightful shock.

Sharing and getting praise is fabulous. But the thing that makes me put my finger on the shutter, and yank those sliders, is some little voice, a magical, artistic muse, that wants to play. She wants to do crazy, some times beautiful, sometimes-tacky things, and I love her.

XO my dear Muse, thank you for being a part of my life. Please help me hold onto you and never look back!

You keep me forever young.


PS. End notes because yes, even though I have this amazing Muse, I also have an Inner Nerd, that is equally as cool, and I love and need you just as much! You rock my shy but brilliant nerd!

I have both the left and the right side of my brain and I plan on keeping them, meaning I don’t want to focus on just one skill set. I don’t buy into the whole “You have to be out of your mind to be good.” I’m going with you just have to have the inspiration, muse and nerd, in your mind, those lovely inner voices churning all the time because they want to be heard, and cooperating because they know that is the only way to get to the physical world. Wow, now that was deep and mysterious. No, no drugs involved, just letting the players play.

[i] Yes back then I called them pictures (verses images or captures). I was a babe in the woods, without the vocabulary to describe our art. But it didn’t stop me from having fun!

[ii] Yes we are called “Yankers” by at least one author. But how else are you going to find out what those charming sliders do?

[iii] I’ve had many lives on this earth, and when you do something for a long time, you can’t help but become opinionated about your profession, you feel like you’ve seen everything.



Tees & Greens with Chef Jon

By: Tenna Merchent on June 23rd, 2011

In this video Chef Jon introduces Tees & Greens, a blog series that will cover appetizing food prepared from the course. In this episode Chef Jon prepares a breakfast salad which he pairs with a bloody mary. Makes me hungry!

Top Dressing Greens

By: Tenna Merchent on June 21st, 2011

In this video James Brown and Larry Wilk demonstrate and discuss top dressing the putting green surface.

Purgatory’s June Wine Dinner

By: Tenna Merchent on June 16th, 2011

This is a highlight real from our last wine dinner. Hope you like it!

The following description of the evening is courtesy of Chef Jon:

Friday’s evening started off with a blackened tuna steak paired with a 2009 King Estate Pinot Gris. This wine was floral and crisp a surely fine pick by Kristopher to go with the spice in the blackening. The Pinot Gris paved the way for the grilled potato with herbed mascarpone. The cucumber with lime and soy was a great match for 2010’s Ferrari Carano Bella Luce. A “beautifully light” (Italian Translation) smooth peach and vanilla scented wine. This was a wonderful pairing for the fourth course of cantaloupe and basil sorbet as well. The next two courses were matched up with the crowd pleaser for the evening. A conundrum style red called Troublemaker Red. This predominately Syrah blend was a sure fit for the chili rubbed turkey and buttered baguette and gouda. Big raspberry, fruit forward medium bodied tannins make this truly drinkable wine easy to pair with almost anything off of the grill. Kendwood’s Pinot Noir was the fourth wine for the evening which was a fine compliment to the pan roasted crimini mushrooms and pork tenderloin with grapes and rosemary. A subtle smooth finish to this wine definitely allows the flavors of the food to shine through. The last two courses of the evening were paired with Argentina’s number one selling wine,  New Age White. The semi sparkling, fresh fruit, sweet wine cut the heat of the spicy broccoli but came to be an incredible finish match with the grilled pineapple and coconut sorbet. Over all the menu was a nice even flow of ten courses that allowed for guests to see how versatile wine can be when pairing.


The First Hole

By: Tenna Merchent on June 15th, 2011

These are photos I took recently, yes, at the crack of dawn at the golf course. This is the first hole aptly named Pride, after the first deadly sin. In medieval times, Pride was believed to be the basis of all other sins. The first hole is also the easiest hole on the course, so it can instill a false sense of pride when you play the course for the first time.

Most photographers believe that landscape photographs best in the magic hours of dawn and dusk. I have to agree. It’s inconvenient, but lovely.

I find it difficult to photograph golf courses because you have to get the proper angle to capture the topography. In this shot, the mist and sky were so beautiful, I compromised, and went for overall strength of the image.

I developed these photos in two different ways. Yes, they were shot in digital, but we still have a digital darkroom, it’s just on the computer. In the first and last images I composited two images to create what the human eye sees. We are able to see a much wider dynamic range as far as darks and lights go than any currently made camera. So to get the bright sky and the grass to both look like they do to the human eye, you have to use more than one image (normally).

In the middle image, I used computer software that specializes in combining multiple images (6 in this case) shot at different exposure values to create what is called a High Dynamic Range tone-mapped image. It is also commonly referred to as an HDR image. I couldn’t decide which I liked best, so I decided to include them both. If you have an opinion, please share it.

The first and third image are the same, simply cropped differently. I love the mist, and trying to highlight it in the image caused me to seek different angles.

Okay, just looked at them again. The third one is my fav.


Junior Golf Camp

By: Tenna Merchent on June 14th, 2011

In this brief highlight video we share a little bit of last week’s junior golf clinic. And yes of course, we have more coming up. The children enjoyed being stars of our movie trailer, hope you enjoy it too!

Photographing Beer

By: Tenna Merchent on June 9th, 2011

I had the distinct pleasure of photographing beer yesterday. It’s easy to take something like beer that you see so frequently for granted. But in a photograph I want to highlight its strong points. So how do I do that?

First of all, I took pictures of colored water to get everything set up and make sure I liked the way it looked. After I thought the shot would work, we hauled ass!

We made sure the mug was cold so that the condensation pearled on the glass just perfectly. Then Jon poured the beer and dashed it to the table so the foam was still rising to the top. From that point on, it’s just fun. I mean, I’m at work taking pictures of beer!

When I was finished, a guest walked by and said, “That sure looks good!” I handed it to him, and he said “Seriously?!” I then explained what we had been doing. I told him he could now brag that he had dated a model, because the beer he was ‘with’ had been posing for professional pictures. Yeah, cheesy, I know. He didn’t seem to mind.


Left to right: Brooklyn Brown Ale from Brooklyn New York, Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale, Flat 12 Upside-down Blonde from Indianapolis Indiana.

The Kilkenny Irish Cream is an interesting pour as the foam continues to rise to the top for a few moments. One person said they need to make a screen saver from it.

So why were we taking pictures of beer? It was for the upcoming invitations to the second Beer Dinner. Our wine dinners have been so popular, Chef Jon decided to try a meal where he paired a complimentary beer with each course. The second one is coming up June 24th. Reservations are required, and these dinners fill up, so book early.

Rolling the Greens

By: Tenna Merchent on June 7th, 2011

In this video Superintendent James Brown is rolling the greens as he discusses the science behind the practice in a voice over.

Early Morning Magic at the Course

By: Tenna Merchent on June 2nd, 2011

I came to work at 6:30 this morning to get more photos of the golf course in the magic hour just after sunrise. As I drove around the course with James Brown I said, “I’d normally be working out, but I’d much rather be doing this!”

A golf course is absolutely magical first thing in the morning. There is often mist on the water, and many parts of the course. The shadows are long, the sky dramatic, and there’s dew on the fairways and putting greens. You get to watch the greens crew tend to the course. The birds are out and the air smells fresh. Why would I ever want to do anything other than be here first thing in the morning?

We were trying to get a lot of shots in, but as we’d pass by something, I’d say, “Can we stop here, just for a minute?” Every where I turned, the grass glistened, the leaves sparkled, the shadows whispered “take my picture, it will be amazing!”

Eight hole, The Serpent

Yes, that is the real sky.