Posts Tagged ‘noblesville golf’

How to Photograph High School Golf Tournaments

By: tenna on July 24th, 2018

Camera gear for tournaments

I use either a mirrorless camera set on silent or a camera with a really long lens so that I don’t distract any players during the event.

If I am using a long and heavy lens, I use a monopod.

I always have a second fully charged battery, extra memory cards, and a rain cover for my camera.

I often use a zoom lens so I can get up close or be far away. With a DSLR it’s a 28-300, with a mirrorless it’s a 24-240, but I have shot with long glass too like at 400mm and parked myself far away from the action.


The night before the event

I charge my batteries, make sure I have extra cards, pack my camera bag, and put it by the door.

I make sure I know the location of the tournament and if necessary check my Google maps app to ensure I will be able to find it.

I verify the tee time. This can be sort of a pain in the neck. If there are only 2 teams competing, they may start as soon as both teams are there.



I get there about an hour before the expected tee time. This gives me time to get an iced tea, a golf cart if they’re available, shoot the environment, get driving range and short game shots.

I am at the tee 10 minutes before the 1st group is scheduled to go off.


Camera settings for tournaments

ISO – auto set to 1/1000 of a second

f-stop – the lowest the camera / lens provides, so if that is f-2.8, that’s what I use, if it’s 5.6 that’s what I use.

White balance – daylight if it’s sunny, cloudy if the day is overcast.

I switch constantly between high speed continuous shooting and single frame shooting.

One memory card slot is set to shoot in raw, and the 2nd is set to shoot in jpg fine.

Focus spot is set to single and moveable.

Focus is set to continuous, and release priority.

If I’m using a long lens on a monopod, I turn off the vibration assistance on the lens.


The most important shots:

The ball coming off the face of the club for tee shots, fairway shots, bunker shots (my favorite), and chip shots. Ideally the ball is within a few feet of the player.

The putt actually going in the hole. This one is hard to get and requires a lot of images to be captured. The guys really like it, but it wastes a lot of space on my hard drive.

Other worthwhile shots:

The players practicing on the driving range and putting green.
Emotion shots, where the player is clearly happy or upset about something. For instance, the fist pump right after a long putt is sunk, the club slap after an important putt gets missed, old friends greeting at the beginning of the day…

Environment shots, these are the shots that show the tournament environment, the buses lined up in the parking lot, the clubhouse, any golf course artwork, the scoring area, the driving range and putting green from a distance. The final scoreboard, I have forgotten this on a couple of occasions and it stinks to miss this shot.

Story telling shots, the coaches greeting the parents, parents greeting the kids, golf carts carrying competitors to the shotgun start holes.

Golf etiquette

This may all seem stupid to a photographer that is used to shooting other sports, but it is very important. You can get in trouble, yelled at by a coach, player or parent if you don’t follow these rules. You can even get in trouble with the tournament. Just because someone else (including a player) doesn’t follow the rules does not make it okay for you to ignore them.

Movement and noise – everyone in the immediate vicinity of play, including photographers has to be quite and immobile when a golfer is addressing (standing over) the ball. This goes for the tee, fairway, bunkers and the green. If you can hear the golfer, he can hear you. If you walk around when he is standing over the ball and distract him, you may get in trouble. Do not be a noisy distraction to the players. That means either use a mirrorless camera set on silent, or a DSLR with a long lens and locate yourself far enough away from all competitors that they can’t hear you.

Don’t stand in the player’s line. To visualize this, draw an imaginary line from the player’s ball to the hole, now extend this line out in both directions. If you are standing on this line, it is considered rude, you are a distraction and you need to move.



First Men’s Night of the Season is on Thursday

By: Tony Adragna on April 9th, 2014
The first event is scheduled at 5:30 pm, April 10, the first day of the Masters.
The monthly nine hole event is open to all and begins with a shotgun start. Golfers set their own groups, play their own tees and select their own game. Singles and twosomes can be paired. Players return to the clubhouse for complimentary food.
Men’s Nights at Purgatory i
nclude free range balls, nine holes of golf with cart, complimentary food, beverage specials, door prizes, course contests and a chance to win a free round in the golf pool. The fee is $35.
“We have shaken up the April Masters Men’s Night with a decidedly Augusta National flavor,” said head pro Jon Stutz.  “A ball skipping contest across the putting green pond mimics the Hole 16 fun during the Masters practice round.  Play then follows on a unique 9 hole Par Three course set up on the back nine. Back at the clubhouse, Chef Shane has added a favorite directly from the Augusta National clubhouse menu,” added Stutz.
Call the pro shop at 776-4653 no later than the Wednesday before the event to reserve a tee slot.

Local Junior Golfer will play at Augusta National

By: Tony Adragna on April 1st, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 1.40.34 PMNels Surtani, a Junior Golfer from Noblesville, will be participating in the National Drive, Chip, and Putt contest at August National on Sunday, April 6th.

The Golf Channel will dedicate an entire five hour, live production as 88 junior golfers from North America compete to be the Drive, Chip, and Putt National Champion.

Nels Surtani will be one of the 88 participants, but the road he was forced to take there is anything out of the ordinary.

The Golf Channel highlighted Nels in their “Overcoming the Odds” video series.  The video can be seen in its entirety below.

You can also find out more information about the Drive, Chip, and Putt contest by clicking this link.

Purgatory Golf heads to Golf 365

By: Tony Adragna on March 27th, 2014

As we all know, Indiana winters can be brutal, especially for golfers who want to get out and practice their game. But now, with Golf365 in Noblesville, you no longer have to take four months off from golf.

Junior Golfer, Clay Merchent, and Purgatory’s Director of Golf, Mike Merchent, show you around the indoor golf facility, from the putting greens and target rooms to the golf simulator, in the video below.

Stop-Motion Video of Hole #1

By: Tony Adragna on March 11th, 2014

Earlier this morning, I headed out to the course with just my iPhone in hand and knew I wanted to do something unique, but I wasn’t really sure what.  After toying with a few ideas, I got the idea to take a stop-motion video (stop-motion means taking a bunch of pictures and putting them together, pretty much like a flipbook).

I decided to walk the entire first hole while I took the stop-motion video.  By the time I arrived at the hole, I was pleased with the turnout of the stop-motion video.  It’s something I wouldn’t mind doing for each hole, but for now, hole #1 will do.  Below is a the stop-motion video that I took.

What is the likelihood of hitting a hole in one?

By: Tony Adragna on March 7th, 2014

Have you ever wondered what the odds are of hitting a hole in one?  It depends on your golf skill, but this infographic supplied by Golf Digest has all of the odds and facts on holes in one!

Hole In One FA

Purgatory: A Message from the Communications Specialist

By: Tony Adragna on January 23rd, 2014

TennaMerchent6_6_2012-2231_1024-XLMy name is Tony Adragna, and I have been the Communications Specialist at Purgatory Golf Club for about five months.  You may have seen my name pop up on blog posts around the site, or maybe you have seen my lessons with Mike in our web series, “Changing Your Golf Game.”

I graduated in May from Indiana University with a degree in Sports Communication, so working for Purgatory right out of school was a job I only could have dreamed of.  It is right up the alley of everything I studied in school, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of the opportunity to go to “work” everyday at such a beautiful place.

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t greatly familiar with Purgatory before I applied for my job here.  But after doing hours of research, I couldn’t wait for my interview.  When I got the call that I got the job, I was ecstatic.

My first love in sports will always be basketball.  I played four years at Southport High School, and I never missed an Indiana University home game while I went to school there.  I also played in all of the intramural basketball leagues that I could while I was in school, and I still religiously follow the basketball team.

With that said, with pretty much 18 years of pounding my body on hardwood, I’ve pretty much given up playing the sport, despite the occasional adult rec league or pick-up game.  The natural progression for me was to start playing more golf.

I have golfed since I was about 12 years old, but usually only a few times a year & with no guidance.  I figured since I was athletic, I would naturally be good.  Boy, was I wrong.  That’s why I have been loving this “Changing Your Golf Game” series that Mike Merchent and I have been doing this winter.  I am not a very good golfer, but I hope to get good, and I think this series is a good stepping stone for me.  Instead of searching the internet for different basketball shoes, I now find myself searching for different golf equipment.  I could search Google and YouTube for hours on various golf equipment, golf trick shots, etc.  I am starting to fall in love with the game, just like I did with basketball at a young age, and I couldn’t be more happy about it.

But what better place to fall in love with the game than at Purgatory Golf Club?  I remember as I pulled off of 37 on to 216th St. for my interview, I literally almost drove off of the road looking at the beautiful landscape of Purgatory.  I had seen a lot of pictures that Tenna had taken on our website (which are breathtaking in their own right) before my interview, but I had never seen the course in person.  After my interview, I remember just walking around the place a bit to fully grasp how awesome of a job it would be to “work” there.

As soon as I started working for Purgatory, I knew I made the absolutely correct decision to take the job.  Each employee I encountered greeted me and let me know that if I needed anything, they’d be there to help. I remember there was an outing on my first day of work, and even the golfers that were participating had such a friendly vibe to them.  As the days passed and I continued working more and more at Purgatory, the friendliness of the Purgatory members and visitors has never faded.

After thinking it through, I figured out why everybody I encountered was so friendly.  How could you not be happy in such a beautiful place?  So if I ever find myself having a rough day at work, I make sure to get up from my desk, take a walk to soak in my surroundings, and my mind always goes back to that very thought; how could you not be happy in such a beautiful place?

Pacers Ticket Giveaway – Twitter Contest

By: Tony Adragna on January 13th, 2014

Purgatory Golf Club is happy to announce our first ever “Retweet to Win Contest.”  We are giving away a pair of tickets to the Pacers vs. Brooklyn Nets game on Saturday, February 1st.  Rules and conditions are below.


Sponsor: Purgatory Golf Club, “Retweet to Win Contest” (the ”Promotion”).


The Promotion is valid from 2:15 PM (ET) Monday, January 13, 2014 thru 6:00:0 PM (ET) Friday, January 17, 2014.

The only eligible participants in this Promotion are those individuals, in conformance with the legislation of their State of residence, for whom the Promotion and its rules may be valid and legally applicable.


Employees, contractors, directors and officers of Purgatory Golf Club or its affiliates or associate companies as well as those who assist or work on a permanent basis with Purgatory Golf Club or in the administration, development, fulfillment and execution of this Promotion, and their immediate, family members are not eligible to participate.


Internet access is required to participate. The only way to participate in this Promotion is online by following @PurgatoryGolfCl´s Twitter page and retweeting the Promotion message posted on the @PurgatoryGolfCl Twitter Page  located at in which Purgatory Golf Club will select at random the Prize winner from the list of followers that retweeted the promotion.

Using a Twitter account, entrant must “retweet” a Twitter message created by Purgatory Golf Club on entrant’s Twitter feed. Each retweet counts as one “entry.”

Message that entrants will be asked to retweet Monday afternoon, beginning at 2:15 PM ET on the Purgatory Golf Club Twitter feed.

No purchase necessary to enter.

Purgatory Golf Club cannot be held responsible for tweets that are lost or overlooked due to technical snafus out of Purgatory Golf Club’s control.


One entrant, representing one (1) Twitter feed, will be selected randomly  Friday around 6:00 PM (ET) during the contest period to win a pair of Pacers tickets to the Brooklyn Nets game on February 1, 2014.


Odds of winning are based on eligible  number of entries. Winners will be selected at random.

Winner will have one week, or until the following Friday at 4:30pm ET, to acknowledge the prize win or the prize will be forfeited in its entirety. The Prize will be delivered via the e-mail address supplied within  seven (7) to ten (10) business days after eligibility confirmation. Any change in the Twitter account or e-mail address of the  winner is the sole responsibility of the participant. Purgatory Golf Club is not responsible  for any changes in e-mail or physical address. To redeem the Prize, the winner  must contact Purgatory Golf Club as indicated in the e-mail informing the winner of the Prize.


Purgatory Golf Club

12160 E 216th St Noblesville, IN 46060‎

(317) 776-4653

Elf on the shelf at Purgatory

By: Tony Adragna on December 17th, 2013

Throughout the holiday season, you can probably scroll through your Facebook feed and see several “Facebook friends” that post pictures of an elf in various places throughout their home.  The idea behind the “elf on the shelf” is that the elf appears during the holiday season and reports back to santa on everybody’s behavior throughout the house.  The “Elf on the Shelf” idea is especially popular with households with young children.

Although an elf on the shelf may be geared toward a younger audience, we thought it would be fun to get in on the action at Purgatory.  Over the course of the last week, our elf, Purgie, has been hiding in various places throughout the golf club.  We have been updating our Instagram feed with all of the places that Purgie has been hiding.  Below, you can see each of the places we have found Purgie.  We will update this post through Christmas with each of the places we find our elf!

Changing Your Golf Game – Lesson 4

By: Tony Adragna on November 26th, 2013

Purgatory Golf Club’s owner and Golf Professional, Mike Merchent, is going to take a former athlete with little golf experience, Tony Adragna, and transform his golf game over the course of the winter. This will be documented through our series, Changing Your Golf Game.

In lesson 4, Mike continues refining Tony’s Elbow Drill, this time really focusing on Tony’s hip movement on his downswing.