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2012 Healthy Charleston Challenge 2-mile Run

Congratulations to all the participants in the 2012 Healthy Charleston Challenge 2 Mile Run & Walk! Tyler Cross was the first male to cross the finish line with a time of 11:04, with the first female, Rives Poe, crossing the finish line just 36 seconds later, with a time of 11:40. You all ROCK! Complete results can be found on the Action Carolina website.

2012 PGA Championship at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

It’s not often you’ll find me up and ready to go at 4 in the morning (actually, I’d been up since 3:15), but the notion that I’d be photographing golf’s premiere players at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island had me up and at ’em, and gulping down boatloads of coffee, at a time I’m usually just easing into my REM sleep for the night.

My bleary-eyed (but bushy-tailed) drive out to the course had me thinking about how this day was actually a bit of a convergence of my past and present, passion for sports and photography, and the fortune of this tournament taking place within a 6-iron (plus 34.9 miles by car) of my front door.

I’ve been coming to Kiawah Island since the early 1980’s when I first fell in love with the island on a family vacation, and my affinity for golf started when I picked up the game in my twenties, along with my subsequent relationship with a golf fanatic who built custom clubs for the pros at several golf companies in Carlsbad, California. My passion for photography started with getting my first camera for my 10th birthday (a 110 Kodak Ektra 12, with the flip-over case that became a handle), so to say this was a collision of my worlds in one morning is an understatement.

But then the rain came pouring down. Thunder, lightning, blinding rain on the already notoriously-treacherous-two-lane-oak-lined drive out to Kiawah. I finally arrived and paid the $20 for my parking spot, and was the lone spectator among hundreds of tournament volunteers boarding buses that would take us out to the Ocean Course some 12 miles from the parking lot.

Once at the tournament entrance I was told to wait another 20 minutes for the gates to open to the public at 7 am, but just then it was announced play had been suspended due to weather, and there I stood in the rain, along with about 20 other fans, suckers (literally) for the seemingly thousands of mosquitos that descended upon us to feast while we waited patiently for the weather to pass and the gates to open.

And then, at around 7:30 am, it was announced we could go in! (Insert dramatic “Hallelujah!” music here.) And so, my adventure began.

But enough about me—you just want to see the images of the tournament! Here we go:

Dark-and-rainy o’clock at the entrance of the 94th PGA Championship at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Players warm up on the driving range while storm clouds linger over the Atlantic Ocean at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

The Ocean Course Clubhouse on Kiawah Island, SC

Players practice their putting skills at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Sea oats and sand dunes in front of the Ocean Course Clubhouse at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Spectator boxes and seating stands along the 18th hole at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

The 18th green and sandy areas (played as “through the green”) at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Simon Dyson of England prepares for his second shot on the 10th fairway at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

The 17th hole at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Paul Lawrie of Scotland awaits the practice putt of his golf partner at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Gary Woodland and Tiger Woods take a break while waiting for the group ahead to finish on the green at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Tiger Woods watches his shot to the green on the 13th hole at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Gary Woodland and Tiger Woods at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Gary Woodland lines up his putt on the 13th green at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

The golf bags of Gary Woodland, Tiger Woods, and Davis Love III at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Gary Woodland and Tiger Woods walk off the 14th tee at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Gary Woodland and Tiger Woods walk in the rain off the 14th tee at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Tiger Woods at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Davis Love III at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Tiger Woods jokes around on the 15h fairway at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Tiger Woods still smiling at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Tiger Woods having fun on the 16th tee at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Tiger Woods on the 16th tee at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

An alligator wades near the marsh grass on the 16th hole at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

An alligator swims in the pond while Tiger Woods walks the course on the 16th hole at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Bud Cauley walks near the 12th hole tee box at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Spencer Levin approaches the green on the 12th hole at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Charles Howell III prepares for his putt on the 11th hole at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Toru Taniguchi and Hiroyuki Fujita, both of Japan, walk the fairway of the 10th hole at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

The 16th hole fairway at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Robert Garrigus prepares for his second shot on the 11th hole fairway at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Marcel Siem of Germany walks the 10th hole fairway at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Jeff Coston’s caddy calculates the distance on the 10th hole fairway at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Jeff Coston prepares for his second shot on the 10th hole fairway at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

A weather warning on the scoreboard along the 16th hole at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Sea oats blow in the wind along the 16th hole fairway at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Simon Dyson of England walks by the lake on the 17th hole at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

D. A. Points and his caddy share a laugh on the 10th hole at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Martin Kaymer of Germany walks on the fairway of the 10th hole at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Phil Mickelson warms up on the driving range at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

Phil Mickelson on the driving range at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC

 

 

Janis Newton - August 11, 2012 - 12:26 pm

FABULOUS pictures! Els is the BEST photographer ever. Thanks for sharing. The PGA should take a look at these!

Els Sipkes - August 11, 2012 - 5:58 pm

Thank you Janis! :)

Kevin Herzing - September 18, 2012 - 7:00 pm

I am the one who built the clubs for the PGA Tour Players Els mentioned. Seems like a long time ago, the 80’s that is. haha. The pictures here are AMAZING! Great job capturing the beauty of the Golf Course, the Tour Players, and the great state of South Carolina. Thanks for sharing, Kevin.

Jospeh Strathy - August 9, 2013 - 8:23 pm

Nice run on the front for AS… that’s what you’re supposed to do at Oak Hill… make a move on that easier stretch, cuz it’s gonna be awfully hard to get around this place totally error free..

Rick Looft - August 9, 2013 - 8:45 pm

Tiger Woods Should Look at Oak Hill as His Major Slumpbuster

Ezequiel Bina - August 9, 2013 - 11:01 pm

I just love the PGA

Opening Night 2012 at the Charleston RiverDogs

Baseball season is upon us again, and this year we had tickets to opening night of the Charleston RiverDogs vs. the Rome Braves at The Joe. Even though we knew there was a threat of weather on the way, nothing could dampen our spirits of attending the game. Nothing, that is, until the storm blew in full force—with lighting, high winds, and a couple of inches of rain. The game was eventually called, but, lucky for us, we can trade in our opening night tickets for attendance another night. Yes!

Full moon rising over a perfect spring evening at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Stadium in Charleston:

 

Mayor Riley, the stadium’s namesake, concentrating on throwing out the Opening Day first pitch:

 

The U.S. Coast Guard made a special appearance and flew low over the stadium to get the crowd going:

 

View over the marsh and the Ashley River behind the stadium, showing the approaching storm:

 

And…he’s…SAFE!!!

 

The game was suspended and I turned back to the marsh to try to capture some of the lightning. Hand-holding your camera + reacting to lightning and thunder = shaky picture of lighting:

 

Diehard fans made the most of the situation and patiently waited under cover for the game to resume:

 

A brave soul attempting to weather the storm with a colorful umbrella that was no match for the wind:

 

Unfortunately the rain kept coming and the game was rescheduled to resume on May 18. Hopefully it won’t rain then! See you there!

Lighten Up Charleston

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley gave an impassioned speech at the waterfront by the Charleston Maritime Center this afternoon to kick off Lighten Up Charleston, a program challenging Charleston residents to collectively lose 100,000 pounds through healthy eating and exercise. More information can be found at www.LightenUpCharleston.org, including access to a weight and activity tracker, maps and links to city parks and walking trails, healthy recipes, a locator for local farmers markets, a calendar of health and wellness events in Charleston, and more.

MUSC representatives with Mayor Riley: Dr. Susan Johnson, Janis Newton, Dr. Josh Brown, Tonya Turner, RD