I was 20 when I first photographed Jimmy Roberts. He was working for ESPN. He interviewed President George H.W. Bush at the Cape Arundel Golf Course in Kennebunkport, Maine. That was 15 years ago. I grew up in nearby Biddeford, Maine. I was used to seeing or hearing about the President being in town, the F-16’s flying over, the warships off the coast and secret service. I wasn’t used to ESPN film crews.
Cape Arundel head pro Ken Raynor asked me if I was interested in photographing the President playing golf that day, with an ESPN film crew. I jumped at the opportunity. I remember using film with my Nikon camera at the time. They played quickly. It was truly a thrill. I even got my picture taken with the President. One of my favorite pictures from that day was of the President hitting out of some tall grass. I was behind him, and the grass was all over the club head.
The ESPN producer gave me his business card and told me to send him a bill for any photos I wanted to pass along. So I did. They sent me a check, and a thank you letter.
Fast forward to January 2013. I’m freelancing for the Golf Channel. Jimmy Roberts has a new show on TV called “In Play with Jimmy Roberts.” I got an assignment to photograph Jimmy for his upcoming shows. Golf Channel needed documentary, portraits and end page photos. After a few minutes of photographing Jimmy, I told him, “You probably won’t remember this, but I photographed you playing golf with the President at Cape Arundel Golf Course in Maine.” He responded with “Not only do I vividly remember that day, but it was one of the best days of my career.” Jimmy went on to say that it was one of his best golf rounds of his life. He then told me that a mountain of photos were given to him, and a collage of photos now hangs in his home office.
It was cool to hear that Jimmy had my photos framed and have been hanging on his walls for years.
Watch “In Play with Jimmy Roberts” starting on March 12.