Chris Condon is a longtime photographer with the PGA Tour who lives in Jacksonville Beach.
Can you please tell me about your background?
I’ve been a professional photographer in the sports arena for about 30 years. I got started in sports when I was in high school, where I did high school yearbook. I just fell in love with the magic of photography and learning how to develop film and make prints. I realized that’s how I wanted to get into a career in photography. I fell in love with sports as I was in college. I stared doing a lot of motorsports at the Daytona Speedway, and then eventually it led to options with working for the Jacksonville Jaguars and then eventually the PGA Tour.
What have you experienced throughout your 20-year career with the PGA Tour?
I think overall when you look back on 20 years of what I’ve been a part of, it’s pretty amazing. Coming into the Tour in 1998, it was right after Tiger Woods became a professional. So, I was able to be part of an amazing era of golf. I got to know the players before him: Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson … the legends of the game. And then being able to see Tiger in his career, and now watching the young guys like Rickie, Jordan and Dustin who are taking over the game now, it’s pretty amazing when you think of all those experiences together.
What are your primary roles and responsibilities as manager of photo/video content for photographic services?
I recently took on the position, and it’s a little bit different. It’s not going to be as much travel. It’s not going to be as much with the camera in my hands. I’ll still shoot some, but it’s mainly going to be managing other photographers and other video content creators to gather content, illustrating the fan experience and how amazing it is out here on the Tour.
Do you have a favorite shot you’ve taken in your career?
I think there are probably two that come to mind the most. One was in South Africa at the Presidents Cup in 2003. It was a pretty interesting day because we got to meet Nelson Mandela. He was the honorary chairman for the tournament that year. I have a really cool photograph of Tiger Woods, Nelson Mandela and Ernie Els shaking hands together. It’s just one of those things that really resonated with me.
The second one would have been Presidents Cup in Ohio where I had a shot of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jason Dufner before the opening ceremony, wearing suits, just kind of relaxing in the theater before they went on stage. It was a very nice, candid moment that really is just a behind-the-scenes type of situation that most people don’t get to see.
What makes THE PLAYERS so special to you?
To ask about what makes THE PLAYERS special is really tough because it’s everything about THE PLAYERS. One, it’s a home game. We don’t have to stay in a hotel. We get to see our family and friends on the golf course. The golf course is so spectator-friendly. Everything from the different venues for food, the different places you can go get out of the sun, the kid zones, the autograph area and then just the general views you can get on the golf course. There are not many golf courses that have the mounding and the sight lines that we have here at TPC Sawgrass. It just makes for an amazing spectator experience. It’s so cool to see the fans having such a great time.
What do you enjoy most about living on the First Coast?
Absolutely it’s the ocean. I cannot live far away from the ocean. My wife and I are avid stand up paddle boarders and spend as much time in the water as we can. If I’m too far away from the ocean, I start getting a little nervous.