Get to Know Jimmy Walker
July 4, 2017
Meet Jimmy Walker: Professional golfer by day, astroimager by night. Jimmy Walker is an American professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour winning major golf events like the Fry's Open, Sony Open, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and most recently 2016's PGA Championship. While on the road, Jimmy Walker finds solace in astroimaging; putting the same concentration, dedication, and desire on the golf course into awe-inspiring astrophotography images. “Golf is my job and I continue to try to get better and better each year. I try to take that into imaging,” he explained. “I'm competitive and I try to be really good at it. I work hard, and I practice hard. It's my whole upbringing—being competitive and wanting to be the best.”
Jimmy Walker uses a multitude of Celestron telescopes around the United States including his home observatory in Boerne, Texas and remote observatories in Mayhill, New Mexico and Auberry, California. Jimmy can process stunning astrophotography of galaxies, nebulae, and more either on the road, between rounds, or in the comfort of his own home. “I wouldn’t get to do it a whole lot if I didn’t have remote hosting. A couple years ago, I’d only get to shoot 3 to 4 images per year. So remote imaging has helped me and it's fun to have that to look forward to when you wake up in the morning when you're on the road.” Eight of the images he captured were chosen as an APOD (Astronomy Picture of the Day) using Celestron RASA 11” Optical Tube: Melotte 15 in the Heart (December 27, 2013), NGC 7023: The Iris Nebula (August 2, 2014), Along the Cygnus Wall (March 12, 2015), M64: The Black Eye Galaxy (June 18. 2015), M16 and the Eagle Nebula (October 15, 2015), NGC 6888: The Crescent Nebula (June 10, 2016), The Wide and Deep Lagoon (September 9, 2016), Fox Fur, Unicorn, and Christmas Tree (December 24, 2016).
Jimmy Walker states, “Astrophotography for me represents everything I enjoy in life. I love being outside. The sky is a beautiful piece of art, one that leaves a lasting image. It was fun to look at Hubble images, but it's a lot more fun to do it yourself. I play professional golf and this has always been a part of my life. I enjoy the technical aspect of setting up the equipment and taking images. Also, the artistic side of putting the pictures together and putting my personal touch and thought into each final product. I'm not in this to make money or anything, I just do it for fun -- and it's nice that other people enjoy it.”Since 2012, Jimmy's astrophotography accomplishments have been featured in Golf Digest, Sports Illustrated, Golf Week and the PGA's website about players. After his first television interview, young people started asking questions and visits to his website soared. His notoriety has inspired young people to ask about astrophotography during autograph sessions. Thus, Jimmy has become an important ambassador for the hobby to the next generation.