In this tutorial I will teach you how to add a ball to an image where Tiger Woods is swinging and make the ball seem like it has fire behind it. All this while making it look as close to realistic as possible. Below you can see a preview of the final result:

Tiger Woods Swing

To start off, look around Google or another image search website so that you can find Tiger Woods just after his backswing, so you can add the ball as it’s coming off of his driver. I found THIS photo by Zeke Quezada of him swinging at the Buick Open. Open that image up in Adobe Photoshop and let’s get to work!

Now duplicate the photo layer. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and set the radius at about 2.0 – 2.5. Now set the new layer’s mode to ‘Opacity‘. This effect will give the fiery golf ball effect more contrast later on when it is added.

Now let’s get to actually adding the exploding golf ball. I looked up an image of a golf ball in Google and came up with THIS. You don’t have to use this one, but it seems as if this one already has the right lightning and such. Add the golf ball to the document, cut out the black parts, resize it, and you should have something like this after you apply a soft Motion Blur (Filter > Blur > Motion Blur) to it:

Now duplicate the golf ball layer, and apply a motion blur with the following settings: Angle – 0 , Distance – 8. You should have something like this now: By applying the blur, we made the effect look more realistic as a golf ball coming out of a full swing would look blurred out.


Let’s now add the actual fire to start having the exploding effect. Duplicate the original golf ball layer yet again. This time go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation and apply the following settings:

Hue: 35
Saturation: 81
Lightness : 0
Colorize : Checked

Now grab your Smudge Tool (‘R‘) and start spreading the ball out as if it was a trailing fire, you should have something similar to the image below:

Now duplicate the trailing fire ball that you smudged out and set its mode to ‘Overlay‘.

With the brush tool, you can set your foreground color to a nice orange/yellow (#F9A30E) and make small highlights to the fire behind the golf ball. You are now done creating an exploding golf ball, you should have ended up with something similar to the image below:

Another Tip: You can blur out the environment and people around Tiger Woods to give the golf ball and Tiger himself more focus.