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Posted May 31, 2017 in Lifestyle by Trevor Cigich
It goes without saying that almost everyone carries around a camera-ready smartphone in their pocket. Gone are the days of dark rooms and one-hour photo shops. Now, it only takes a few clicks for any shutterbug to share his or her golf outing photos to the world. While this convenience gets the job done, it takes a true master behind the lens to produce images that provoke awe and speak a thousand words.
Nothing beats the real-life experience of breathing in a golf course’s fresh air, gazing out at lush fairways and sinking putts on immaculately maintained greens. However, this group of professional photographers gives it a run for its money and will persuade you to impulsively book your next golfing trip.
Kevin Murray: A native from Burgess Hill, England, Murray originally started out in advertising. While working as an art director for Callaway Golf, Murray became increasingly frustrated with the lackluster pictures his department was receiving. He decided to take matters into his own hands, inadvertently starting his photography career.
With an advertising background and keen eye for authenticity, Murray seamlessly bridges the gap between commercial and fine art. In 2012 as a staff photographer for Golf Monthly, he was presented the Lawrence Levy award for Outstanding Golf Photography.
Paul Severn: Severn started his career in 1996 as a golf photographer for Getty Images. After a five-year stint, he ultimately took the bull by the horns and stepped into freelancing, which he has done for the past 15-plus years.
He has had fortunate opportunity to travel to every continent to capture stunning pictures of the world’s finest courses. Whether it’s from a golfer’s vantage point or a bird’s-eye view, Severn gives viewers a chance to see landscapes and signature holes from variety of breathtaking angles.
12 at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England: http://bit.ly/2nKciRW
Evan Schiller: From 1983 to 1989, Schiller competed as a professional golfer in tournaments around the world, most notably the U.S. Open. This experience, combined with his affinity for photography at a young age, gives him a unique perspective that is distinctly exposed in his work.
Before snapping a single picture, Schiller almost always conducts a preliminary survey of the course. This entails a meticulous process for anticipating the timing and angles of sunlight on specific holes, which helps transcend his photographs from good shots to pure art.
Peter Wong: Ever since he first picked up a camera in his adolescent years, all Wong ever wanted to do was to shoot photographs. Prior to his career in golf photography, he freelanced for advertising agencies, capturing a variety of subjects including people, products and architecture.
Wong believes patience is the most crucial characteristic any photographer must possess. “I will wait as long as I need for that large black cloud to move enough for the sun to peak through, lighting up the terrain. If it does not happen, there is always the next day to do it again.”
While Wong has traveled to courses all around the U.S., Canada and Asia, he holds a special place in his heart for capturing courses in his home state, Minnesota.
7 at Deacon’s Lodge in Breezy Point, Minnesota: http://bit.ly/2orHBxQ
Russell Kirk: Based out of Atlanta, Kirk initially made a splash in the photography world by helping shape award-winning campaigns for companies such as AT&T, Hallmark and Rolex — among others.
His decision to switch from advertising to golf photography, though, transpired organically. “Standing on the side of the 18th green at the Old Course at St. Andrews, with the sunlight drenching the Royal & Ancient clubhouse, and the light illuminating the green, I decided to follow my passion for golf with my love of photos by marrying the two together.”
Kirk’s attention to detail in bringing out subtle nuances of renowned courses have been recognized by numerous publications including LINKS Magazine, Golf Magazine and The U.S. Open Journal.
18 at Streamsong Resort in Bowling Green, Florida: http://bit.ly/2pyMqVH
Brian Oar: Since 2002, Oar has photographed and written about the finest golf courses in the world, which can be seen and read on websites such as GolfGetaways.com and MesquiteGolfCourses.com.
Having his work universally acclaimed, Oar received the prestigious Golf Course Photographer of the Year honors in 2014 at the International Network of Golf Media Awards.
While maintaining his artistry, Oar also co-owns Intermountain Golf Travel. The company, specializing in golf packages, has garnered nearly $10 million in bookings.
Sandy Hollow Resort in Hurricane, Utah: http://bit.ly/2q6qyo0
Chip Henderson: A 30-plus year veteran in golf photography, Henderson developed his photogenic eye at a young age, shooting images for his father’s ad agency. Since then, he has worked with an eclectic array of clients including Pinehurst Golf Resort, Hershey, Marriott and Chris Craft Boats.
When on location at a golf course, Henderson believes a helicopter isn’t the only method to capture aerial-style imagery. He’ll leverage an assortment of ladders, lifts and bucket trucks to show viewers a unique and dynamic perspective of any landscape.
Dave Sansom: A freelance golf course photographer who works throughout the USA and in Asia, Dave is a preferred photographer for both Troon Golf and Marriott Golf. Shooting public, private and resort courses, Sansom has experienced his fair share of world-class courses, including many PGA and USGA tournament venues.
Sansom doesn’t take full credit for his work though. “These beautiful landscapes only exist because of the collaborative efforts of owners with vision; designers who illuminate and expand upon that vision; dedicated superintendents; golf professionals; and committed management teams. My job is simply to represent their hard work in its best light.”
Be sure to look at his stunning photos during sunrise, which is his favorite time of day to shoot.
12th at Compass Pointe in Leland, North Carolina: http://bit.ly/2pDdGWB
Mark Alexander: It comes to no surprise that Alexander would end up in the golf industry, considering he grew up in St. Andrews, Scotland – “the home of golf.” However, he didn’t get into golf photography until an opportunity arose while working as a writer for various golf magazines. Ever since then, Alexander has shot over 150 courses in 16 countries across six continents.
Alexander captures the intricacies of each course by stepping inside the golfer’s shoes. Wherever he thinks a player might hit the ball, he’ll shoot there. Ultimately, he strives to produce imagery that is equally beautiful and realistic.
8 at Royal Troon in South Ayrshire, Scotland: http://bit.ly/2oQ1Aqj
Larry Lambrecht: Lambrecht initially paved the road to his golf photography career when he was a teenager working as a caddie at Maidstone Club in East Hampton, New York. His interest in studying the rules, strategy and etiquette of the game helped him gain a greater passion and appreciation for the links.
After a 9-year stint as director of photography for a trading card company, he gravitated toward the golf industry, where he flourished handling photographic duties for Golf Digest, Golf World and Golfweek.
12 at Cape Wickham in King Island, Australia: http://bit.ly/2qTWQ6u
Dive deep into his work by visiting his website.
Clive Barber: Like many photographers on this list, Barber began his professional photography career in the advertising realm. After being recommended to shoot The Glen Abbey Club in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, Barber became enamored with golf photography and never looked back at his commercial work.
Regarding his photos, the 30-year-plus veteran takes pride in his attention to detail, revealing the natural beauty and personality of top-tier courses such as Cobble Beach Golf Links, Dundarave Golf Course and The Irvine Golf Club.
6 at Deer Creek Golf Club in Ajax, Ontario, Canada: http://bit.ly/2oMGYRd
Jacob Sjöman: While only having 10 years of experience under his belt, this Swedish phenom has set the photography world ablaze with his vivid imagery depicting not only the finest golf courses but also a variety of subjects such as nature, portraits and weddings. Sjöman’s creative eye for exposing light in his photos is especially worth noting.
Sjöman has built an expansive client list that includes Golf Digest, Trump International Golf Links, Golf Plaisir Travel and Argentario Luxury Golf Resort.
Diana DeLucia: Cooking up a storm in the golf universe, DeLucia is the CEO, founder and author of Golf Kitchen, a website and coffee table book described as “a unique portfolio of recipes, photos and interviews from the kitchens and fairways of 16 illustrious golf destinations around the world.”
A golf outing is not just an experience on the course, but off the course as well. After hitting the fairways, you want to gather with your golfing buddies at the “19 hole” for a round of drinks and outstanding cuisine. DeLucia impeccably captures this sentiment by highlighting the seasoned chefs who put true passion into their dishes in the hopes of satisfying hungry golfers everywhere.
Chicken Liver Pâté by Executive Chef Bryan Skelding of The Greenbriar in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia: http://bit.ly/2pWhJK1
Eric Hepworth: If you’re searching for one of the largest photo collections of The Old Course at St. Andrews, look no further than the work of this 20-year-plus English pro. Along with his portfolio of the legendary course, Hepworth also boasts hole-by-hole imagery of every Open Championship venue.
From the weather to the shadows cast by the sun, every circumstance is methodically calculated by Hepworth to ensure he receives the perfect snap.
Woodhall Spa Golf Club in Woodhall Spa, England: http://on.si.com/2pH11PE
Browse Hepworth’s galleries on his website.
Mike Klemme: Klemme has been widely recognized for over three decades in numerous publications including Golf Digest, Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine. However, this Oklahoman’s skills go beyond the lens. Klemme’s entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen are proven with his trio of successful endeavors: Klemme/Art, Klemme/Golf and Klemme/B2B. Whether helping a corporation, golf club or another professional photographer, Klemme and his team are determined to bring art and beauty into any business.
No matter how mundane a subject may be, Klemme believes there’s always a diamond in the rough. “It might be in the middle of the day or at the end of the day; it might be in spring or fall or winter, but at a certain time, something really beautiful is going to happen. If you sit there and contemplate it, you’re going to find it.”
6 at Wade Hampton Golf Club in Cashiers, North Carolina: http://bit.ly/2pWjBT4
Grant Leversha: Since 1997, South African photographer Leversha has trekked across the U.S., Canada, Thailand, United Kingdom, Mauritius and Africa capturing renowned golf courses. He stamps a signature style in his photos with his shrewd knowledge of natural light and precise attention to detail.
In 2013, Leversha self-published his first coffee table book, Within an African Eden: Golf Courses of South Africa. The work was universally lauded and received eight international art-book awards.
Professional golfers, especially fellow South African Ernie Els, also praised the book. “This volume, I am sure, will prove to be a powerful calling card to the rest of the world to come and experience our golf courses and at the same time, our beautiful country.”
Pinnacle Point Beach and Golf Resort in Mossel Bay, South Africa: http://bit.ly/2o8KLKd
Gary Lisbon: A love and passion for golf cultivated for this Australian photographer in his teenage years, teeing off at public courses around East Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. Lisbon started his professional career as an accountant but fled the job when he and his wife began a business planning corporate golf outings, eventually guiding him into photography.
His skill in pointing out courses’ subtle details and stark contrasts earned him a long-running tenure as a judging panelist for Golf Magazine’s World Top 100 Courses. Paying homage to his home country, Lisbon published two photography books: Great Golf Down Under and Great Golf Down Under 2.
13th at Arrowtown Golf Club in Arrow Junction, New Zealand: http://bit.ly/2q4dQFH
Ken May: Based in Palm Coast, Florida, May has been a professional photographer for over 25 years, specializing in golf landscapes as well as architectural interiors and exteriors. Before launching into freelancing, he shot photos for Dye Designs, a global golf course design company owned by famous architect Pete Dye.
May’s images can be seen in numerous publications, commemorative books, advertisements, calendars and marketing collateral.
Crooked Stick in Carmel, Indiana: http://on.si.com/2ovEH9G
David Scaletti: In his first decade as a freelance photographer, Scaletti spent his days working for various advertising agencies and graphic designers in Australia. Interestingly, his gateway into golf photography arose when he couldn’t find a high-quality golf course calendar in the local area
While Scaletti does advocate considerate planning before every shoot, he ultimately listens to his gut. When a perfect scene spontaneously emerges on the course, he doesn’t hesitate to capture it.
Scaletti believes an outsider’s opinion is what makes his images valid. “Those who play the game can easily appreciate a photograph because they understand the aim of the game and what constitutes the challenges. But the finest buzz comes when someone who doesn’t know the difference between a driver and a sand wedge wonders at the beauty of a golf hole.”
1 at Commonwealth Golf Club in South Oakleigh, Australia: http://bit.ly/2ovMe8o
Lonna Tucker: Tucker is a 20-year-plus commercial photographer based in Tempe, Arizona known for specializing in landscape photography. Her images are easily recognizable, especially for her creative use of cropping and deep saturation. Adidas Golf, PGA and Links Magazine are one several clients she has worked with in the golf industry.
Ocean Creek Golf Club in St. Helena Island, South Carolina: http://bit.ly/2oYM4bD
Chris Condon: While attending college in 1986, Condon got his foot in the door by covering motorsports at the Daytona International Speedway. After working with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars for a few years, he landed a photography position for the PGA Tour, which he has done ever since 1998.
While Condon shoots some of the most gorgeous courses from around the globe, he loves revealing those fly-on-the-wall moments fans rarely get to witness. Whether it’s Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jason Dufner hanging out before an opening ceremony or Bubba Watson shoving a powdered jelly doughnut down his throat, Condo is there to capture it all.
TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida: http://bit.ly/2pLfvy0
David Cannon: Pursing his goal to become a professional golfer, Cannon competed in several major amateur events in Great Britain and Ireland in the mid-1970s. Though his dream was never fully realized, he channeled his passion behind the camera.
Cannon is a 30-plus-year staff photographer for Getty Images, one of the world’s leading creators and distributors of still photography. His prolific coverage of golf’s major tournaments includes 33 Open Championships and 31 Masters Tournaments.
Along with contributing images for many golf instruction books, he also published two coffee table books of his own: Fairways of the World and Fairways of Great Britain and Ireland.
14 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California: http://bit.ly/2plTFny
Joann Dost: Born into a household with an Olympic speed-skating father and a brother who would play for Major League Baseball’s New York Mets, Dost was destined to be in the sports world. Following years of competing in the LPGA, she moved to Pebble Beach in 1977, where she developed an affinity for photography under the guidance of famed photographer Ansel Adams and started her nearly four-decade career.
Dost portrays a classical beauty and painterly quality in her imagery, which has garnered her numerous accolades throughout the years including Pinehurst Resort’s Best of Show award in 2001.
14 at Edgewood-Tahoe Golf Course in Stateline, Nevada: http://bit.ly/2pZtP54
John and Jeannine Henebry: This Chicagoan brother-sister duo established their appreciation for golf and photography because of their father, a fanatic in both areas who would take them to golf courses all over the country in their formative years.
The Henebrys stuck to their guns for many years with traditional film but have recently adopted a large resolution, 80 mega pixel Phase One camera system that offers a dynamic range of medium-format digital files. Heavily influenced by Ansel Adams, John and Jeannine ensure their pictures are entirely in sharp focus. With this approach, viewers can willfully decide what is important to them in the image rather than having the photographer pick out a focused subject while everything else lacks depth of field.
4 at Max A. Mandel Municipal Golf Course in Laredo, Texas: http://bit.ly/2pvFxVo
Kaia Means: Owner of Golfvisuals, Means focuses on supplying country clubs and resorts with the best golf course images for their marketing material, from brochures to websites.
On Golfvisuals’ website, Kaia presents blogs about the strategies and techniques on improving one’s golf photography. For example, she suggests to “make sure the flag is clearly visible, and line up the photo so that the background to the flag is contrasting and evenly colored.”
Golf de Cannes-Mandelieu Old Course in Mandelieu-la-Napoule, France: http://bit.ly/2od0N5w
Steve Carr: Carr is quite familiar with the sensation of playing extraordinary courses, especially since he has visited over 600 worldwide and flaunts an unbelievably impressive 2 handicap. With his passion for the sport and knowledge of golf course architecture, he effortlessly brings out that coveted feeling in his imagery.
Since 1988, the United Kingdom native has been immersed in golf writing and photography, most notably as a panel member of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Courses in the World and deputy editor of Golf World Magazine.
14 at Trump Doonbeg, Ireland: http://bit.ly/2p4yuWk
Brian Morgan: To call Brian Morgan a legend would be an understatement. 50 Open Championships, 400,000 images and five decades later, he remains a juggernaut in the world of golf photography.
Even though he honed his craft through film, Morgan does not hold nostalgia for the format. “Digital photography allows me to create better images. I can lighten or darken the sky and saturate colors where I want. Having worked with film for so many years, I am delighted to have the freedom that digital photography brings, and the ability to change the ISO allows me to act in conditions that I could have never imagined using film.”
17 at Ballybunion Golf Club in Ireland: http://bit.ly/2q6MAVC
Explore Morgan’s legacy on his website.
Iain Lowe: Following his retirement from a 23-year photography stint in the Royal Air Force, Scotland native Lowe bought a house near the historic St. Andrews, where he discovered his love for the links and launched his 20-year-plus career as a golf photographer.
Alongside his son and wife, Lowe owns and operates a tightknit photography business built on high-quality service, reasonable prices and trust among clients.
Lowe has published seven photography books including his magnum opus, Golf Links of Scotland, a beautifully crafted, leather-bound tome costing over $5,000.
3 at Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, Scotland: http://bit.ly/2p0ICx5
Head to his website for more of his work.
Cy Cyr: In May 2014, Paulina Gretzky, renowned model and fiancé of PGA golfer Dustin Johnson, erotically graced the cover of Golf Digest. After it caused some controversy within the golf community, Orlando photographer Cy Cyr lampooned the infamous photo by having a few male friends don Gretzky’s risqué outfit. Cyr’s parody instantly went viral, earning coverage from major outlets including NBC, ESPN, CBS and FOX.
However, Cyr is more than just a mere satirist. His portfolio entitled “Night Golf” showcases several of the world’s premier golf courses in the evening. Since the typical time for shooting is at sunrise and sunset, Cyr proves he’s unafraid to push the boundaries and go against conventional standards.
Teton Pines Country and Resort in Wilson, Wyoming: http://bit.ly/2q8llsz
Boyd Goff: Possessing a fervent love for travel, this born-and-raised Montanan started documenting his worldwide voyages behind the lens, thus kick-starting his photography career.
Goff, who is often described as laid back and positive, prides himself on being a perfectionist. From enhancing the dynamic range to removing course divots, his scrupulous editing process ensures clients have the best possible pictures of their fairways and greens.
Wilderness Club in Eureka, Montana: http://bit.ly/2q4b8ke
Check out more of Goff’s work on his website.
Streeter Lecka: Working for Getty Images since 2004, Lecka is no stranger to big-name sporting events. The North Carolinian photographer has covered everything from the Super Bowl to golf’s four Majors, as well as five consecutive Olympics.
Since there are so many photographers at these massive events, Lecka strives to stick out from the pack. “The big thing for photographers is finding maybe other angles that haven’t been thought of yet and trying to come up with something creative that will set you apart and be different than everybody else.”
Jordan Spieth at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina: http://bit.ly/2q20ub8
Andy Hiseman: Despite being relatively new to golf photography, the self-taught, United Kingdom cameraman shoots gorgeously lush scenery as if he were a classically trained pro of 40 years. What sets Hiseman apart from his peers is his portfolio, which consists mainly of pay-and-play courses as opposed to grand resorts and tour venues. He also takes great pleasure in accurately capturing the members and culture of country clubs.
Along with producing sought-after imagery, Hiseman also owns Magic Hour Media, a marketing agency specializing in promoting golf businesses through creative, copywriting and media buying services.
Burhill New Course in Walton-on-Thames, England: http://bit.ly/2oINiXO
Colin Dunjohn: After going through a revolving door of industries including hospitality, business and sports management, the Thailand-based Dunjohn finally turned his lifelong hobby into a full-time job in 2004. From his previous career experience, he brings a strong sense of client service, innovation and organization into his photography.
Dunjohn mostly covers PGA and LPGA events in Asia, as well as weddings, commercials and other sports.
14 at Blue Canyon Country Club in Phuket, Thailand: http://bit.ly/2p2006j
Christopher Record: Before becoming a full-time freelancer, Record worked as a photographer for North Carolina newspapers such as The Charlotte Observer and The Times. His background in journalism has influenced all of his work, ranging from portraits to corporate events.
Though he is mostly known for his wedding photography, Record has shot numerous golf courses and professional tournaments including The U.S. Open, The Players Championship and The Wells Fargo Championship. Record’s versatile imagery reveals a delicate blend of composition and emotion.
Payne Stewart: http://bit.ly/2p29G0R
Tom Breazeale: A former golf course shaper, Breazeale offers a unique perspective in his imagery with his detailed construction knowledge and sharp awareness for fluid shots. Breazeale’s expertise has landed him major projects from many publications including Golf Magazine, Links Magazine and Sports Illustrated. He’s even Jack Nicklaus’ exclusive overseas photographer.
Though he has traveled all around the world and captured several esteemed courses, he finds great joy in exposing clubs that are off the beaten path.
12 at Stone Forest International Country Club in Kunming, China: http://on.si.com/2owxifr
Take a moment to view his portfolio on his website.
Jules Alexander: In August 2016, Alexander passed away at the age of 90, but his legacy lives on through his body of work spanning nearly 60 years. He covered courses and players worldwide, but his most iconic images are unquestionably those featuring Ben Hogan. Those photos can be seen in Alexander’s coffee table book The Hogan Mystique, as well as permanent exhibitions in St. Augustine, Florida and Far Hills, New Jersey.
Although the most famous Hogan shot of all time was taken by legendary sports photographer Hy Peskin, people mistakenly believe Alexander was the one behind the camera. “People think I took it. The one he got was the only one he could’ve gotten, and he got it with Hogan centered, the club is at the top, and the gallery framing it. It’s like poetry. You couldn’t plan it.”
Alexander always preferred shooting in black and white over color. His mastery within this format is on full display in his 2008 photography book Tiger Woods in Black & White.
Ben Hogan: http://bit.ly/2qf9PM5
Immerse yourself in Alexander’s portfolio on his website.