Golf courses are an entirely visual medium - words can not describe a course anything like a photograph. If you wish to portray your course or resort, a series of excellent photographs will do it best.

I have used a variety of camera gear but what I have really fallen in love with is my panoramic camera. Originally I shot 6x12cm film but the film I preferred using became difficult to source, which led to me buying digital. I now use a medium format Leaf digital back on a Horseman panoramic camera, with 45mm, 65mm and 135mm lenses. Using this camera is like driving a Rolls Royce. It is a big, heavy camera but produces exceptional results.

Panoramic cameras really fit my eye, and golf courses, because they are largely wide scenes that I am trying to capture. Having a ‘large’ format though means you need to fill up the image or else you have large blank areas. Any type of landscape photography requires pacing around and looking for elements to compose the image and it is the same for golf courses except that the green and flag almost always forms the focal point of your image. Any form of elevation is also useful because it allows you to see more features of the golf course like bunkers and hazards etc.

Planning my shoots is centered around being at the golf course when it is looking good. This is usually after it has had good rain and when there is healthy grass growth. If they are preparing for an event and the course is recently fertilized this is ideal but still doesn’t guarantee I am going to get what I want. The trump card is the weather. Few people understand the specific conditions required to achieve exceptional results. Clear light with no haze, that remains clear until it reaches the horizon, is the holy grail of light for most photographers. Blank blue skies are not ideal either, some cloud is required to add dimension. However the number of those extraordinary days in a year could probably be counted on two hands, most often I just have to make the best of what I have because I don’t have two weeks for each shoot.

Patience is required because you need to be out there and waiting; waiting for the clouds to part or waiting for golfers to move off the hole you are shooting or waiting for the sprinklers to switch off or waiting for some shadows to move and even then the window of opportunity is very short. There is no short cut and there is no software that can make it exceptional you just have to be there and wait and hope.


Golf Courses