FIRST IMPRESSIONS – part two

Thankfully there are clubs that commission professional photographers and, as a result, readers can enjoy images that transport them to the tee, all in remarkable high-definition. One club that went down this route was The Renaissance Golf Club – a sublime Tom Doak-designed track that straddles an undulating parkland/links site that is full of character and history.

Despite having a portfolio of shots provided by members, the club needed imagery that properly reflected the high standards set by the owners. “We had taken quite a lot of photos ourselves and our members had given us quite a few, but they really didn’t cut the mustard as far as telling the story of the club itself,” explains Simon Holt, membership director at The Renaissance Golf Club. “We didn’t want to put too many words on our website and we don’t do advertising, so the pictures were the only window onto the course and we wanted them to be as good as possible.”

He explains that by studying different websites he was able to get an idea of the kind of images he wanted. “To expose the course in its best light, you need to get a professional in,” he says, “so I researched photographers in the golf industry and found one I liked. Looking at the website, I liked the way the images were set and how they showed the undulations of the golf course. It was different to other professional photographers who didn’t know about golf.”

By a remarkable twist of fate, a drop of luck and a heavy dose of coincidence, Holt selected me to photograph the course last summer. It turned out to be a three-day shoot that despite some iffy weather and on-site construction work produced a decent set of shots.

“We have received lots of positive comments about them,” says Holt. “Before, people would look at the images and think they were nice, whereas now people are drawn into them. They say that they feel like they are there – the pictures tell a story rather than just showing a golf hole – they say so much more about the golf course.”

Holt’s generous comments perfectly sum up what I set out to achieve when I photographed the course. For me, it is not enough to simply create a record of the shape of the hole. The image has to be powerful enough to prompt a reaction and encourage the viewer to play.

Part three follows soon…

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