Links Beauty

The summer in Scotland (the first for about six years) has been wonderful, producing ideal conditions for hard and bouncy fairways and slick and fast greens. At Muirfield and St Andrews, we saw Majors decided over historic courses that for once, bit back.

Now I know there is a deep love for all things links, but I wonder if our love of salt-laiden air and lively turf is purely derived from the playing experience, rather than aesthetic appreciation. As a photographer, I love shooting all kinds of courses – links, heathland, parkland, clifftop, resort; you name it, I’II shoot it. The objective is to select the features that make each course stand out. For me, a big part of what I do is discovering beauty in what I find in front of me.

A links course that has been exposed to the relentless sun and wind and then exhaustively managed to within an inch of its life, is a spectacle of humps and hollows that conjure up fear and excitement in equal measures. I have just finished processing a batch of images of a course that looks as wonderfully linksy as I have seen for a long time, but I wonder if the viewer sees it the same way.

We all know that seaside turf is special. The fun, difficulty and possibilities it provides makes links golf a joy. But, when you see a true links course, brown and bare, does this titillate like an image of Augusta would?

Let me know.