Why pay someone to photograph your course?

Why photography matters – part four

The idea of making a financial commitment to photography is a notion some clubs find puzzling. After all, why pay someone to photograph your course when a member will do it for free? As a result, the charity of an obliging member is often seized upon by clubs that need good photography but are unwilling to budget for it.

If the same policy was employed on the greenkeeping side, how would the course look if members were to cut the greens with their Flymos? It might save money initially, but the course would suffer in the long run, as would the club’s coffers. Similarly, using sub-standard images to market and promote your club could have a detrimental effect as visitors and potential members look elsewhere for their golfing inspiration.

The significance of photography is also being recognised elsewhere in the golf industry. “Over the years, high-quality photography has become increasingly important to our work in the field of golf course architecture,” explains golf course designer Martin Ebert. “At the initial stage of a project, we often have to use our own photographs but, if professionally taken images are available, they can be very useful in helping us illustrate our concepts. In fact, the better the photography, the more likely we are to convince the client, committee or members that the scheme we are proposing has undeniable merits.”

Ebert, whose work with Tom Mackenzie includes preparatory work at various Open Championship venues including Turnberry and Royal Lytham & St Annes, says the impact of professional photography can be extensive. “Our design input can be shown off in its fullest with inspired shots,” he continues. “That helps more people become aware of our portfolio and assists clubs in marketing their courses and the changes made to them. Not every course is blessed with the setting of the Ailsa Course at Turnberry, but good photographers will find the best angles and make the most of the morning or evening light using their imagination and state-of-the-art equipment.”

Part five follows soon…

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