You don’t have to travel to Scotland to start smelling the salty air billowing in from the North Sea. You don’t have to stand on a tee box at the foot of Dove Mountain to feel the high Sonoran Desert sun taking your breath away. You don’t even have to get out of bed to enjoy the crisp, morning fog receding into the trees at your favorite municipal course (though you really should). Great golf photography can transport you to an experience beyond the frame.
With the surge of social media and gorgeous print available like The Golfer’s Journal, golf course photos are no longer limited to shop calendars and expensive prints. At the heart of this incredible imagery is the independent golf photographer. Taking advantage of the direct-to-consumer model, photographers fill your feed with an endless stream of courses across the globe, from the historic to the little-known.
These artists and part-time golfers appreciate the melding of nature and course design. They understand and pay homage to the work done by architects, superintendents, and the countless workers who wake up early to perfectly manicure waves of hills and grass. Independent photographers highlight vast landscapes, bunker textures, and signature holes in ways that make it hard to believe some only take pictures as a hobby.
In the expansive universe of the golf industry, independent golf photography is the lens used to magnify the world we literally walk all over. It takes an incredible talent and careful eye to capture details that members cruise by daily and turn it into art you want to be displayed on your office wall. Here are a few of those sharing their vision.
Jon Cavalier may not have developed a passion for golf until college, but you would never tell by looking at his impressive catalog. His imagery accentuates the combination of nature and nurture that is so easily forgotten when you’re out there playing. As his hobby has blossomed, so has his appreciation for course architecture. That understanding makes for outstanding pictures and a good excuse for more golf trips.
From PGA professional to professional golf photography, Evan Schiller has a wonderful eye for the premier courses across the globe. His work has been published in countless magazines and has won him several awards.Perhaps the most intriguing fact about Evan is that he is an officially licensed photographer for The Pebble Beach Company.
Like many of the photographers listed here, Evan gets a bird’s eye view with the help of drones to capture incredible photos for courses to use for their own promotion. You can check out his work on Twitter and on his website http://www.evanschillerphotography.com.
When it comes to golf enthusiasm, look no further than Patrick Koenig. It’s hard to miss his excitement for the game when you see him high kick in his Instagram stories, and his photography has its own energy.
Patrick recently quit his job to travel across the country in an RV for a year-long, charity golf trip. He’s raising money for The First Tee of Greater Seattle and hopes to present a check for $10,000 at the end of his journey. You can follow along on Instagram and Twitter, or check out and donate to the RGV Tour on his website http://www.pjkoenig.com/overview/.
He might have a “suspect golf swing,” but Christian Hafer has a spectacular golf eye. Along with other photographers here, Hafer has had his work included in several publications including The Golfer’s Journal. His images feel like a birdie on 18 after a rough round. There is a tremendous depth that hints at the game’s struggle while allowing beauty to win in the end.
Christian is also co-founder of the non-profit CarryHope, which is “working to inspire, educate and mentor children impacted by substance abuse through the game of golf.” You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter.
These photographers are leaving a huge imprint on the world around them, with both their golf photography and outreach. Of the 2 million jobs impacted by the golf industry, golf photographers are in a unique position to bring courses directly to golfers and, hopefully, golfers directly back to the courses.