A Few Words (not 1000) on the Power of Golf Imagery

In my work, I gather and view killer golf photography all the time. Those of us in the trade often refer to these beauty shots as “golf porn”. This particular photo — the back tee on the 16th at Cape Kidnappers GC in Hawkes Bay, on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island — has always intrigued me for what it lacks and what it delivers (full disclosure: This course is a client of my firm, Mandarin Media). My job is to get magazines and website to print or post an image like this, but I don’t know that many have done so. It’s a funny shot, captured by Chris Mclennan. Maybe editors choose others from Cape because while the 16th is a magnificent, incredibly photogenic par-5, this image doesn’t give any indication of that. It attaches the viewer’s eye to no golf hole whatever, not that we can see or even vaguely discern. On the other hand, any golfer looking at this photo could and should think to himself, “How bad could this hole possibly be?” I was traveling with some fellow golf writers earlier this month and the subject of Cape Kidnappers came up. One tried to argue that while Cape is a magnificent course (Top 50 in the world according to all the trusted rankings), and among the 10 most photogenic courses on Earth, it’s not that scenic for the golfer actually playing the course.  I beg to differ, and I imagine that anyone standing on 16 tee — a thousand feet above the South Pacific, looking back at five holes with similarly perched vantage points — would beg to differ, as well.

 

 

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