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Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
373
Hi Gaye,

I was shooting golf courses day in and day out two years ago. My boss still shoots them as he wants to make a name for himself as a golf course shooter. It is fun riding around in a golf cart all day long and my approach was to shoot as landscapes!

Since you live on a course get some shots right there. Otherwise be very careful. Golf course owners can get real uptight if permission has not been secured. The more exclusive the club, the more difficult it gets. Lucky for me the gallery does all the business deals and all I had to do was shoot.

I know that I still have framed photos at the gallery and in some of the pro shops and part of the deal is that those are the only allowed sellers. The money is made from the private clubs and not the public ones. Mostly now I get spin off jobs from people that live on the courses and want shots from around their homes. The boss still goes out to do the full courses.

Best lens all around is the 28-70 although there are times I need the 80-200 for advantage spot locations. Look for the high spots from each fairway. Shoot from the tee boxes, midway on fairway, overall on green, and then closeup of greens with great composure. And most of all, shoot from the back of the green looking back to the fairway. Look for long spiked tree shadows crossing fairways (early morning or late afternoon), shoot from under trees to get branches to fill in sky composition, and keep golfers out of the shots. In fact, drive and shoot the golf course backwards the first time. I always took a club fairway card or notebook to take notes. Especially to determine if a fairway was going to be a better morning or afternoon shoot.

I was never impressed with the photos on the gallery web site as they look better in print but here is the link-

http://www.southsidegallery.com/Golf Intro.htm

If that doesn't work, use this one and you can find the golf-

http://www.southsidegallery.com

These are just random notes off the top of my head.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
373
Additional notes. About photos of golf courses. A better way to view the situation is that most clubs view their fairways and greens as copyrighted scenes and any photo that you take is an infringement.

Focus on the signature holes and less on the rest. In fact, their are some fairways not worth the time so don't waste time. But do look.

Golf carts. Secure equipment, secure equipment, secure equipment. Don't put anything on the seat unsecured. Camera strap around neck at all times. Those little overcharged go-carts bounce all the time. I'd usually leave my tripod open and folded and place on back top of seats but you still have to secure it. Same for stuff in back basket. Cart also can be a good shooting platform for a tad of extra height if you can find non-stress point. Stable too and sometimes I shoot without getting out of the cart.

Could write a book on shooting with golfers on the course. Where ever you are and a golfer is addressing the ball, don't move one inch. Some of them will blame you for a bad shot just because they could see you. Naturally the bad golfers are the worst. Wave and smile a lot!! Pay attention to balls in flight. The ones in your direction! Staying in cart and hiding behind trees a must.

Take water and maybe a small snack (crackers, fruit) but water for sure.

At this point it might be easier to answer specific questions than ramble.

I see that a lot of my photos have been replaced. Funny how the updated ones were shot from the same shooting locations I used. Not helpful to compete with your boss, you lose. Such is life!!!

One more item. There are "named" photographers (known to the clubs) that are out there making a living off golf course photography. That does make it difficult to break in to this venue.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
3,479
Location
Florida
Hi Larry,
Wow, you've given me all kinds of ideas. Thanks very much!

I'm going to take the golf cart and hang out there for a few days. I have the cart in my garage. We have two courses here and one is being torn up for major repairs. So those would be interesting pictures too.

The problem is that there are too many golfers and I must get out there early in the morning. I'll give it a whirl and see what I can come up with.

Thanks for all your information and help.. I really appreciate it and have made copies of everything too.

Gaye
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
373
You're welcome. I spent many mornings on the courses waiting for the break of dawn. Most courses have down days for maintenance (usually Mondays) and you can play with the huge sprinkler systems (lol). There is a time during the year when they will over-seed the greens and keep players off but you can't get away from shooting when players are on the course. I realize that you are on your own right now but if you get to work into other courses the loan of a cart is a must as part of the deal. For very early morning shots I would borrow one flag and stick to carry with me to set up green shots. The flags may not be out early. Think about the colors of the flags since they swap them out. I favored blue and green with red and yellow next. White is a risk. We all know why!! Close green shots and you don't like the way the flag is hanging. Best to wear golf shoes when shooting a course. Sure don't want to be walking on the greens without the proper shoes, huh!! Watch for clods of divots and birds. They really look ugly in photos. I clean the shooting area or be prepared to clone with software. Use the sand-traps for neat composition but in all cases, check the rakes. I would usually move the rakes out of the shot. Cart tire tracks on wet fairways are ugly. Best to wait another day. I suppose that you can see now that it can take repeated shoots to do a course even though some days you really can get lucky and everything falls into place.
 
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