It hasn’t been as busy a year as past years because… well, we all know why.
You can buy prints of many Irish golf courses through my website, including three of the shots listed below.
Here are the Top Ten shots of 2020, in no particular order... because ranking them would be like having to choose your favourite child.
1. Arklow 6th green
The light was magical and there’s really no other Irish golf club car park – where this shot was taken from – that shows off the beauty and shape of the course you’re about to play.
2. Arklow 8th
This was the first shot I took with a new camera/lens combination (Nikon’s Z seriesand a Z 24-70mm lens) I purchased from Conns Cameras. I loved it the moment I started taking shots and I particularly loved this one. To be honest, there was some luck in this one too as I I was about to give up because the band of cloud had blocked the sunrise I was after. I only wandered over to the 8th because I was trying to familiarise myself with the camera. And then the sun breached the clouds and I got this. It’s the image that adorns my new business card.
3. Blainroe 7th
This is another shot that came about through some luck. I’d already been up the hill shooting this particular hole (the 7th) because I wanted the sunrise on the Irish Sea. I got what I wanted and then headed down to holes 3 and 5. The 5th green is close to the 7th green so after I’d finished on 5, I had a peak at 7 and thought it looked worthy of another shot. This was the final shot I took that day.
4. Blainroe 18th, view to 14th flag
More of a ‘landscape’ than a golfscape, this shot is taken from the left of the 18th fairway, with the 14th flag in the distance. I liked the angles of the low cliffs as they jutted into the sea.
5. Co Louth 14th
My focus at sunrise was on the 15th green but after I got that shot I headed straight to the dune above the 14th green where I captured this. To me it looks like the felt from a snooker table has been laid over the green, the contours and the surrounding run-offs.
6. Porto Santo 11th
There’s one golf course on Porto Santo (one of the islands that make up Madeira) and it was designed by Seve Ballesteros. It’s a very open landscape with sea one way and sea and cliffs the other. This shot is made by the angles from the hills which are either mirrored or reflected all the way down to the green and the tee, and right across the land.
7. Rosslare 7th
It’s always a huge privilege to photograph a links course. The open terrain, the subtle hollows, deep bunkers and rolling dunes allow the shadows to express themselves in great depth. This is the 7th hole and the bunker is well placed to catch late afternoon shadows while the sun remains on the green. The Sparrowhawk leaving the post is just an extra bonus.
8. Santo da Serra (Machico) 7th
Another 27-hole course in Madeira, this lies at the eastern end of the main island. The main views are actually behind me, out to islands and Madeira’s most easterly point (Ponta de Sao Lourenco), but the trees framing the hillside (and the edges of the photograph) with the clubhouse at the very top just stir a certain energy.
9. The Island 3rd (panorama)
Is an explanation needed as to why this makes the Top 10?
The sun rises over Lambay Island and the 3rd green with the new par-3 4th hole to the left.
10. Wicklow 1st
One of the most interesting elements in golf course photography is people. Clients typically don’t want golfers in the frame (issues of privacy and… fashion) but if you get the right people in the right place it can really add to the story of the image. Here two juniors are walking down the 1st hole, through the shadows, with beautiful views beyond. Those are the ruins of Black Castle on the water’s edge if you’re interested.