4 Reasons to host a golf outing

By: Brian Rhodes on June 21st, 2018

There are many reasons why so many charitable organizations host golf outings.  But, the main reason is that it is a tried and true formula to raise funds.  If done correctly, Golf Outings can raise $5,000, $10,000, $20,000 or even $100,000 or more for your charity

Here are four fantastic reasons to consider hosting a golf event.

  1. Numerous ways to drive revenues
    • Golfer/team fees
    • Dinner only fee for non-golfers
    • Sponsorship fees
    • On Course Contests
    • Banquet Events
    • Organizations Merchandise Sales
    • Donations

The above list are just a few suggestions; your organization can use as many of them as you see fit. Feel free to institute other revenue-generating ideas, to customize your event.

  1. Perfect setting to showcase the Charity.

What an excellent opportunity to tell your story, show the successes from the past year.  After your guests have had a fantastic day on the course, you have the opportunity to present awards to large donors, valuable team members and other prestigious awards.  Invite guests that are directly impacted by your organization’s work and let them thank the donors.  Present future goals and the fundraising levels needed to achieve those goals.  One of the future goals is to do business with the outing participants after the event.  The more “buy-in” donors have into the organization, the more they will give.  A Golf Outing works very well in most Charitable Organizations Social Marketing programs.  What a great way to build loyalty with organic social posts.  Golf Outings are also excellent ways to generate media exposure.

  1. It’s a Great Chance for You to Have Personal Contact with Donors

During banquets or gala fundraising events the host of the activities very seldom has a conversation with each donor.  Your duties are to be present at the dinner and meet a few of the more significant donors at the cocktail party.   Golf Outings usually take six-plus hours from registration to the banquet.  Thus providing opportunities to thank all donors and make personal connections with each of the guests.

Once play has started, the host can take a cart and see each group, providing an excellent opportunity to spend quality time and build better relationships with current donors.  Other members of the staff can ride along with the beverage cart or set-up on a hole.  Both of these provide time to be a gracious host.

  1. Donors see value in Golf Outings

Golfing is a chance to get out of the office for a day, enjoy the weather and meet new people.  Many of your guests will see the day as a place to relax and feel great about their contributions to your charity.  Others will use the day to invite business guests and take their interaction into a different space.  A few will be interested in the competition and prizes.

If you have a cause that you hold near and dear to your heart, you should consider hosting a golf tournament to fundraise and foster involvement in your organization.

We believe that life is too short to play ordinary golf courses and that golf outings should be a memorable event.  We can customize the golf outing based on your needs and desires; the course can be set-up for the enjoyment of all players.  Golf outings deserve excellent playing conditions, fantastic ambiance and enjoyable experience that will keep your guests reminiscing about their wonderful experience

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2018 US Open Contest Rules

By: Brian Rhodes on June 13th, 2018

NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE THE CHANCES OF WINNING.

1. Eligibility: This Campaign is open only to those who comment on the Facebook post and who are 16 years of age or older as of the date of entry. The Campaign is only open to legal residents of the United States, and is void where prohibited by law. Employees of Purgatory Golf Course, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, and suppliers, (collectively the “Employees”), and immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of Employees are not eligible to participate in the Campaign. The Campaign is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.

2. Agreement to Rules: By participating, the Contestant (“You”) agree to be fully unconditionally bound by these Rules, and You represent and warrant that You meet the eligibility requirements. In addition, You agree to accept the decisions of Purgatory Golf Course as final and binding as it relates to the content of this Campaign.

3. Campaign Period: Entries will be accepted online starting on Tuesday, June 12th at 12pm EST and ending Thursday, June 14th at 5am EST. All online entries must be received by Thursday, June 14th at 5am EST.

4. How to Enter: The Campaign must be entered by submitting a comment on the Facebook post at the Purgatory Golf Course page at https://www.facebook.com/PurgatoryGolfClub/. The entry must fulfill all Campaign requirements, as specified, to be eligible to win a prize. Entries that are incomplete or do not adhere to the rules or specifications may be disqualified at the sole discretion of Purgatory Golf Course. You may enter only once. You must provide the information requested. You may not enter more times than indicated by using multiple email addresses, identities, or devices in an attempt to circumvent the rules. If You use fraudulent methods or otherwise attempt to circumvent the rules, your submission may be removed from eligibility at the sole discretion of Purgatory Golf Course. Alternate means of entry: Mail a 4″ x 6″ card with the following information; your full name, your complete address, a valid email address (if you do not have an email address, print “no email address”), a valid telephone number, the words “Pick The Winner” and mail entry to: Purgatory Golf Course 12160 E. 216th Street Noblesville, IN 46060. Only one entry card will be accepted per person. All entries become the exclusive property of Purgatory Golf Course and will not be acknowledged or returned.

5. Prizes: The Winner(s) of the Campaign (the “Winner”) will receive two greens fees at Purgatory Golf Course valued at approximately $100. Actual/appraised value may differ at time of prize award. The specifics of the prize shall be solely determined by Purgatory Golf Course. No cash or other prize substitution shall be permitted except at Purgatory Golf Course’s discretion. The prize is nontransferable. Any and all prize-related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state, and/or local taxes, shall be the sole responsibility of Winner. No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others or request for the cash equivalent by Winner is permitted. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for Purgatory Golf Course to use Winner’s name, likeness, and entry for purposes of advertising and trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.

6. Odds: The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.

7. Winner Selection and Notification: Winner will be selected by the rules of the contest under the supervision of Purgatory Golf Course. If there are multiple correct entries, the entry received that is closest to total score will be the winner, if there is a tie a random drawing will determine the winner. If no entry selects the winner, the entry with the closest finish will be the winner OR all entries will be pulled from a hat to decide the winner. The winner decision process is up to the course. Winner will be notified by Facebook message within five (5) days following selection of Winner. Purgatory Golf Course shall have no liability for Winner’s failure to receive notices due to spam, junk e-mail or other security settings or for Winner’s provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If Winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim the prize within 14 days from the time award notification was sent, or fails to timely return a completed and executed declaration and release as required, the prize may be forfeited and an alternate Winner selected. Receipt by Winner of the prize offered in this Campaign is conditioned upon compliance with any and all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES BY WINNER (AT PURGATORY GOLF COURSE‘S SOLE DISCRETION) WILL RESULT IN WINNER’S DISQUALIFICATION AS WINNER OF THE CAMPAIGN, AND ALL PRIVILEGES AS WINNER WILL BE IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED.

8. Rights Granted by You: By entering a Facebook comment on the contest post, You understand and agree that Purgatory Golf Course, anyone acting on behalf of Purgatory Golf Course, and Purgatory Golf Course’s licensees, successors, and assigns, shall have the right, where permitted by law, to print, publish, broadcast, distribute, and use in any media now known or hereafter developed, in perpetuity and throughout the World, without limitation, your entry, name, portrait, picture, voice, likeness, image, statements about the Campaign, and biographical information for news, publicity, information, trade, advertising, public relations, and promotional purposes. without any further compensation, notice, review, or consent. 

9. Terms & Conditions: Purgatory Golf Course reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Campaign should virus, bug, non-authorized human intervention, fraud, or other cause beyond Purgatory Golf Course’s control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, or proper conduct of the Campaign. In such case, Purgatory Golf Course may select the Winner from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by Purgatory Golf Course. Purgatory Golf Course reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Campaign or website or violates these Terms & Conditions. Purgatory Golf Course has the right, in its sole discretion, to maintain the integrity of the Campaign, to void votes for any reason, including, but not limited to: multiple entries from the same user from different IP addresses; multiple entries from the same computer in excess of that allowed by Campaign rules; or the use of bots, macros, scripts, or other technical means for entering. Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of the Campaign may be a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such attempt be made, Purgatory Golf Course reserves the right to seek damages to the fullest extent permitted by law.

10. Limitation of Liability: By entering, You agree to release and hold harmless Purgatory Golf Course and its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers, and directors from any liability, illness, injury, death, loss, litigation, claim, or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, from: (i) such entrant’s participation in the Campaign and/or his/her acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize or any portion thereof; (ii) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunction of any computer, cable, network, hardware, or software, or other mechanical equipment; (iii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions, telephone, or Internet service; (iv) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (v) electronic or human error in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries.

11. Disputes: THIS Campaign IS GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND INDIANA, WITHOUT RESPECT TO CONFLICT OF LAW DOCTRINES. As a condition of participating in this Campaign, participant agrees that any and all disputes that cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Campaign, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in Indiana having jurisdiction. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances shall participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to, punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees, other than participant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. costs associated with entering this Campaign). Participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.

12. Privacy Policy: Information submitted with an entry is subject to this Privacy Policy stated on the Purgatory Golf Course’s website. 

13. Winners List: To obtain a copy of the Winner’s name or a copy of these Official Rules, mail your request along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Purgatory Golf Course 12160 E. 216th Street Noblesville, IN 46060. All online entries must be received by Thursday, June 14th at 5am EST.

14. Sponsor: The Sponsor of the Campaign is Purgatory Golf 12160 E. 216th Street Noblesville, IN 46060.

15. Facebook: The Campaign hosted by Purgatory Golf Course is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.

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Purgatory On Display at Augusta Regional Airport

By: tenna on March 6th, 2018

In case you hadn’t heard, artwork created at Purgatory Golf Club is going to be on display at the Augusta Regional Airport from April 1, 2018 through June 30th, which means it will be there during the Masters golf tournament. Augusta Regional Airport is the local commercial airport in Augusta Georgia, home of the Masters. Below is the story we prepared and sent out to the press.

Award-winning Noblesville artist, Christine Merchent’s body of work, Ballerinas on the Green will be featured at the Augusta Regional Airport during the 2018 Masters Tournament. Ballerinas on the Green is a fine art photography series that combines classical ballet themes on a golf course backdrop.

Merchent and Augusta Regional Airport Communications Manager, Lauren Smith, had several conversations in 2017 about Merchent’s unique body of work, Ballerinas on the Green. The Airport’s Art Committee selected Merchent’s work to be featured April – June, which means it will be on display during the Masters Tournament April 2 through April 8th.

“The Augusta Regional Airport is thrilled to have Mrs. Merchent’s work on display during Masters week. Her portrait style will not only attract attention from golf fans, but the dance community as well. The Airport Art Committee thought the Airport would be the perfect venue to highlight her creative talent,” said Lauren Smith, spokesperson for the Augusta Regional Airport.

Augusta National does not release ticket sales, but it is estimated that over 250,000 visitors to attend each year. Many of those visitors will see 5 pieces from Merchent’s Ballerinas on the Green as they pass through the Augusta Airport.

Merchent’s passion for sports, and particularly golf, comes from spending countless hours watching and photographing her son who plays golf for Noblesville High School. Merchent and her husband own Purgatory Golf Club.

It is a dream come true for Merchent to be part of one of professional golf’s major championships. In the art world, this is the ‘green jacket,’ so to speak. The Masters Tournament is the first major of the year and is held at the same location every year, the Augusta National Golf Club. The other three professional major championships are held at different locations every year.

Just like the ever-changing Augusta National course, the art world has also changed and shifted over the last 85 years. Merchent is the first to approach fine art photography pairing ballerinas and golfers together on a golf course.

“The golf course is my studio. Replacing golfers with ballerinas makes it a fantasy. But because every other element in the art is so true to the game, it feels like it could happen. The project as a whole also highlighted two very different junior sports,” Merchent said.

Merchent studied over 21,000 junior golf images to develop the stories that she brought to life with the project. The body of work features Noblesville High School golfers and local ballerinas all shot at Purgatory Golf Club.

Indiana PGA Executive Director, Mike David, was one of the first to view the artwork. “To start with, the poses she caught of the golfers and dancers are beautiful and the colors spectacular. But I was overwhelmed by the similarities between dance and golf. Seeing the similarities from a grace and athleticism stand point, I found most interesting. At first, I was kind of taken aback by how two totally opposite sports are on the same playing field. But the more you look the more you see the grace and beauty and how the two naturally tie together. You have a whole new understanding and appreciation of both sports. It does almost seem natural, having the two together,” said Indiana PGA Executive Director, Mike David.

Ron Kern, Golf Course Architect of Purgatory Golf Club, who is also a photographer says, “Christine Merchent’s photographs captures the essence and spirit of two quite different pursuits, the art of ballet and the game of golf.  Merchent’s body of work blends ballet and golf into a beautiful tandem through intelligent visualization and a sympathetic and creative use of light.”

Merchent was named the 2017 Nickel Plate Arts Artist of the Year and was also juried into the prestigious 2017 Center Santa Fe Review. In 2014, Merchent was recognized as a Top Ten Photographer in the state of Indiana that was awarded by the Indianapolis Professional Photographer’s Guild, and the Indiana State Fair for overall print case score. In 2015, she was recognized by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) International Photographic Competition (IPC).

Her Game is En Pointe

Her Game is En Pointe

Stretching Swan

Stretching Swan

 

For more information:

Rachael Coverdale

Coverdale Consulting

317-518-2243

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Purgatory’s New Online Store!

By: Brian Rhodes on December 4th, 2017

Our online store is back and it’s better than ever! Holiday’s should be spent with family, not waiting in long lines at department stores. With our new online store, we make it easy to help you cut down on that long holiday To-Do list. The store will be a perfect place to sign-up for: men and women’s nights, memberships, wine dinners and gift cards, we have something for every golfer in your family!

317.776.4653

http://purgatorygolfclub.com/store/

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Introducing Purgatory’s Mobile App

By: Brian Rhodes on April 9th, 2017

The average person spends 174 minutes a day on their smartphone.  These users spend 86% of their time in mobile apps while the remaining 14% is in web browsers.

 

Purgatory’s mobile app has many features:

  • GPS – with the ability to measure your shot
  • The ability to Book Tee Times
  • Loyalty Programs where you can earn free golf and other rewards
  • Course tour with a yardage book, hole description and video of each hole
  • Pro Tip Videos
  • Interactive Scorecard
  • Automatic stat tracker and much more…

One of the unique features is the Range GPS.  With a touch of a button you can see how far each target is away from your position.

 

To access the range GPS

 

App Home

 

Tap the top left hand button Scorecard & Course/Range GPS

 

 

App Scorecard 2.0

 

Click the GPS wheel with 4 spokes – see arrow

 

App GPS

 

Scroll down to see additional yardage poles

Visit our website for quick download buttons.

Please contact us if you have any questions on the app

Play Well and Often

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Great Visit with Dr. Karl Danneberger

By: tenna on January 25th, 2017

All the staff here at Purgatory Golf Club enjoyed our visit today with esteemed college professor Dr. Karl Danneberger from the department of Horticulture and Crop Science at Ohio State University. I originally came into contact with Karl because he & I had both just published a book on iTunes. Well he lapped me a long time ago on that front as I still have only 2 and he has 14 books on iTunes now! If you haven’t downloaded any of his books for your iPhone or iPad, you need to. They are extremely well written and include amazing photos, great descriptions & informative videos. He even has one iBook that is a golf puzzle book. My son Clay was playing with it last night and really enjoyed it.

So that was 3 years ago, and we’ve only communicated by e-mail up until today. Karl was kind enough to drop by to see my art show Ballerinas on the Green. After we looked at the art, we had lunch with several members of our staff. I could have sat there all day, he had so many interesting stories about traveling the world consulting on golf courses from here to Egypt and everywhere in between. We talked about online classes, and what he is doing to make them more engaging, mole crickets, chemical treatments and new advancements in technology such as self driving putting green mowers. The time went so quickly. I can only imagine what a great professor he must be because he has an entertaining story on just about every subject.

What a great way to spend an otherwise dreary winter day. Thank you Karl for coming by, and don’t forget to download his books if you haven’t done so already!

 

 

 

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Ballerinas on the Green Art Show at PGC

By: tenna on January 4th, 2017
Invitation to the Ballerinas on the Green art show

The Purgatory clubhouse will begin hosting its first art show on January 13th. The show is made up of modern fine art photography created by our very own co-owner Christine Merchent, you can see samples of the work at http://www.christinemerchentart.com/ballerinas-on-the-green. All of these amazing images were captured right here at Purgatory Golf Club.

The show is titled Ballerinas on the Green as the imagery most often combines delicate ballerinas with a golf story. The show opens January 13th from 6:00 – 9:00 pm, with the ballerinas and golfers being presented at 7:15. Hint, hint, make sure you are there for the presentation. The show will be up until February 17th. Below is the press release sent out describing the project.

We hope you can all come out to see this unique art. You’ll never see Purgatory Golf Club in quite the same way 😉

Invitation to the Ballerinas on the Green art show

Invitation to the Ballerinas on the Green art show

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 3, 2016

 

Purgatory Golf Club to Host “Ballerinas on the Green”

Local art show to inspire young athletes

 

NOBLESVILLE, IN – Purgatory Golf Cub will host “Ballerinas on the Green” art reception on January 13th from 6:00p.m – 9:00p.m. Christine Merchent, co-owner of Purgatory Golf Club, is the artist and vision behind “Ballerinas on the Green.”

 

Merchent’s vision for this project came to her after seeing a photo by Joe McNally, of a ballerina in surroundings that were a strong contrast to her delicacy and beauty. She thought ballerinas juxtaposed against a golf course would be a beautiful setting for a photography project, but also provide a platform to bring attention to involvement in junior athletics.

 

“In the world of sports, the PGA and other organizations are always trying to find new ways to get young people interested sports. If a young man or woman looks at these images, I hope it will inspire them to get involved in golf or ballet,” Merchent said.

 

The project came to life as Merchent lined up local young athletes from the Ballerinas Academy of Dance, the Academy of Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre and the Noblesville High School boys golf team. She took inspiration from the 21,000 images of the golf team she captured last spring as the team’s photographer. Merchent even had a secret Pinterest board of ‘bad ballet’ photography that inspired her on what not to do. Soon enough, her vision and story developed over time, and the project took on a life of it’s own.

 

The “Ballerinas on the Green” event is free and open to the public. All of the artwork will be available for purchase. “Ballerinas on the Green” will remain on display and available for purchase to the public from January 13 – February 17 at Purgatory Golf Club. The evening will be filled with attendees dressed up according to the theme, Gowns and Golf, food available for purchase and a cash bar. The golfers and ballerinas will be presented at 7:15 and available for photos and autographs immediately following.

 

Upon the opening of the show, Merchent hopes this is only the beginning of “Ballerinas on the Green.”

 

“I plan to approach galleries, and other places that display fine art photography. Publishing this project as a book may be in the future as well. I will also plan to take this to New York in the fall for portfolio reviews,” says Merchent.

 

Merchent has an eclectic background that influences her art and photography. She has a degree in economics and comes from a corporate background. However, her talent and passion for story telling, art and photography has never let up. Being a co-owner of Purgatory, which is run by a management company, has allowed her to combine her love for golf and the arts. At Purgatory, 98% of the photography used comes from Merchent. She is also the motivation behind the new 11’ tall sculpture behind the 1st tee.

 

Merchent has taken numerous classes, been mentored and received private tutoring from several respected photographers in the industry. She was recently accepted to The School of Visual Arts in New York, one of the top photography schools in the world.

 

You can learn more about “Ballerinas on the Green” here: http://www.christinemerchentart.com/ballerinas-on-the-green

 

###

 

Press Contact:

Rachael Coverdale, Coverdale Consulting

317-518-2243

rachael@coverdaleconsulting.com

 

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The Purgatory Icon

By: tenna on September 27th, 2016

We are pleased to announce that an 11′ tall sculpture of our award winning logo will be installed behind the 1st tee on October 3rd!

There are two artists that made this possible.

First is Martin Schliessmann who is an Indianapolis-based Marketing Strategist and Graphic Designer. Martin designed our brand identity and marketing materials, including our Addy Award winning logo. Martin is also lead partner with Escape Route Flix, LLC, where he directed the video documentary “Why Sturgis?” and is currently producing a documentary about the Indiana wine industry (details at www.EscapeRouteFlix.com ).

The second artist involved is Scott Westphal (www.westphalsculpture.com). Scott is the celebrated local artist who designed the 11′ tall metal sculpture and had it fabricated from one-inch thick, rust-resistant aluminum.

You’re invited to pose for pictures at the statue’s base and share your images on social media using #IconPGC, #PurgatoryIcon, or #DivineCamaraderie. You can also make a “Daily Offering” by placing a donation in the donation box that will be set up shortly after the sculpture is installed; monies raised will benefit local charities.

The PGC Icon

The Purgatory Golf Club Icon

Above you can see 3 stages of the sculpture’s development. The first two pictures show the fabricated sculpture pre-paint. The 3rd image is the sculpture after it was painted with the PGC logo colors. It is difficult to get the scale of this artwork as nothing is in the image except the sculpture. We look forward to posting images soon after it is installed so you can get a better sense of scale, at least until you can come see it for yourself!

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Welcome Noblesville High School Boys Varsity Golf Team

By: tenna on April 27th, 2016

We are so happy to welcome the Noblesville High School Boys Varsity Golf Team to Purgatory today. They’ve been practicing at Fox Prairie, a wonderful golf course just 10 minutes from here, and today they will begin the 2nd part of their practice sessions right here in our backyard. Tenna enjoys being the unofficial team photographer so you will likely see more images of the team as they practice and compete popping up on this page. The team has won three out of four dual matches. The dual matches are nine hole tournaments pitting a single school against another and played during the week.

The team also plays in invitationals, which are much bigger 18 hole tournaments that are played on the weekend. Noblesville came in 4th at their 1st invitational the Don Dicken Invitational out of 14 teams. This past weekend the team competed at the Bob Spacey Invitational held at Fox Prairie here in Noblesville. It was a large and competitive field, with 24 teams present. Noblesville came in 2nd.

Noblesville High School Boys Varsity Golf Team

Left to right: Grant Neterer (12), Collin Kinkead (12), Clay Merchent (9), Parker Deakyne (11), Jacob Deakyne (9) and Mitchell Compton (11).

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12 Essential & Detailed Steps to Amazing Golf Course Images

By: tenna on March 5th, 2016

How to Create Amazing Golf Course Images

1. Do your homework first

  • Get on the golf course’s website and look at their photography, illustrations, and yardage book.
  • Try to figure out which holes you would like to photograph. Do they have a signature hole? A signature hole is usually the most visually appealing, most photographed and most recognizable hole. (Yes I realize I just used ‘most’ three times in a row, but it’s worth the emphasis.) Why would you want to photograph something everyone else has shot? Because you want to put your spin on it, add your style, maybe hand paint it, or just beef up your portfolio.
  • Read about the architecture; are there any important golf course architecture elements you want to make sure you capture?
  • Find out who is in charge at the pro shop, the title will normally be Head Professional (called head pro) or Director of Golf. Also find out the name of the Superintendent, this is the person who is in charge of the grounds crew.

2. Call the Head Pro or Director of Golf

  • Don’t e-mail, send a Facebook message, or drop by. Pick up the phone and call. Golf pros are getting solicited all the time for all kinds of stuff, be considerate. Introduce yourself. Briefly explain your credentials and goals for the shoot. Offer to send a link to a gallery of your best landscape images (not portraits or travel). Better yet, if you have a book of landscape images offer to mail it or drop it by the course.
  • Explain that you’d like to come out on two separate days. One day to scout and another to take pictures. Do not try to scout and shoot on the same day that is a recipe for lame images.
  • Your ability to gain access depends on the course. If it is a public course this increases the odds they will let you on. If it is a private course many pros will still let you on if you offer to let them use some of the images you create.
  • When you talk to the head pro ask:
    • Which holes are the prettiest, most unusual, talked about, hated, where do people lose the most balls? These questions can spur great image titles, “The most terrifyingly beautiful green in the Midwest, Purgatory Golf Club’s 8th hole.”
    • Where are the most ‘hole in ones?’ People who shoot a hole in one often want to buy a picture of that hole.
    • When is the course at it best, daybreak or sunset?
    • What day of the week is the least busy? Is there a morning when the golf course is closed for maintenance? If there is, that is the day you want to be there.
  • After the pro has warmed up to you, ask if they can provide a guide. Why do I recommend a guide? When it comes time to go out of the course you either need to: 1) understand how not to piss off the golfers out there, and not damage their beautiful golf course, or 2) have a guide. I suggest a guide. Even though I own a golf course, and have played golf for years, when I go out to shoot, my mind is on one thing, getting the shot. I am not thinking about what kind of trouble I am going to cause for their clients or grounds crew. If I shoot in the morning I want someone from the grounds crew driving me around because then if we come to a hole where the maintenance crew is working, my guide can ask them to step aside while I shoot. If it’s at night and I don’t know the course I’d like someone from the proshop to drive me around.

4. Time of Day and Sunlight

  • You need to shoot at sunrise or sunset for film and DSRL cameras. The only exception to this rule is infrared cameras. For infrared, the middle of a sunny day is best. But if you are shooting traditional color or black and white images, it needs to be during one of the golden hours, no exception!!!

5. Scouting is your best friend

  • I scout the location at least an hour before sunrise or sunset. The day of the actual shoot I am on property about an hour before sunrise, probably 1 ½ hours before sunset, and in position to begin shooting 30 minutes later.
  • It isn’t just the time of day that is important. The light from the sun has to actually be hitting the putting green, or whatever aspect of the golf course is your subject. So if the putting green is surrounded by trees that block the rays of the sunrise, I come back at sunset, and vice versa. I need to figure that out during my scout, not the day of the shoot.
  • If you intend to shoot in the morning, the best-case scenario is to have the golf course Superintendent or assistant superintendent take you out on the course. That way if the maintenance crew is in your shot (which you don’t want) the superintendent can ask them to step aside while you shoot.

6. Get up as High as You Can

  • Your images will be better if you are looking down on the fairway and putting green. You can stand up on a hill or the back of the golf cart.
  • Do not try to climb up on top of the golf cart. I’ve even hired a cherry picker (also called a bucket truck) to get a good angle on the putting green.

7. The Subject of your image

Good subjects:

  1. The putting green, when in doubt shoot the putting green! This is what gets golfers all excited. Make sure you capture the undulations in the green; you show these with shadows, one of the many reasons you need to shoot at daybreak or sunset.
  2. A shot from the tees into the green
  3. Approach shot into the green, that means you’re in the fairway and if you were a golfer you’d be hitting your next shot onto the green,
  4. Shots from across the water towards the green
  5. Par three holes because you can often get the complete hole from the tees. This makes for a really cool image.
  6. The sprinklers going off in the morning over the putting green
  7. From behind the putting green looking across it towards the fairway
  8. The Clubhouse

Weak subjects:

  1. Images that could have been taken anywhere like a park
  2. Flowers
  3. Weeds, and if there are ugly weeds in an otherwise lovely shot, get rid of them in post
  4. Backs of golfers
  5. Average wildlife images
  6. Power lines are best avoided. Sometimes you can strategically place a tree between you and the power lines to get the shot.
  7. Clear skies are boring. Cloudy skies add interest.

Don’t shoot golfers without their prior approval. If a golfer hears the sound of a noisy DSLR during their backswing you are going to have a problem.

Decide if you are going to shoot at daybreak or sunset, then figure out where the sun rises and sets over the course. Where can you frame the most intriguing sunrise/sunset?

8. Gear

  • The good news is your gear does not have to be professional grade.
  • You can shoot golf course landscape images with gear that costs less than $2,000. I started with a Nikon D90 (cost less than $700) and a Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens (cost around $500) a basic tripod, and a cable release. I had a decent camera bag, a LowerPro Slingshot which cost about $45, and a couple of memory cards. But that was everything! Those images I took in my early days are still some of my favorites.
  • The brand of camera does not matter. I now own and shoot with Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, Lumix, Sony and sometimes even my iPhone. But I didn’t start out with all this gear; I acquired it slowly over the years. I use different cameras for different purposes. And I rarely sell my old gear because as soon as I do I realize I now need if for some special project.
  • The camera body does need to the ability to bracket, shoot in raw, and offer high speed continuous shooting.
  • Lens selection – a wide-angle lens is the traditional choice for landscape. As I said, I started with an 18-280mm f/3.5-6.3. I now often shoot with a 14mm fisheye, which I put on a tripod, and carry a second body with a zoom that I handhold. I remember the president of my 1st camera club pompously lecturing me “Expensive lens are what separates the landscape pros from the amateurs!” That’s hogwash. You can create beautiful golf course landscape images with an entry-level lens. It’s everything else like light, preparation and artistic vision that separates you from the pack. You can’t buy talent and hard work.
  • You need a decent tripod that has legs where you can vary the length. If I am on the side of a hill, I need to be able to have one leg be short and the other two longer. I also like a reasonably light tripod. I’m already carrying so much gear I don’t want my tripod to be an albatross.
  • A cable release is essential.
  • Get your sensor cleaned, and check your lens for dust. If you end up combining your bracketed images with an HDR program every imperfection in the sky will show up. You will save yourself a lot of post processing time if you take care of your sensor and lens ahead of time.

9. Camera Settings (We Photographers love our technical stuff)

  • I shoot at the lowest native ISO my camera supports. For my current camera it is ISO 100.
  • I shoot in raw, with my backup memory card set to jpeg fine, just in case something goes wrong with my primary card.
  • I set my white balance to cloudy, this can be changed in postproduction, but I put a lot of thought into my starting point and I want it to best my chance of success with the least amount of work.
  • I set my picture control to either portrait or vivid, I know some snob out there just gasped out loud when I said I use Vivid. Well I’ve tried them all, and I like the two extremes you can get from portrait and vivid. Portrait will give you the image with the least contrast and vivid will give you the image with the most vibrant colors. (You can also change this in postproduction).
  • I set my camera to aperture control with an F-stop of f-11 or higher. I’ve played with f-2.8 and a long lens and I HATED it. I stick to the classics now. If I want the sun, or lights on the clubhouse to create a star effect, I’ll go to the smallest aperture available on my camera lens body combo supports like f-22 or f-32.
  • I use bracket mode, one stop separation for each capture, and a minimum of three exposures. Sometimes I go as high as nine exposures with a one-stop gap between each. The downside to the nine exposures is on the overexposed side can take a long time, and I have messed up a series thinking it had finished.
  • I use high-speed continuous shooting mode so that when I hit the cable release the camera to shoots the entire series. If I don’t have it set to high speed continuous it just shoots the first bracketed exposure, and I have to count and keep clicking the cable release, and make sure I don’t mess it up.

10. Bracketing

  • Bracketing is crucial to my golf course photography. The dynamic range between the sky and golf course is often more than my camera and postproduction software can handle with one exposure. I’ve experimented with a lot of different bracketing settings. Today I use a minimum of three exposures with at 1 stop difference between each exposure. If I like the sky on the darkest exposure I will use just 3 exposures.
  • I’ll go to 5, 7, or 9 if I don’t like the sky. I’ve read and heard some speakers say they want the underexposed image to go almost to black. I don’t do that, I just want a rich sky with lots of detail. Over bracketing is really time consuming. I don’t want to waste my time.

11. The Night Before the Shoot

  • Charge your camera battery
  • Make sure you have freshly formatted memory cards in your camera, and backups in your camera bag
  • Pick your lens, and make sure it is properly attached and clean. The traditional lens for landscape is a wide-angle lens. Btw, I never change my lens out on the course, too much of a chance that dust will get on my sensor.
  • Select your camera settings so you don’t have to be fooling around with them in the dark if it is daybreak. I pick the lowest native ISO my camera offers, aperture priority, an f-stop somewhere between f-11 and f-22. I use f-22 if I want to get a star effect from the sun. I set it to bracket a minimum of 3 stops, and high speed continuous shooting so that when I hit the cable release it will shoot the whole bracket.
  • Pack a tiny flashlight, or if your phone has one that can work too.
  • Set out water repellant boots because you are going to be walking in wet grass
  • Take Kleenex, the cold morning air often makes your nose run.
  • Pack a bottle of water
  • Plan on wearing layers, it often starts out cold and gets warmer as the sun rises.
  • Get your tripod ready, and attach the quick release plate to the bottom of your camera or lens.
  • Attach your cable release to your camera. Since it’s daybreak, you’re going to be shooting in low light part of the time. It may seem obvious, but don’t swing the cable release, or yank on it or jiggle it. You want the camera to be very still.
  • Get a good night sleep and set your alarm clock so you are on time.

12. The Day of the Shoot

  • Wear bug spray,
  • Waterproof or water resistant boots,
  • Tuck your pants into your boots. You may be hiking in tall grass, and I have personally ended up with creepy crawly bugs up my pants because I didn’t want to look goofy. Suck it up and look goofy, it will be worth it because you will be comfortable and safe. I have also heard snakes inches from my feet. If there is tall grass, there is wildlife that you don’t want to take home with you.
  • Be at the course early, and in position to shoot at least 30 minutes before you expect to start shooting.
  • Get to your location, set your tripod up, make sure the cable release is attached properly, frame the shot and wait.
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