I recommend that my readers study the current Playbooks blog post (can also be found immediately above this blog on TurfNet home page) by Matt Leverich and its extraordinary photographs before continuing on here because the message for the two posts is fundamentally the same: namely that . . .
Classic course photography frames a superintendent's work product in such an extraordinary manner that they advance both the course welfare and the superintendent's career like nothing else can.
3 Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, photographed by Dan Tolson, CGCS*, who also happens to be the golf course superintendent.
Because Playbooks' Matt Leverich and Greg Wojick have presented this concept so effectively within their blog I will not attempt to parallel their thinking here. Rather, I will complement their thesis by addressing the inherent challenges involved.
The Challenge: Identifying the exactly right scene on a golf course worthy of becoming a classic photograph; putting the selected scene in impeccable course conditioning; and then engaging an expert photographer to shoot the scene collectively creates the ultimate challenge. But the effort will be handsomely rewarded.
Addressing the Cost Issue: Because classic photography is expensive to produce (up to $3,000 per), one way to reduce the cost would be for a group of five to ten superintendents to engage a noted golf photographer to prepare photographs for all, which would discount the individual cost considerably.
Then, some chapters might have a superintendent or two who are expert amateur photographers (see photograph above) , or who have members at their clubs with similar credentials who would be willing to undertake this assignment either at a modest cost, or on a pro bono basis.
I encourage superintendents to adopt a hobby and become expert amateur photographers themselves.
Either way, as Playbooks has indicated in similar words, this is a task every golf course superintendent should pursue because hiring an expert photographer, or becoming a proficient photographer themselves is a breathtaking way for superintendents to create the best and lasting impression of their work.
Planning Ahead: Because classic photography can only be taken during the playing seasons across the country when golf courses are at their visual best, it behooves superintendents to plan ahead when committing to the projects of this kind.
Where To Use Classic Photographs?
First: The best location career-wise to use a classic photograph would be to prominently display it within a superintendent's career web site because this would create a stimulating Q & A environment between search committees and job applicants that would only benefit the candidate. It is worth updating existing career web sites to include a classic photograph or two.
Next: Similarly, position a classic home course photograph within the maintenance program web site (see Oct 2nd blog) - possibly as the backdrop for the web site's masthead so the photograph could be seen each publication cycle.
Thank you Playbooks.
Spread the word!
*More of Dan Tolson's work can be seen here.