Golf Photographer Dwayne Tucker

In this recap, I am going to share how the fundamentals of golf and photography are similar, so you can improve your golfing and photography skills.

The Drop Zone’s podcast states, “9-hole golf is having a moment.” According to the podcast, the National Golf Foundation, “9 hole golf is up 15% in 2020.” Joby (the golfer in the photographs shown below) and I contribute to that percentage.

Joby’s contribution results from practicing; he is on his way to becoming a professional golfer. My shameless addiction to golfing created my contribution; I am not on my way to becoming a professional golfer. With that said, I’ll settle for being a professional photographer.

This quick 9-hole photo-story recap features Joby, while I practiced my skill set. As a result, we have better photographs for golf apparel lifestyle campaigns and portraits of golfers.

1. Practice and Preparation

Cobra King MB golf club swing.

Practice and preparation make life easier for golfers and photographers. In golf, practicing will grow your confidence in your game and prepare you for tournaments. On the other hand, practicing photography increases your confidence in capturing poses and trains you for paid photoshoots. As many professionals say, confidence helps you perform your best.

Recently, I received Birds Of Condor‘s new golf glove and Trap Golf‘s new hat to photograph. Those two companies are two amongst a number of new golf companies doing their part to grow the game of golf. Modern golfers appreciate trendy golf apparel, which these two companies bring to the golfing community.

Joby and I organized and photographed the images of these products while playing a quick 9 holes at Granda Golf Course in Coral Gables, Miami, Florida.

2. Understanding Your Equipment

Golf swing follow through.

If you want to improve your golfing or photography skills, understanding your equipment is important in making good shots.

For golfers, deciding and understanding when to hit driver is key. In the same vein, a photographer must know which particular lens to use and when.

This was Joby’s first time swinging his new Cobra King Forged MB golf clubs. Equipment for golf and photography is expensive. He was using KBS golf shafts (#SponsoredAd), and I was shooting with the Nikon 105mm lens (#SponsoredAD).

3. Developing Confidence

putting with confidence

Preparation and practice develop confidence. Performing with confidence conditions you to accomplish more.

confident golf swing

4. Detail Awareness and Observation of Elements

Sand captured in golf shot

Many elements force a golfer and a photographer to keep alert.

Attention to little details makes a difference on a golfer’s scorecard. For example, that tee box was sandy; note the club’s reaction. Wind into the face? Pay attention to club selection.

Meanwhile, photographers should confirm their details are on point. Are you using the right shutter speed? How is the light falling on your subject? The importance of detail awareness and observation of elements could be a book on its own.

5. Appreciation of Good Light

green side bunker photograph

Good lighting leads to good judgment, which creates good shots. We strive for those as photographers and golfers.

Determining distance becomes easier with good lighting as well.

long green side bunker shot

For example, when hitting out of a bunker, you first look at the sand. Is it wet or fluffy? Then you confirm with the feel of your feet. Good light will determine the best shot.

Next to fast-rolling greens, golfers prefer a perfectly lit green for putting. No golfer enjoys putting in the shadows of slow greens.

6. Paying Attention to Composition/Course Management

I tell my students that good composition makes a photograph exemplary. It’s important to learn how to frame your subject. Does the photograph tell a better story on the left side of the frame or the right side of the frame? Balance is the essence of good composition.

In golf, composition compares to course management. Golfers compose shots when thinking about the golf ball placement. Is it better to hit an iron to avoid a hazard? Would you purposely place your ball in a flyer lie to get extra distance on a long par 5? Do you need to play a certain club to get your ball back in play? Asking these questions will improve your course management and help you play better golf.

7. Using Imagination

Creativity is one of the biggest similarities between golfers and photographers. Simply put—or putt—your imagination will polish up your shots.

8. The Creator of Good Stories.

This photo tells a story of the quick 9 holes played at Granda with my buddy, Joby. This golf story includes memories of how one got up and down out of the green-side bunker after kicking off the stick for what would have been a birdie. Photography and golf are creators of good stories.

Stories hold the memories. Memory is more important in photography for the number of photographs you take (see what I did there).

9. Remembering to Have Fun

In golf and photography, it is important to remember to have fun. You can not improve your golfing and photography skills otherwise. Our emotions become lost in trying to make good shots after bad shots. Bad shots are inevitable, and it’s frustrating to capture images out of focus. Arguably, it is more unsatisfying to miss a putt by a foot outside the wrong edge of a hole from lack of focus.

Regardless, golf and photography should be fun. Trust in all the similarities, as they’ll not only make you better golfers and better photographers, but also make you better people.

P.S. If you are a golfer and you take photographs of your rounds, please tag me on IG at @DwayneTucker. I want to see your golf photographs!

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