Photographer Andy Hiseman's new 'pandemic portfolio' shows that British golf's beauty and spirits remained undimmed even during 2020's COVID-19 crisis.
Over 100 selected new images taken under COVID conditions at UK golf clubs have been added to the gallery at www.hisemanphoto.com, in Hiseman's 2021 collection which explodes with colour, personality and startling 'magic hour' photography on golf courses.
While Mother Nature, oblivious to the virus, supplied a succession of wonderful skies, greenkeepers made the most of the quiet conditions to provide immaculate playing surfaces which Hiseman captured on camera. And between lockdowns club managers carefully provided a haven for members who were photographed, their faces lit by expressions of joy and relief at being let loose on the golf course again.
If only briefly.
Andy travelled the UK between April and October 2020 to capture the best sights at golf clubs which had commissioned new images.
"Great photographs of their golf course, customers and facilities are ammo which clubs can use for their marketing" said Hiseman. "In 2021 golf clubs arguably face the biggest marketing challenge in modern times, and if you are left short with a poor selection of imagery, you may find it difficult to compete."
But what difference did COVID make, to a golf photographer?
"Luckily my car is quite large, because I had to sleep in it several times last season" he said. "No hotels, you see. I usually regret not being a six-footer, but not in 2020.
"COVID also meant I could photograph courses in a golfer-free state, which I will admit is much easier! But as my portfolio shows I like to photograph the whole club or resort - the atmosphere, coaching, interiors, leisure and most of all the people. The ubiquitous face mask doesn't make people photography any easier. Clubs did also find it difficult to present their interiors in a picture-perfect way, while adhering to COVID guidelines, so I did a little less interior photography in 2020 than in most years.
"I have limited time to pursue this wonderfully liberating, creative aspect of my life, so each commission is very special to me. I hope to help at least a dozen more golf clubs to build their reputation with a great set of new photographs during the 2021 golf season" he said.
The gallery at www.HisemanPhoto.com also contains several dozen testimonials from golf clubs, resorts and the golfing media.
In his 'day job', Andy Hiseman runs Magic Hour Media, which handles PR, media buying and media relations for a collection of golfing brands including the pioneering game-improvement technology specialists SkyCaddie and SkyTrak, and the Zen Green Stage adjustable playing surface - one of 2021's global indoor golf breakout products. He also represents Top 100 venues such as Berkhamsted Golf Club and Tewkesbury Park, plus several other clients including the British Golf Show.
However, Andy is never more happy than when looking at a golfing scene through a lens.
"Photographing golf clubs is my personal passion: I have been looking at sunrises and sunsets on the golf course since my early teens, and - as we all know - there is no more beautiful place to be.
"A lovely golf course photograph restores the spirit, and I truly look forward to hearing from golf clubs who need new images in 2021."