I don’t think many of the people who know me would consider me either an artist or even particularly a fan of art at all. To some extent, I would agree with them but this isn’t completely true. I do have an area where my centres of interest (like golf) and my artist side actually meet. As I was thinking (again!) about my relationship to golf the other day, I realized that it doesn’t really come across in my life in general. Sure, I have a lot of golf books and there are always clubs and balls hanging around in various corners, but not so much in other areas. Maybe it is time I started to look a little bit more closely into golf art.
Golf Art in all its Forms
I am not necessarily thinking of putting giant oil paintings of St Andrew’s all over my wall or an ultra realistic Jack Nicklaus portrait by the front door. I am thinking of perhaps some slightly more subtle ways of letting my outdoors occupation become part of my indoor decoration.
Of course, this might be through paintings, but I think that one of the ways that golf art really speaks to me is through photography. Like many golfers, I love playing not just for the game itself, but for the opportunity to play some truly beautiful courses. I haven’t been lucky enough to play Pebble Beach or Augusta, but even the humblest local course might have an aesthetic appeal that I would like to take home with me.
This lead to looking at some of the golf photography that exists and I quickly realised that there are some truly amazing artists taking incredible pictures of golf. These might be capturing some of the great moments in the game from Poulter’s eye-bulging, fist pumping Ryder cup exploits to the smooth poetry of Hogan’s finish. It could also be some of the more dramatic shots of courses like a Scottish links being bullied by the sea breeze. Sometimes, it might just be something as comfortingly familiar as the shot of St Andrew’s pictured above.
Kevin Murray: A Golf Artist
As easy as it is nowadays to get out the mobile phone and snap away, doing a little bit of research for this article quickly showed me the difference between what I can do with my phone and a true artist. My artist knowledge is limited at the best of times and it was a pleasure to discover some of those who make their living taking the sort of photos I would love to see on my walls.
One of the first names I came across was Kevin Murray. I won’t reproduce any of his work here without his permission, but suffice to say, he has stunning shots on his site. Everything from the familiarity of the Swilcan Bridge to pictures capturing tour winners at the moment of triumph, there are some incredible images on his site which I strongly invite you to have a look at:
There are many other hugely talented individuals out there and I would miss out more than I could name if I started to make a list, but suffice to say an hour or tow looking through the work of the some of these men and women is a real pleasure.
As much as I enjoyed the paintings and photographs dedicated to the world of golf, I much prefer the idea of owning something that is in three dimensions. I am not sure if this is to take the place of the empty shelves where I should have some trophies or not, but I do like the idea of something that somehow represents the physical side of the game. I am always amazed at how it is possible to capture movement in something that is static, and yet this is very definitely true for some of the sculptures I have seen.
Although I would certainly like a life-sized bronze of Tiger Woods in the middle of the living room, I am not sure this would go down especially well with the rest of the family! However, something smaller and more discrete would be the perfect desk ornament for the obsessional golfer that I am.
I spent a while trying to find something that really spoke to me here, but it seems that the internet is awash with eBay and alibaba golf sculptures and not so much with things that might be considered golf art!
A Golf Art Expert?
I feel like I am dipping my toes in a whole new world as I write about this and it is quite different to my usual areas of interest. While I don’t see my house becoming some sort of museum of golf art, either for reasons of budget, space or potential divorce, it is something I would like to delve into a little more deeply. Maybe it will be a photo or two on the wall to start out with, but who knows, perhaps in a year or two I will have a full golf man cave complete with art exhibition!