Is there anything better than playing golf? Probably not. But if you can’t be out playing, the best golf photos might just about do the game’s excitement justice. From the best course scenery to the finest shots frozen in time – we’ve rounded up our favourite golf photos of 2017!
1) Jordan Spieth – The Open
Image credit: Christian Petersen/ Getty Images
They say the best pictures are the simplest. If so, then this is (we think) one of the finest pictures of the entire year. Jordan Spieth had an awful lot of pressure on his shoulders coming into this year’s Open at Royal Birkdale. He hadn’t been able to swing a club for weeks without people questioning whether his Masters meltdown would play a part in this tournament.
At Augusta in 2016, Spieth was five shots ahead before quadruple bogeying the 12th to blow his lead.
When he found himself in a similar situation after shanking his 13th tee-shot 100-yards right into deep rough, the memories and nerves must have surely resurfaced. But a year older and wiser, the 23-year-old Texan hit a series of incredible shots to salvage a bogey, then went birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie to grab the trophy and become the second-youngest man in history to win three different majors.
As for his demons? Looking at the piercing roar in the photograph, consider them exorcised.
2) Dustin Johnson – Wells Fargo
Image credit: Jim Dedmon/ USA Today Sports Images
Speaking of exorcising demons…
It may just seem like an innocuous driving action shot, but this picture of Dustin Johnson is one of our favourites because of what is represents, rather than what it shows.
As golf fans will remember – as the Masters rolled around, Dustin Johnson was the firm favourite, as the World Number One and coming off his third successive tournament win at the World Match Play final. Then, the evening before his Masters opening round – he slipped on the stairs in his rented house and damaged his lower back, forcing him to pull out.
It was over a month before he could return to competitive golf, and many wondered if he would be the same player – including himself. While he played through the pain on his return at the Wells Fargo Championship, he finished second overall – a fine achievement. And that’s what the photo above conveys. A mixture of pain but also relief and joy at being able to play again, something we can all relate to.
3) Jason Day – PGA Championship
Image credit: AP/Chris Carlson
Injuries are one thing. Personal issues are another. When Jason Day tearfully pulled of the Match Play Championship after only six holes in March, the world was shocked when he revealed in a press conference that his mother was suffering from lung cancer and was due to have surgery, every fan’s heart went out to him.
Even when he came back a few weeks later, he wasn’t playing like himself. Understandably, he was edgy and distracted. It wasn’t until the PGA Championship a full five months later that it finally seemed the clouds had cleared. After a healthier few months for his family – Jason Day had got himself mentally right, and his beaming, infectious smile was a joy to see.
4) Hurricane Harvey – Golf Club of Houston
Image credit: Twitter – Steve Timms
There are times when only a picture will do. When Hurricane Harvey thundered into Houston in August, dropping well over 50 inches of rain in a week – one of the areas most affected was the local golf course. The Golf Club of Houston had been an institution for years – but as the pictures taken by Houston Open director, Steve Timms were shocking.
Practically the whole course had been buried in water, with flood plains as far as the eye could see stretching from the first tee. Thankfully, the greens have since been drained – but nothing will beat the shock of seeing such a swamped course initially.