About Rodney

Golf photography for me combines three of my passions, golf course architecture, photography and capturing the beauty of nature in an environment I love spending so much time. Golf Images was born because I wanted to help Golf Clubs all over the world capture the essence of their course, for marketing, for their members and for the love of the game.

My History

Like many golf tragics I have obsessed over this wonderful game since my first competitive round aged 14. My first actual full 18 hole game of golf happened at Jeparit Golf Club in the Mallee, I was 8 years old. A sand scrape course I managed to score 111 with just a hickory shafted putter my Dad found at the tip. Looking back I am pretty proud of this feat, my Mum scored 125 with a full set at her disposal. Growing up in a family of golfers, talk at the dinner table was never far removed from the latest golfing story This was quite often met with disapproval from my sister Kate the only member of the Brown family not addicted to the game.  Over the years I have had the opportunity to be a member and play at many wonderful courses. Now living in Torquay Victoria I am a member at The Sands Torquay and the Torquay Golf Club. But I have also been a member of Rich River Golf Club, Latrobe Golf Club, Maryborough Golf Club and Midlands Golf Club.

My Family

I hope to pass the golfing bug onto my two children Cooper and Madison, both enjoy our adventures on the golf course, Cooper has been coming with me to golf since he was 1 year old. Initially it was more about the ride on the buggy (me pulling him around for nine holes), now he is too heavy for that and much prefers to have a hit. He has his own clubs and loves his driver the most. Madison also likes to come to golf, she can’t decide if she is left or right handed, she has a little cut down 7 iron and has a short compact swing that makes contact most times. As for my wife Karen, no amount of encouragement has convinced her to take up golf, she is a moving ball sports woman, with talent for netball, basketball and tennis, but I haven’t given up getting her across to the dark side.

My Golfing Career

During my golfing career if you can call it that, golf has only ever been put on the back burner for two reasons. University and golf induced injuries. While studying to be a Graphic Designer golf was limited for a tough four year period to the summer holidays. I did have two breaks to this routine by playing the 1993 and 1994 Rich River Club Championships, finishing runners-up on both occasions. The 1993 Championships holds particularly harsh memories, heading into the final round leading by 6 shots I was overrun and overawed by the situation. No-one likes bad rounds but this round stuck in my memory for all the wrong reasons. it was a good 7 months before I had the opportunity to play my next round.  It wasn’t a whole lot of fun reliving that round in my head every night in bed. In fact even today some 19 years later I can still recall nearly every shot from that round.  Gladly the search for my first Club Championship finally came to an end at the Torquay Golf Club in 2007.

My Golfing Injuries

Early on I mentioned golfing injuries, well I have had many.  While playing Pennant in 1998 at Latrobe Golf Club, a niggling shoulder injury turned much worst. I guess when you hit a drive and you get pins and needles in your arm or when you stand over a putt and your shoulder pops out you should see this as a warning sign. Well I didn’t and I guess when you love golf and particularly pennant, you work through the pain. Not my finest hour, this injury forced me to take a break from golf and at 26 years old I was told I may not play golf again. Four years later and after a full shoulder reconstruction, 12 months of intense rehab, I made my return at Midlands Golf Club in Ballarat.

You would think that after this first episode I would learn, but it would seem I am a slow learner.  In 2007, I hurt my back badly while playing pennant with Torquay Golf Club, a scan showed two bulging discs in my lumbar spine.  Four months rest and clinical pilates was ordered for my rehab, I returned two weeks before the Club Championships and with no pain to speak off won the championship.  This was the first time in years I had playing without back pain, and I was determined to keep myself in good shape and keep the back pain away. I managed to do this quite well until November 2009 when I hurt my back again, after a couple of three and four month breaks I tried to play pennant for The Torquay Sands, probably not a great idea, I had a track record of making poor decisions when golf was involved. I made it through the season we won the pennant but then two weeks after pennant my back popped. An MRI revealed a large ruptured disc, the next two months were excruciating until my GP prescribed anti-inflammatories and painkillers. Eight days after being on the medicine I felt pretty good, the sun was out so I thought I’d take my two children to the driving range. Oh dear “what a stupid I am” as Roberto De Vicenzo so famously said (after discovering he had returned an incorrect scorecard showing a 4 on the 17th instead of a birdie 3 at the 1968 US Masters. A correct score card would’ve got him into a playoff).  That was August 2010 and I haven’t hit a golf ball since, surgery maybe required and there are no guarantees I will ever play golf  without pain again.

My Golfing Addiction

I hear you ask, why go into such detail about these injuries? Well, the game of golf is a drug and I am addicted. It is the only thing I have ever been addicted to.  Nowadays while I can’t play I still love watching golf and I love walking and admiring the intricacies of golf course design. So if I can’t walk a golf course by playing I can still walk a golf course and take photos, therefore mixing two of my life long hobbies. Golf in more recent years became my sanctuary away from my world of stresses.  Running a business is great but it does come with plenty of stress.  When I played golf, these outside stresses were left in the car.

Golf Architecture

When I was young I didn’t really think to much about the design of a golf course, it wasn’t until I started playing many courses and comparing them that I started to appreciate the beauty and value in golf architecture. While playing pennant at Latrobe I was lucky enough to play most of the sand belt courses in Melbourne, what a treat.  My brother Daniel Brown is a golf course super intendant, he himself a one time club champion at Rich River. Dan basically gave up competitive golf to concentrate on his green keeping career. It has certainly played dividends, after working at Victoria Golf Club and Metropolitan Golf Club he moved back to the country and took up his first course super role at Maryborough Golf Club in central Victoria. He then moved on to Torquay Golf Club, then to the magical Barnbougle Dunes in Tasmania. From there he took the course super role at Royal Queensland Golf Club to help rebuilt the course after its completed redesign.  Daniel is now at Blue Canyon Country Club in Thailand, rated the best course in Asia four times. When we get together the conversation invariable turns to golf architecture and the discussion is often quite lively. We agree on many things and agree to disagree on many others, but I doesn’t worry me either way as long as the debates remains, because golf brings people together. I think we have been extremely lucky to have played through this recent golfing boom of new golf courses in Victoria. The quality of the architecture is amazing, we are certainly spoilt for choice.

Professional Background

I have a degree in Graphic Design, graduating from Swinburne University in 1994. During my University days I also studied photography. In 2001 I started my graphic design/advertising/web design business called Brown Ink Design, I have two studios (Torquay and Ballarat). During my professional design career I have used my photography skills on many different types of projects. But there are two areas of photography that have always been my favourite.  Golf course and architecture photography. There have been many times over the years I have wished I had my camera with me while kicking the dew off the grass on Saturday morning, the mixture of light, colour and environment lay bare for the golfer to enjoy.  It is this essence that I want to capture with my photography.