Golf is no longer a game just for the plaid pants, country club set. Both ends of the financial spectrum have taken up the sport in big numbers. Not just bank presidents are rolling around the course; the fastest growing segment of the golf business is in the Arab Emirates and one of the current golf success stories in pro golf proudly calls himself a "redneck". Golf remains a big business all over the world with many secondary support products and services needing images.
The image on the left is the most downloaded image directly related to golf. I believe it's successful for several reasons. First the image is a square format. This gives the image the maximum space on the search returns page. Whenever you can shoot to a square or crop or add to make a square format, you will have a slight edge. (This is what used to happen in the film days. 35mm format images were duped up to 60mm or 4x5 dupes so that they would stick out on a light table when someone was looking at a selection of images. Some things don't change.)
The other element contributing to the popularity of the image is that the golfer is shown full body not cropped at the waist. The form in the swing appears to be good. (I'm not a golfer so I can only guess but it looks very good to me). The light is early morning or late afternoon and the course is green and groomed.
Other successful images that will be downloaded repeatedly for use by manufactures of clubs, bags and other golf gear show amateurs enjoying the game. Golf is a great sport for metaphors too. The hole in one spells "success" as much as stuck in a sand trap stands for "challenges".
This week the world's best golfers will descend on my current location near Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida for the Sawgrass Players Tournament. You won't find me in the crowd, as I don't really understand the point of a sport that requires walking around all day in the sun. I feel the same way about tennis (to be discussed in a later blog).
If you go to the Players or any other golf tournament remember, you are there to enjoy yourself unless you have a press pass as tournament images can have complicated restriction issues. Better to go out to a course mid-week, early in the day with someone who has perfected his or her swing. Or concentrate on creating a close-up of a ball rolling into the cup or hands on clubs. Beware of trademarks!