There have been a number of occasions when I have been assigned to photograph Thirteenth Beach Golf Links, going back as far as when it was still under construction, and when the par-3 16th was still being formulated in the head of Tony Cashmore, the course architect. The 16th hole turned out to be a short par-3, destined to make a mess of many a scorecard.
As wonderful as the 16th is, the 7th is pretty much always the first port of call for me when photographing The Beach Course at Thirteenth Beach. It is not an easy hole to photograph, or at least it doesn’t seem to be to me, and I always consider it necessary to shoot in the morning as the setting sun in the evening would be pretty much directly behind the hole. Consequently I have often found myself on the 7th tee watching the picture evolve as the sun creeps above the horizon and illuminates the setting. At times it is frustrating when the direct sunlight is stifled by a bunch of clouds, but when all is right the effort is rewarded with a good photograph.
From the golfers perspective, I always look forward to this hole. The elevated tee allows me to see exactly what is required, the green is sitting out there just waiting to receive my ball, but then so is the tee-trees and the bunkers! The rewards for a glorious tee shot are just as obvious as the penalties if you fire a poor shot. This is one of my favourite holes.
The Beach Course at Thirteenth Beach has a collection of par-3 holes that are difficult to rival. It’s worth the trip to Barwon Heads just to experience these four fabulous golf holes.