Given the abundance of golf courses around Ireland, clubs are constantly searching for ways to stand out from the crowd. Often overlooked in wordy marketing campaigns are images to rubber-stamp a course’s credentials, but that’s exactly what photographer Mel Maclaine believes he can bring to golf clubs looking to gain an edge over the competition.
The Dublin-based corporate photographer has transformed his business since Covid-19 hit, undertaking his drone license to combine his love of golf with his eye for imagery, catching the attention of the golf world with his fresh brand of course photography.
“Imagery is something that will help every golf course, not just your high-end championship course,” Maclaine explains.
“With golf courses closed during lockdown, people have been sitting at home browsing what’s out there and they’re essentially looking for ‘golf porn’, something that makes them think, ‘yeah, I need to try that place’. Clubs will be eager to make up for lost time by filling tee-sheets fast post-lockdown and the right imagery can help that.”
Showcasing a golf course with professional images and video content on the website and across social media could be the difference between a four ball of nomad golfers choosing one course over another, and this is where Maclaine excels.
Through his golf footage from both the air and the ground, Maclaine has presented course layouts in such unique detail that even long-time existing members have struggled to match-up the course they walk each week with his work. The Armagh native’s ability to capture a course like it’s never been seen before is unparalleled and a gift to golf clubs seeking a face-lift without wanting to dig up their turf.
“Clubs would be amazed with the amount of content I generate in a day,” Maclaine says. “I’ve been photographing corporate and private golf outings for years which is another source of varied content. These action shots throughout a round give a real insight into the shots you could end up playing.
“The drone has given me the opportunity to capture images I’ve visualized for years, as well as creating video content. Hole–by–hole flybys and a promotional video is a great marketing tool. I also include a series of shorter video clips which can be used to freshen up a club’s social media content over the course of a season.”
Maclaine has already been entrusted with a contract to shine a light on Narin and Portnoo when restrictions allow while his impressive portfolio in golf extends from stunning locations like Waterville to further afield gems like Spyglass Hill. And although not every club can match the spending power of such golfing institutions, Maclaine remains adamant that if a course decides to invest in its photography, then they won’t be long seeing a return on that investment.
“I feel every course should have professional images of their course and highlight what they have to offer in the best possible light,” he concludes. “Not every course has a budget for professional photography but if a director of golf found that they were getting an extra 50 rounds per year simply from the images and video that visitors viewed, or it peaked the interest for just one new member, then their professional photography has paid for itself.
“The new content has no time limit and just requires updating as and when a course feels the need. Lots of courses have made changes during lockdown and will never have looked better when they reopen. I see photography and video content as a long term investment for every club.”
For more information on Mel’s work, visit www.momentumgolfphotography.ie or follow on social: Instagram momentumgolfphotography / Twitter @melmaclaine / Linkedin www.linkedin.com/in/melmaclaine/