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St Andrews sunrise wins BIGGA photo competition

12.05pm 6th December 2021 - People

An early morning image of sunrise over the Castle Course at St Andrews Links has been announced as the overall winner of BIGGA’s Annual Photographic Competition for 2021.

Taken by Course Manager Jonathan Wood, the image shows the course bathed in early morning light, with greenkeepers working in the background and atmospheric Scottish skies overhead. 

Wood said: “Working on a golf course, you get to see the most incredible sunrises and so my camera goes everywhere with me. It’s funny, I would change holes a lot because it was a good excuse to take my camera out and when I spotted that scene, I jumped out of the buggy and fired off a couple of shots. It was a good morning for it and I just knew it was going to be a good photo.

“I have always had an interest in photography and from a mental health point of view, photography has certainly helped me over the past two years. You don’t have to have a fancy camera, but it’s an excuse to go outside and you realise that in the bigger scheme of things we are quite small.”

Wood is now a two-time winner of BIGGA’s annual photo competition, having been successful in 2014 with an image he took while course manager at Trevose in Cornwall. He wins a Nikon digital camera worth £365 and a framed print of his image, to be presented during the BIGGA Welcome Celebration at BTME 2022 in January.

From competition entries received throughout the year, 24 finalists were chosen and put up for public voting on BIGGA’s social media channels. Photographer Mike Hyde of Carefree Golf Photography also lent his expertise to the judging process.

Joe Simpson of Ipswich Golf Club won the Greenkeeping category
Wallasey Golf Club greenkeeper Laura Sayer-Hall won the Wildlife award with her photo of a pair of deer on the tee at Ardfin Golf Club on the Isle of Jura in Scotland

He explained why Wood’s entry was the pick of the bunch. He said: “When I shoot, I try and create imagery that evokes emotion and this picture absolutely does that for me. It stirs a desire to get out and play golf, although I would probably rather be taking photographs in that light!”

For the first time, entries into the competition were divided into three categories: Greenkeeping, Landscape and Wildlife.

While Woods photograph won the Landscape category, Joe Simpson of Ipswich Golf Club won the Greenkeeping category and Laura Sayer-Hall of Wallasey Golf Club won the Wildlife category. Category winners all receive a £150 shopping voucher.

Twelve images were selected for the BIGGA 2022 desktop calendar, which is distributed with the January edition of Greenkeeper International, the monthly magazine for members of the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association.

Registration for BTME 2022 and the associated Continue to Learn education programme is open. The event takes place from January 23-27. For details, visit

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