Friday, 01 December 2017
European Tour Photo of the Year 2017  (European Tour)
European Tour Photo of the Year 2017 (European Tour)

Each day from December 1st to 24th, we will be profiling the best photography from the European Tour in 2017. Every night at 9pm, we will count down the 24 best photos of the year. Hear from the photographer as to what contributed to the photo and how the image was captured.

Stay tuned on social media as well, using the hashtag #ETPhotoOfTheYear.

24. Rooftop tee

Photographer: Warren Little, Getty Images


"The tee box on the 16th tee at the Turkish Airlines Open has a rather fantastically placed location. Positioned on top of a villa the players climb to the top to tee off. The issue is capturing the location. It's easier said than done. You cannot simply get everything in the picture you need: the player, the height, the pool below. So, after some consideration, I discovered a better option. I contacted the hotel nearby the course and was able to get onto the balcony of a vacant room to shoot this angle, which enables you to see the whole location, with pool below, in one frame."

23. Six love

Photographer: Will Pearson, European Tour


“At the end of a ground-breaking week in the inaugural #GolfSixes, it was the Danish side made up of Thorbjørn Olesen and Lucas Bjerregaard who came out on top in the quick-fire, team match play event. Looking for a shot to accurately capture everything this tournament was about, we took the winning duo on to the balcony overlooking Centurion Club and fired off a phone triggered #GoPro selfie. The big smiles, the red and white team uniforms and the vibrant ‘6’ trophy told a great story of camaraderie and success - both for Denmark and the first edition of the innovative event.”

22. Downtown surfing

Photographer: Simon Hoffman, Getty Images


“The photo was taken as a preview for the BMW International Open in Munich. Rafa Cabrera Bello joined Tao Schirrmacher, a Munich local and European Champion in river surfing, for a surfing session at Eisbach, Munich. After only a few tries, Rafa made it to surf the standing wave and really enjoyed it. Even after the filming crew was wrapped, Rafa still wanted to continue surfing. It was a great experience to cover this preview event, standing with my legs in the river to get a closer shot.”

21. The Rory Effect

Photographer: Warren Little, Getty Images


“Rory McIlroy is big news and in South Africa it’s no different. They love watching sport. The high location of a TV tower gave me the angle to capture the massive crowds following Rory’s group. To isolate Rory and his swing I used a very slow shutter speed which, while zooming the lens in carefully keeping it centred on Rory, gives the image a zoomed, soft focus. It’s a bit of a risk taking this shot as it’s easy to move or shake and you lose the quality of the central part of the photo. However, it’s worth it when you get shots like this. I really felt it help capture the attention Rory was getting all week.”

20. Nature's bunker

Photographer: Stuart Franklin, Getty Images


“This picture was taken on the 16th in the Rocco Forte Open in Sicily. At certain times of the day the wind can blow pretty strong off the ocean. I was on the other side of the fairway when I saw how close the ball had come to going down on the beach below. I choose to take the picture from a way back to show the beach, the cliffs as well as the hole. There's not many chances to capture a shot like this and it came out great with all the various elements.”

19. Hideki in Ireland

Photographer: Ross Kinnaird, Getty Images


“Capturing an image of Hideki Matsuyama in ‘splendid isolation’ is a challenge at any tournament. He is followed by as many TV crews, photographers and golf fans as anyone in the game at the moment. To do this at Portstewart during The Irish Open was a pleasant surprise. It’s one of the best supported events on the European Tour. Even though Hideki found himself outside the rope line nobody bar his caddie ventured onto the magnificent sand dunes along side the fourth hole.”

18. Golf in the mountains

Photographer: Stuart Franklin, Getty Images


“Crans Montana is a course of many views, built part the way up a mountain. On a clear day you have amazing views down the valley. This shot on the 14th is one of the best view anywhere on Tour. I knew all week that I wanted to capture this shot and when Lee Westwood was on the hole, I set up half way down the fairway and tried to capture as much as I could in shot: the course, the player, the town, the mountains, it's just a stunning spot. Sometimes I am surprised that the players are as distracted by the views as much as I am.”

17. Record breakers

Photographer: Warren Little, Getty Images


“In Turkey this year, before the tournament started, we went out to catch the efforts of three international teams from England, South Africa and France trying to break the record for the fastest hole played by a team of four. As well enjoying the efforts, I was there to capture moments of the attempts and try and pick up on the moments of emotion and reaction. This was the perfect shot. It came when the lady from Guinness World Records broke the news to the teams that England had won. The English team took off running back down the hole and the other guys just held their heads in their hands. It was all in good spirit and a lot of fun. This photo perfectly summed up the moment.”

16: Skimming at Augusta

Photographer: Photographer: Andrew Redington, Getty Images


“The skipping of balls across the lake on the 16th hole has become a real crowd favourite on practice days and you can hear the chants of "Skip it!!" from 500 yards away. The photographers try and get a good angle to show what's happening and I was pleased to be head-on to show both the flag as well as Rory McIlroy watching his attempt. The symmetry of the evenly-spaced ripples was pure luck though.”

15: Champagne shower

Photographer: Richard Heathcote, Getty Sport


“I've covered The Nebank Golf Challenge many times over the years but since it’s inclusion in the final series of events leading to Dubai it seems to have stepped up another level. The South African crowd are brilliant and had been starved of a home winner for so long. When Branden got himself into the final group for Sunday you could feel the crowd urging him on. The reaction on 16green when he birdied whipped them up more, and when he sunk the winning putt on 18 his reaction of standing back arms out as his compatriots showered him in bubbly summed up the whole feeling of the event. I chose to convert this frame to black & white to emphasise the contrast between the champagne and the dark background, it really helps to focus on the moment of celebration..”

14: A touch of class

Photographer: Daniel Mullen, Getty Images


“This picture was taken at Royal Birkdale ealier this year. For The Open it really is a team effort for Getty especially when it comes to the winning putt and the trophy presentation, with 5 of us positioned around the 18th. I was allocated a spot in the grandstand shooting down on the final hole. Once the official presentations had been completed following Jordan’s victory he walked around the hole showing the Claret Jug to the fans. Luckily he made his way over to a group of fans just beneath my position, amongst the thousands of fans gathered around the 18th was a young boy on his dad’s shoulders. Jordan went over to high five the young boy who then reached out to touch the famous trophy. A moment I’m sure that boy will never forget.”

13: No pain, no gain

Photographer: Kristoffer Broberg, Golfer


“This photo was taken by Kristoffer Broberg of fellow Swede Alex Noren's hands after a particularly long practice session, the day before the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Noren is known as one of the hardest workers on Tour and has said before that he now often wears two gloves during practice to protect his hands from the effects of hitting hundreds of shots in a day.”

12: Guard of honour

Photographer: Ricardo Gouveia, Golfer


“This photo was taken at Ricardo Gouveia's wedding in September. His friends and family formed a guard-of-honour using golf clubs to greet him and his wife as their left the church in Portugal.”

11: Oh Snap

Photographer: Matthew Harris, Golf Picture Library


“Henrik Stenson's tee shot at the par 5, 15th had finished close to the tree. Predicting that he would play for the most direct route back to the fairway I moved into position, adjusting my long telephoto lens to allow a high shutter speed to the 1/2000th second to capture the most important part - his wedge hitting the tree.”

10: The Winning Feeling

Photographer: Lintao Zhang, Getty Images


“This photo was taken on the final day of the Volvo China Open, Alexander Levy played very well of the final day, So based on experience, I was following him on the 18th hole, I was using a Canon 1DX camera and a 70-200 lens, I wanted to shoot winner players to celebrate front board and fans in the background, so using a wider lens.Fortunately, Levy won the championship, I also photographed a very good moment. ”

9: A wave to the king

Photographer: Andrew Redington, Getty Images


“The atmosphere on the first tee was very sombre. The usual anticipation and excitement of the coming week, were missing because it was all about who wasn't there: the much-loved Arnold Palmer had passed away in September. In a very poignant and emotional gesture, Augusta National had arranged for Palmer's green jacket to be placed on the first tee by the club Chairman and Arnie's widow. There wasn't a dry eye in the house as Jack Nicklaus raised his cap to the sky as a tribute to his great friend and I was lucky to have a good angle to capture the moment. ”

8: Noren watching Noren

Photographer: Richard Heathcote, Getty Images


“Noren, The BMW Championship has form for incredible final rounds and winners from far back. I was following the leading groups when Alex shot through the field with his low round so didn’t get to see him sink the winning putt. Once the presentation was over the winner goes to the bridge to spray champagne, something that looks good on a long lens from further away. As I walked around to get a position I noticed that Noren’s face was one of the players on the back of the huge 18th grandstand. From there is was just a matter of getting the right position when Alex’s popped the cork and celebrated his amazing victory. ”

7: Rainbow over St Andrews

Photographer: Warren Little, Getty Images


“It was late in the day and drawing to a close we got a nice drenching of rain to finish the day off. Not very welcomed, but with that and a very quick burst of sunshine a rainbow appeared over the R&A clubhouse in the perfect position. This made for a very opportunistic image, and was happy to be there! ”

6: Guarded

Photographer: Stuart Franklin, Getty Images


“This picture was taken on the 17th hole in Delhi, India. It’s a bit of a crazy hole that’s known as the quarry. The green is very small and has water to the players right, and a bunker just short. There are many angles I shot this hole throughout the week but this angle from below shows just how obscure not to mention unique this hole really is…. Sometimes it's hard to believe that there really is a green hidden in there. ”

5: From the range

Photographer: Stuart Franklin, Getty Images


“This shot of Jordan Spieth is for me really the shot of The Open and one which will be remembered for hopefully a long time. He had just played a very wild tee shot on the 13th hole missing the fairway by miles. His ball ended up on a big mound surrounded by a lot of people. He had a poor lie and no view of the green and after much discussion with the rules official decided to take a drop back by the driving range. This took quite a while to find the correct spot but in the end he decided close to the Titleist van which is one of his sponsors. I chose to include this in the picture to show he was on the range and also to show that he had really no view of the green. With all the noise and movement around him he was totally focused on what he had to do. Impressively he went on to birdie the next hole followed by an eagle which lead him to becoming The Champion golfer of the year. ”

4: Best day ever

Photographer: Nine year old Arron Mansfield


“ Ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club, we decided to give Aaron a day he would never, ever forget. The video which features his favourite golfers - Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer and Andrew “BEEF!” Johnston went onto be the most watched social media video ever produced by the European Tour with over 8 million views. The final scene in the video is this selfie taken by Arron on the 18th green at Wentworth. ”

3. For you Seve

Photographer: Harry How, Getty Images


“ When Sergio won the Masters, he gave all of us a few moments that were great for summing up his achievement. This shot came about at the presentation when he finally received the trophy and the jacket and gave a little look the sky. I happened to be position low on the back of the green and knew I’d be able to capture the moon in the shot as well. I had no idea it would work so perfectly that the image would look as if he was looking directly at the sun. It was certainly a case of right place, right time and created a lovely shot for the story of Sergio winning on the day Seve would have turned 60.” 

2. The Eiffel Tower 

Photographer: Thomas Bjørn, Europe Ryder Cup Captain


“The duties as Ryder Cup captain are far reaching, no more so than at the Year to Go event this year in Paris. The PR stunt required Jim Furyk and I to recreate history by hitting shots off the world-renowned structure, the Eiffel Tower just as Arnold Palmer did 41 years ago. Standing on a purpose built platform high above Paris was a truly amazing experience and something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

1. Sergio - Masters champion 

Photographer: David Cannon, Getty Images


“Augusta National rarely fails to bring the photographer great opportunities. This year was a special finish with Sergio and Justin playing so well and finish up in the play-off. I always have the ‘late arrival’ position as I try to shoot the 72nd hole tee shot of the winner, meaning that I am right side of the green which historically is the less promising position on the final green with the final day pin position. Not being allowed inside the ropes we have to be well prepared and I was lucky this time as the sheer natural exuberance of Sergio’s moment of triumph meant that he celebrated for many seconds and actually turned towards me for this memorable picture! Gratias Sergio!”

That concludes our countdown of the European Tour Photo of the Year.

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