Inside the Ropes
Last month at the Foreign Correspondents' Club, Hong Kong-based golf photographer Richard Castka exhibited a selection of images from his 20-plus years of covering the major tours and capturing world-class courses. Alex Jenkins spoke with the well-travelled lensman, owner of the largest independent golf archive in Asia.
What is your favourite tournament to work at?
The Dubai Desert Classic, with the Hong Kong Open being a close second. The course in Dubai [the Majlis at the Emirates Golf Club] is manicured for the event and there is always a good field. The media are also very well looked after. As with Fanling, it's easy to swap from front nine to back nine by crossing a couple of fairways, which is important when someone makes a few birdies on the nine you're not working on. And like Fanling, the course is easy to walk because it's generally quite flat. I missed this year's event as it clashed with something else, but I think I've covered the previous 11 events there.
The US Open is my favourite major. The courses are always tough – it's proper golf, where par should be the winning score. The field is of course excellent and media are treated very well.
And your favourite course to shoot?
Difficult to say as there are so many. I really enjoyed Chiangmai Highlands, as it was in great condition and the weather was ideal when I was there. Same goes for Ria Bintan. Pebble Beach was in immaculate condition when I first shot it the week before the US Amateur in 1999.
Course shoots succeed or fail because of two things – the condition the course is in and the weather you have to work with at the time. Asia is usually the hardest part of the world to capture course images because of air pollution, which kills the light at the start and the end of the day when you need it most.
Written by Alex Jenkins
Photography by Richard Castka
Click here to see the published article.
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