And so I’ll start with one of my all time favorite photos — a view down the fairway of the second hole at Northwood in California. I had been intrigued by the description of this Alister MacKenzie nine holer, directly adjacent to the Bohemian Club, near Monte Rio, and alongside the Russian River. I started from Napa on a clear January morning, enjoying the beautiful countryside along the way, only to arrive at Northwood completely enveloped in fog. I decided to practice my putting for a while and see if it lifted. And then suddenly it started to lift, so I grabbed a golf cart and sped off down the first fairway to see what I could find. This photo is what I encountered on the second hole.
To me it represents so much of what I find alluring about golf: the physical beauty of a golf course, the target off in the distance on which you must focus your attention, the knowledge that generations of golfers have trod these fairways and seen the exact same scene. And in this particular case, the ghost of Alister MacKenzie in his timeless design, and the giant ancient Redwood trees standing sentinel just as they did when MacKenzie was laying out this track. This photo also, to me, perfectly represents the mysticism of golf, the ability to experience the transcendent. Much of golf literature is about trying to reach this state — perhaps in this one photo, I briefly attained it.