13 amazing golf photos from our staff’s phones this year (and the stories behind them)

best staff photos

Picture perfect! Some 2022 snaps from our staff.

Like any golf nuts, GOLF.com’s staff members often find themselves wearing out their phone shutters when they visit cool golfy places — courses, tournaments, ranges, resorts, whatever. As we put on bow on 2022, we asked our fleet of writers, editors and video producers to browse their personal catalogs of golf photos from the past 12 months and identify a favorite snap. This is the GOLF staff’s year in pictures …

Use the force, Luke

luke list

This is Luke List, winner at Torrey Pines, sizing up his pavement lie and a potential punch shot under a vehicle along the right side of 18 at North Berwick, in Scotland. Joel Dahmen, my pro (I was looping that week), and Luke’s caddie, Jeff Willett, watch on in “Is he really gonna …?” disbelief. It proves that, yes, you can have a helluva lot of fun after a missed cut. — Sean Zak

Point very much proven

On a chamber of commerce day in December, I checked off the top course on my bucket list: Cypress Point. The magical stroll around this MacKenzie gem, with an affable foursome who kept the friendly banter flowing, made this round everything I’d hoped it would be. Cypress is one of the few spots on Earth that live up to the hype — and then some. — Jonathan Wall

Mom, Dad and … the Masters

This is a photo of me and my parents at the Masters, which they attended for the first time in 2022. This trip was a long time coming for Mom and Dad, who worked extraordinarily hard for me to have the life I now lead — and who dreamed of attending the Masters for longer than I’ve been alive. Of the many grateful moments I’ve had in these last 12 months, our day at Augusta National ranks at the top of the list. This photo was part of their Christmas gift. Waterworks were flowing. — James Colgan

Having a ball

The week of the Genesis Invitational was pivotal for the future of the professional game. That was the week the Phil comments came out, the week the LIV thing became real, the week pros started choosing sides, the week it all began to play out in public. But one thing that also happened that week was Joel Dahmen’s caddie, Geno Bonnalie, flagging down Rory McIlroy on the range to autograph his CJ Cup football. A CJ Cup football! Even though the drama surrounding pro golf has heightened, most of the day-to-day is still pleasant and mundane. Sharpies and ranges and memorabilia. Also — loopy signature!  — Dylan Dethier

Rarefied air

augusta from above

Before this year, I’d taken in quite a few Masters but never from 1,500 feet above the event. That changed in April when my colleague Connor Federico and I hitched a ride with pilot David Dobbins in his Cessna Skyhawk on Friday of tournament week. The greens looked green, the bunkers like salt bowls and the patrons like ants. Augusta National is a different world from the ground. Same goes from the sky. — Alan Bastable

Rules followers

This isn’t the first time my favorite golf photo of the year has involved one of my kids, but it is the first time it features both of them! In October, we took my daughter and son, 6 and 2, to Topgolf for the first time. I wasn’t sure how it would go in terms of their attention spans, but I was blown away by how much they loved it, and how focused they were on every swing. I love this photo mostly because it shows how willing my little guy was to wait patiently behind the red line for his turn to swing. Taking turns isn’t something that comes naturally to kids at this age, but somehow Topgolf’s magic made them especially amenable to following rules and — gasp! — sharing the mat. A true miracle. The whole night was a blast and a great foundation for the kids’ golfy futures. They already can’t wait to go back, and neither can I. — Jessica Marksbury

What a snap!

Golfers can’t take their eyes off of gators — witness this YouTube video we posted a few years back that has racked up 30 million views. I had my first encounter with a course gator this spring. While many of my coworkers enjoyed their week covering the Masters at Augusta National, I spent my Masters week looking for the best Augusta-area tracks at which to tee it up. I really enjoyed the gritty 18 at Applewood Golf Course in Keysville, Ga. My local playing partners were excited to take this New Yorker as close as possible to the large, napping reptile laying out near the water on 14. When we hit the brakes on the cart, that was the only split second this gator opened his (her?) eyes, and it couldn’t be less bothered by our presence. I snapped this picture, and fortunately our new friend didn’t return the favor. — Connor Federico

Tiger in the flesh

tiger woods
Darren Riehl

Tiger’s first practice round ahead of the PGA Championship was the first time I saw him in the flesh. Two things were clear as I followed him around Southern Hills. Physically, this isn’t the same Tiger I grew up watching, but his focus was as sharp as ever. He wasn’t out in the Tulsa heat testing his surgically repaired leg just to make an appearance for the fans. He was there to try to win the tournament.  — Darren Riehl  

Pennsylvania classic


Back in May, my fellow GOLF editor James Colgan and I were lucky enough to tee it up at Merion. (This is our group at the famed par-3 13th.) The weather was perfect, the course was pure and the company even better. The scores might not have been what we’d hoped for, but the day was still an all-timer. — Zephyr Melton

High slope rating

These photos were taken about one hour and 40 minutes apart in time and about 5,500 feet apart in elevation. Two of the best parts about living in Bend, Ore. (as I did until earlier this year), were the great golf and great skiing — and thanks to a gnarly ridge of high pressure in February, we were able to “ski and tee” daily. I actually had hoped to wear the same sweatshirt I wore on the summit of Mt. Bachelor to the golf course, but it was just too warm that day. — Jack Hirsh

Fireworks at the 5th

tim reilly

This year, I celebrated July 4th with red, white and … well, my first hole in one from the blue tees at Lido Golf Course, on Long Island. The 5th hole was playing 155 yards that day, a perfect 8-iron for me. In the air, I knew the shot was good. But the green is perched just high enough that we couldn’t tell if the ball went in or not. I was playing with my childhood friend, Matt Bergin, who was next up on the tee and slow-played his shot to build anticipation. It was well worth the wait. Bingo. In the jar. Without thinking, I teed that same ball up on the next hole with water and hazards well within reach. Luckily, my shot landed safely, and the ball was tucked away for safe keeping.  — Tim Reilly

Flamingo kids

Although I have some memorable pictures from majors and beautiful golf courses from 2022, my favorite golf snap of the year comes from a 36-hole event I played in with my friend Nigel. Nigel and I are both Toronto-area 30-something dads who love the game but don’t travel to play it. That in mind, the goal for our mini-excursion was simple: maximum fun! With months to plan, we made the most of it, from where we would stay to where we would eat, but the finishing touch came from by way of a text from Nigel a couple of weeks before our trip. “So,” he wrote, “what if we did matching shirts for the afternoon alternate shot?” My reply was a quick, “100 percent yes!” at which point pink flamingos flooded my phone. Perfect. I truly believe the best days on a golf course are those where you’re so busy enjoying the game and the people around you that you forget to take pictures. This was one of those days — well, except for this quick selfie I snapped with the help of my magnetic phone case. Two buds just having fun through golf. What more could you ask for? — Ryan Barath

Drinking buddies

I mean, how do you NOT pick the photo of you and a world top 100 player drinking beers? Earlier this year, I had learned that Gemma Dryburgh was sponsored by St. Andrews Brewing Co. For years, I’ve knownIenjoy suds. So, I reached out. We tipped one back and talked golf and brews. Then, in November, she won the Toto Japan Classic, and at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, Dryburgh finished a strong T7. I can’t imagine the celebration. — Nick Piastowski

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