Life behind the camera

This Golf Digest photographer earned an amazing career honor. Have a look to see why

Dom Furore was named the 2024 PGA of America Lifetime Achievement Award winner in photojournalism. Here are some of his favorite photos, with a few stories behind the images
February 02, 2024

As you talk to Dom Furore about his favorite photographs taken during his 35 years at Golf Digest, the tone in his voice rises slightly as the enthusiasm for his craft comes come to life. Take for example when he discusses the picture he made of Arnold Palmer at the Masters in 2002. It was Palmer’s first farewell to the tournament, Augusta National officials temporarily changing the rules on lifetime exemptions for past champions. Furore was assigned Palmer and was following him during the Par-3 Contest. Palmer was wearing a bright yellow shirt that got Furore thinking as he saw a bed of yellow flowers on a hill along one of the holes.

“I sat there with other people, practicing to see how it would frame up {as they walked down the steps through the flowers] and where the best place there would be for an opening where he was not too covered.” When Palmer arrived, Furore had his moment.


Dom Furore

“I just got lucky,” he mused.

You catch Furore saying that part about luck quite a lot, the 64-year-old showing himself fluent in modesty. However, to be named last month the PGA of America’s 2024 winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Photojournalism, joining Leonard Kamsler, David Cannon and Golf Digest colleague Stephen Szurlej as just the fourth honoree, requires more than luck. It necessitates patience, persistence, talent and ingenuity.

Like the time that he took this photo of the patrons at the Masters in 2017, one that demanded the camera remain absolutely still to allow for an exposure of four or five seconds.


Dom Furore

Furore had considered taking a photo like this at the British Open one year, but tried it instead at Augusta National. The challenge, however, was that tournament officials don’t allow photographers to take tripods on the course. Furore started mulling an alternative after going to a sporting-goods story. There he saw a brace that hunters use to lean a stand against the truck of a tree. He used the brace to lean a monopod in a similar fashion, setting up the same stillness as a tripod.

“The funny part was [other photographers] know you can’t use a tripod, and I would be out there shooting and more than once a friend would come by and start laughing or shaking his head and say ‘that’s pretty good.’ ” Furore got a similar reaction from a Masters official who talked to him after the photo was published. “At one point, he says to me in the press room, ‘So you can’t use tripods, right?’ and I said ‘right.’ And he goes to me ‘good one.’ He turned around and walked about and it was like ‘you got us.’ ”


Dom Furore setting up to take a picture of Himalayan Golf Course in Nepal.

Furore will be honored formally in April during the Golf Writers Association of America’s Annual Award Dinner in April. “I’m still kind of coming to terms with it,” he said from his home in Michigan last month.

Just as captivating as his photos themselves often are the stories behind them. Below are some of Furore’s favorites from over the years with a little context behind some of them. We know you’ll enjoy them just the way our readers have been doing so throughout Furore’s career at Golf Digest.

Tiger Woods, 2004 Masters


Dom Furore

“There’s a lens called a tilt shift lens. They correct perspective and you can change the focus plane on it, but they’re usually not really long. So I took my longest tilt shift lens and I put a telephoto converter on it, so it turns it into a longer lens. So instead of being an 85 it was a 170 milimeter lens. And I went out and changed the focus and just kind of played around. It’s a real common thing to do now but honestly at the time I did it, I don’t think anybody had done a sports picture that way. … But I saw the shot, I got a shot … I can’t remember who I got it of. I had that same picture of somebody else. I kept watching the tee times every morning because I needed Tiger to be coming through that time of day. And then I needed Tiger to land in the right spot. If he hit it a little short, he would have been in shade and it wouldn’t have been a good picture.”

Jack Nicklaus, flying to Russia, 2004


“That one to me … you know how many hours he’s spent on that airplane. … I know what it’s like to just be sitting in a plane all the time. It’s not what everybody thinks it is. And that was one of those pictures … I was in the back with the guys and I could see through and I could see he was looking out and I was like ‘that would be a good picture.’ So I get up and I’m acting like I’m going to the cabin because at that time I was buddies with the pilots. And I acted like I went … and I went by he nodded, and I bullshitted with the guys up front for a few minutes, but I really wanted to get that shot. And I’m looking over the back of my shoulder making sure he wasn’t looking at me, and then I turned around and bang. I love pictures like that because it wasn’t set up. It’s not like I got a whole bunch of frames where I’m like ‘look at the mat, look out the window.’ It’s a real picture. And it isn’t very often you get to take real pictures any more.”

Tiger (age 16) and Earl Woods, 1992


“Probably the favorite picture I’ve ever taken is Tiger and Earl sitting in front of his house. That was a long time ago. I went there, I’ve never worked with Tiger before, he’s this young kid, in high school, and Earl pretty much handed me off. Earl didn’t linger around that day. … It was late in the day, and he had a dog. I get him in front of the house and take pictures with the dog, and Earl comes out and I say, ‘Come on Earl, let’s take a picture of the two of you together. I don’t remember what I said or what I did, but I got Earl laughing. And the thing I love about that picture is there is no swooshes. No super expensive watches. Look at Tiger’s watch, look at Earl’s watch. Look at the hat. … To me that picture just kind of sums up their relationship to me. I just really like that one.”

Fog over the Old Course's Swilcan Bridge, 2014

Dustin Johnson

Dom Furore

“I was shooting the course. You know St. Andrews, you get bad weather and there’s nothing to do. And you don’t want to go out in bad weather all time because your equipment is going to get wet. But after being stuck with bad weather for a while, I was like, I’m just going to go out and get a foggy picture."

Himalayan Golf Course, 2013

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"That’s Nepal. That was part of my black and white series. I decide I needed to do the Himalayas, that was my pitch. And to be honest, I always wanted to go to Nepal and those places. I kind of brought up going to Nepal in a meeting. I was serious but kind of in a kidding way. And John Barton [an editor at the time] said that he knew there was a golf course there. We didn’t know if the course was going to be any good. It didn’t matter if the course sucked, as long as there were mountains in the background. And we went online and found a little website for this course but in no place in the pictures on the website were there any mountains. But we looked at a map and felt like there had to be mountains.”

Shiskine, Isle of Arran, Scotland, 2013

Hebridies Islands

Dom Furore

"I’ve never seen that angle of the course before. We hiked up a goat trail going up to it. We went up there, waited a long time, the sun never came out. We hiked up there two or three times and got a little silver of sun. I needed some highlights on the water and the green. But it was cold and rainy and windy and we’re up there leaning against a cliff basically, and we’re freezing our ass off.”

Asking Furore to whittle down his favorite images to a select few was tricky, like asking which of your children you love most. But here are a few other images he takes pride in from a career's worth of exceptional work.