Four decades ago, Joann Dost left life on the LPGA TOUR, deciding to take shots with a camera instead of a golf club. Dost honed her hobby on the Monterey Peninsula, and her fetching photography caught the eye of none other than Ansel Adams.
A chance meeting with Ansel Adams, who liked her work, led to her invitation to photograph for the 1982 U.S. Open book for Pebble Beach. “Ansel actually called Clint Eastwood, who was involved with the project, and recommended me for the job,” says Joann proudly.
Dost’s unique ability to see golf course architecture as both an experienced student of the game and an artist quickly set her apart. Today, she is one of the most recognized golf course photographers in the world. And while she travels all over the globe to shoot golf courses, Pebble Beach is in her backyard.
As Dost wrote in The Ultimate Round: Pebble Beach Golf Links, which features her stunning photography:
I have to pinch myself sometimes to verify that I’m lucky enough to live in proximity to Pebble Beach and photograph it time and again, in all its beauty and drama, in every season, and as a backdrop for continued golf history in the making.
We caught up with Dost, and she was kind enough to share her 10 favorite shots taken at Pebble Beach Resorts over the years. Here they are, with some background about each shot in her own words:
THE LODGE AT PEBBLE BEACH
Being an East Coast native, I think I’ve always been drawn to the traditional style of The Lodge. I created this photo for the marketing department, and enjoyed circling the building, looking at all of the wonderful angles. So often I’m focused on the golf course, so it was refreshing to shoot this architectural image and think of all the happy memories I’ve had visiting clients and friends at The Lodge, as well as all the history it holds.
PEBBLE BEACH AND THE MONTEREY BAY
Aerial photography has always been one of my favorite ways to shoot. For decades, I went up in helicopters all across the country and internationally, looking at courses and sites from the air. I always enjoyed the thrill of the experience, and the unique vantage point it afforded. Drone photography allows us to see all new perspectives from the air, but directing an aerial shoot from the ground will never be the same as all of the adventures I had with pilots creating dramatic images. This image is great to illustrate the location of Pebble Beach on the Monterey Peninsula, with Stillwater Cove in the foreground and the Monterey Bay in the background.
This image is a great example of the patterns and shapes that you see from the air. I’ve always enjoyed shooting Pebble from helicopters, seeing the play of water, land and light in different seasons. The arrowhead peninsula is photogenic from so many angles, but this shot struck me as unique.
THE NEW 5TH HOLE AT PEBBLE BEACH
It was so great back in 1999 when Pebble Beach re-opened the fifth hole after it was redesigned and moved to the coast, connecting more of the course along the water. The new hole is such a beautiful par-3 overlooking Stillwater Cove. The way the green is framed with the live oak trees always provides a great composition.
THE 18TH HOLE AT PEBBLE BEACH
This is one of my favorite finishing holes. I’ll often shoot Pebble Beach in the winter when the storms roll in from the Pacific Ocean and diffuse the light with moody mists, making for beautiful photos such as this. The handsome cypress on 18 is striking against the rising sun.
THE BAGPIPER AT SPANISH BAY
It is such a special ritual at The Inn at Spanish Bay to have the bagpiper play each night at sunset. I’ve always enjoyed how being on the coast and hearing the music waft in the twilight seems to transport you to the British Isles. This shot was created on a dramatic winter evening, and is one of my favorites.
PEBBLE BEACH AND THE CARMEL BAY
Dinner at Stillwater Bar & Grill overlooking the illuminated cypress tree on No. 18 at Pebble Beach is a special treat for anyone who has experienced it. The food and atmosphere are excellent, and this view, looking on toward a lit Carmel over the bay, is one of the most wonderful spots I know of for a memorable meal and evening. Shooting this night image required some technical tricks, and I’m pleased with how it turned out. The photo has been very popular at the Images of Pebble Beach gallery.
THE 7TH HOLE AT PEBBLE BEACH
Here is a special shot that came about during a winter storm when the light was just magical. I call it “Gilded Green” as the green on No. 7 was just lit up as if by a golden reflection. Later, this shot was published with a story that The Wall Street Journal wrote about me. I was honored to have my art showcased in the newspaper, and glad that they chose this wonderful image to share with their readers, who may not usually see golf landscape photos.
THE LONE CYPRESS
The Lone Cypress is always a great subject! This image is one of my favorites, with how creamy the colors became with my long exposure. It almost looks like a painting. No matter how many times I shoot this tree, it never disappoints and always inspires.
Again, Pebble Beach Company hired me to create a shoot of 17-Mile Drive for marketing. It was a pleasure to scout and shoot along this historic route and document some of the many landmarks along the road. The storm-worn shapes of the cypress trees sometimes create very unique graphic elements in the coastal landscape. This image is one example.
Where’s your favorite spot to shoot around Pebble Beach Resorts?