Golf courses are unique sporting arenas filled with many individual challenges, so it’s little wonder that just about every golfer has their favourite selection of holes.
Whether it’s because of an exceptional shot, memorable moment or just an incredibly well-designed piece of land, ask any lover of the game and they will be able to rattle off their own personal list of holes they hold dearest.
That’s why Melbourne-based artist Melissa Doyle is immortalising people’s favourite golf holes with her stunning canvas paintings.
“Because of people’s love for golf and their connection with it, I think, for me, if I can create really beautiful paintings that mean something special for people, then that’s what I’m really excited about,” Doyle, who has been painting for over 20 years, told Golf Australia magazine.
“I was drawn to golf because of the beautiful landscapes. I’ve also got lots of family members who are crazy into golf and they’re always showing me photos of these beautiful, picturesque courses. Obviously, like plenty of other people, I’m really attracted to ocean courses. But I’ve looked at so many beautiful photos of courses in the countryside, too.”
Doyle has held many successful exhibitions, completed a wide variety of commissions and studied painting techniques in Munich and the UK – all of which has culminated with her developing own her unique method.
“I just really want to create paintings that mean a lot to people. I use photo references, draw up a really precise sketch and then transfer that sketch onto the canvas before there’s any paint involved. Once that’s sorted, I mix up all my different colours and try to find the right shades for the particular project,” Doyle said when asked about her process.
“There are so many different colours involved, so I mix them up and then record how I’ve made them so that I can make them again. Then I paint in layers. I put the first layer down and that gets the colours in the right place. Once that first layer dries, I go over it layer by layer, adding a bit more every time.”
When Doyle was first contacted by Golf Australia, she showed us some images of one of her paintings of the opening hole at Ocean Dunes. It was terrific, no doubt. But we wanted to put her skills to the test for ourselves, so we sent over some photos of another King Island gem – Cape Wickham Links – for her to paint.
It’s fair to say the result really speaks for itself.