The 19th Hole Episode I : Patrick Koenig -
Welcome to the first episode of our all new interview series, "The 19th Hole". Join us as we get cosy with some of the golf industries most influential (and stylish) personalities. First in our series is our good friend, golf blogger and photographer Patrick Koenig. Whilst visiting some stunning courses in Lake Tahoe last week for his wildly popular online golf journal, Patrick took some time out to have a catchup with us whilst we asked him a few questions!
Image Credits: Patrick Koenig
RA: Apart from your golf clubs, what can you never leave the house without before heading to the golf course?
Patrick: That’s an easy one, my camera! My camera bag with my drone and all my other photography equipment – In the past I would just play golf and enjoy myself like any normal golfer would, but then when I started taking pictures, I started to appreciate golf in a whole new light. I'd start shooting all the different courses we played and capturing those moments with the people you love to play golf with – that really changed my outlook on golf as a whole. I was able to share these moments with other people and it turned into this great community. I've been able to meet so many interesting people, these people love golf just as much as I do and it’s snowballed into this really cool thing that I’ve been able to make a career out of.
RA: When did you begin to combine your love of photography and golf?
I’ve always liked to take pictures, there's something about taking a moment with you that I think is pretty powerful, I think a lot of people do in this day and age. Then once I started getting a following on Instagram I started thinking “Man, I should get some better photography, I don’t know anything!” There is a lot to learn and I look back now and think some of my older work is awful, but it was just a different style. I always had the eye for looking at courses in a unique way, which I thought was special but golf was the big thing, once I started doing that then I really jumped into photography and understood what it really meant to be a professional photographer.
RA: Who is the most interesting person that you have played a round of golf with?
Patrick: A lot of interesting people but none more interesting than Bill Murray! I had a chance to play The Old Course with him last year. I’m one of those guys that freaks out when you see any celebrity, right? But I think Bill Murray is on a different level…growing up watching films like Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, he’s one of the world’s greatest comedians and to spend 4.5 hours with him on The Old Course was just great. Bill’s instinct is comedy, when you ask him a question 80% of the time he’s going to come back with something you laugh at, it’s like a 4 hour comedy show! But the real treat is that you get to learn he’s just a normal person like you and I, that was the coolest thing, golf brings that out in people. It’s interesting, you can go out on the golf course with some celebrities and two, three holes into the game, you’re all just a bunch golfers trying to get the ball in the hole. It’s a powerful game in that regard.
Image Credits: Golf.com
RA: Do you have a favourite golf course?
Patrick: Most people have heard of Pebble Beach, however there is another course around 5 or 6 miles south of Pebble Beach called Cypress Point - it’s a private club with one of the most stunning finishes, the 15th, 16th and 17th will just have your jaw down on the green the entire time!
RA: Are there any courses left on your bucket list, or have you played them all already?
Patrick: Oh yeah, I will die before I say I’ve played every course that I want to play! There are around 50 courses left in the States that I’d love to play and the funniest thing about it is when I finally get to play through those 50, there will probably be 50 more, it seems to be never ending! But a lot of the really interesting courses to me are international, places like China, especially having just started to build courses in the 80’s. Australia and New Zealand I haven’t been to, I’d love to go to the Sandbelt, it just pops out to me as this amazing place with beautiful views. My camera would long to be out there amongst the sand dunes and pure beauty and many of the other courses down under. You could write a whole piece on the courses I’d like to visit and photograph and haven’t!
RA: Is there a particular golfing event that you look forward to all year, whether that be playing or spectating?
Patrick: The Dunhill Links last year was really great – that’s where I got to play with Bill Murray and that was my first time going to that event - you see us Americans love celebrities and I feel like internationally, at least over in Scotland, they're not as crazy about it. Then we’ve got The Masters and everybody loves The Masters, right?! Luckily we will still get to watch Tiger defend his amazing victory later this year - The Masters is special and there is no doubt about that, any of the majors I’ve been to it’s been amazing to watch, those guys really compete when it matters the most.
RA: What is your opinion on strict dress codes for certain golf clubs?
Patrick: Well I think that everything has its place. I love a relaxed dress code, however there is a time and a place for proper attire and to respect the traditions of the game. A lot of places are exactly like that, you’ve got to dress up and behave like a proper gentleman and I think things were a bit more ubiquitous in the past - nowadays people don’t always want to do that, they show up to course barefoot and want to wear jean shorts, you know, they want to do fun stuff and I’m really for that because that's what brings people to the game. People can be themselves on the golf course, experimenting with their style and their golf shoes however they want too, and that’s really one of the more fun rounds of golf, when the golf courses don’t really give a damn about that sort of thing, they’re like “Hey, we’re not a premiere golf course but we are premiere when it comes to having a good time.” On the other hand I’d love to go to a nice course and follow the dress code and tradition, so you’ve got both sides. I think that's what's so cool about golf, with other sports like basketball, you have the same course, the same arena, where you all play on the same field in the same uniform, whereas in golf, we have wildly different venues to enjoy and completely different golf attire.
RA: Which attire do you prefer on the golf course, colour co-ordinated or the crazier the better?
Patrick: I colour co-ordinate, usually by accident, but I will mix it up a little bit, especially with my Royal Albartross shoes, The Woodley Blue, those things pop! So colour co-ordinated but little bit wacky too. Some of my favourite shirts have slightly bolder designs, I have a couple of shirts with some really cool patterns. That’s what I love about Royal Albartross, there's kind of a mix there, because there's ode to the tradition of the game whilst adding some cool pops of colour.
RA: What is your favourite pair of Royal Albartross golf shoes and why?
Patrick: I think I have 4 pairs at this point, the Driver 63 in green are hot, those are for a special occasions and it’s cool to try and figure out how to incorporate them into your outfit. The Woodley Blue I feel like you can add to a lot of great colours, those two are my favourites because they’re a little more bold, and they're so well made and comfortable.The first pair I had I wore them to death, The Cutler white I think they were. And they are all street friendly too!
Image Credits: Jeremy Lusk
Patrick: I never go spiked, I'm never slipping around in the mud, that doesn't happen. The effect on the greens was so noticeable when the world turned to spikeless, you’re like “Wow, the greens are unbelievably nice." There was one month in the 90’s when everybody started to switch golf shoes and then the greens were suddenly not dead, so why would I go back to the old ways?
Image Credits: Foreda Golf
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