Focus on PGA of America Award-Winner

Dom Furore conducting a photo shoot with Tiger Woods.

Frisco, Texas, United States: The PGA of America has named Dom Furore as the fourth recipient of the PGA of America Lifetime Achievement Award in Photojournalism.

Furore and his distinguished career will be recognised in April during the 50th annual ISPS Handa GWAA Dinner in Augusta.

The PGA of America established the Lifetime Achievement Award in Photojournalism to recognise the vital role that photography plays in documenting the rich history of golf and to celebrate the individuals who have promoted the game at the highest level.

“Dom Furore has served as one of our game’s elite photojournalists for over three decades,” said John Lindert, President of the PGA of America, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

“Dom has demonstrated a spectacular ability to document countless memorable moments inside the ropes and highlight many of golf’s iconic figures off the course. On behalf of the PGA of America, I proudly congratulate Dom on this well-deserved recognition,” added Lindert, Director of Golf at The Country Club of Lansing.

Furore, 64, grew up in Mishawaka, Indiana, a factory town near South Bend. His journey towards a career in golf photography began in a department store while shopping with his mother, Mary. As Furore’s 12th birthday quickly approached, she asked her son what he’d like as his gift.

In perhaps a stroke of destiny, the two happened to be walking down the photo equipment aisle when a GAF Developing Kit caught Furore’s eye. Already a big fan of chemistry and a self-proclaimed ‘mad scientist’, Furore asked for the developing set for his birthday, thus beginning his passion for photography.

“I was fascinated by the whole chemical process and the magic of seeing a print come up in a tray,” said Furore. “I really only started taking pictures so I had film to develop. But after a while I realised, it’s kind of fun to take pictures too.”

Furore’s interest in photography continued to evolve throughout his teen years. He worked for his high school newspaper and yearbook before deciding he wanted to become a magazine photographer. He attended Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara where he majored in industrial and scientific photography, specialising in high-speed imaging.

“I really loved it because I grew up around and worked in factories,” said Furore. “I loved all of that mechanical stuff and I liked taking pictures of it.”

Following graduation, Furore embarked on a career in editorial photography and moved to Connecticut and New York to begin freelancing. An employee at a local photography lab encouraged him to pursue an open position with Golf Digest.

Furore went through the interview process, which included a discussion with 2023 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Photojournalism recipient, Stephen Szurlej. He officially began his tenure with Golf Digest in 1986.

In addition to covering golf’s Major championships, tournaments and golf courses for Golf Digest and its sister weekly publication, Golf World Magazine, Furore was often tasked with shooting many of the game’s stars away from the course.

These assignments took him across the world from Russia on a fishing trip with Jack Nicklaus and his sons, a 10-day trip to Thailand with Tida Woods and to Rwanda with Betsy King, who sponsored villages in need.

“I’ve been to so many places,” said Furore. “The career I imagined has grown into an amazing adventure.”

Furore soon took an interest in shooting golf courses at night, an uncommon task at the time. Inspired by renowned photographer O. Winston Link, who shot night photos of steam trains with giant flash bulbs, Furore decided to shoot Cypress Point as his homage to Link.

He talked longtime golf journalist Jim Moriarty into helping him, and the two went to Cypress during the evening while covering a Major championship at nearby Pebble Beach.

The two communicated via walkie talkies with Furore instructing Moriarty, who was stationed on a hill, when to push the button to make the camera open.

“You open the shutter and walk around with a flash and keep popping it off,” said Furore.

“I think I had over 1,000 flashes popped off to get that one picture. I’d be lighting up trees and I’d ask Jim: ‘What do you think?’ It took us a couple of nights to get it right. It was literally one camera, one piece of film.”

Furore eventually captured an iconic photo, which later won Life Magazine’s prestigious Alfred Eisenstaedt Award.

Those nights at Cypress Point were just one instance when Furore embraced the challenge of a complicated shoot. These types of assignments fuelled his passion for photography.

“I enjoy taking technically challenging photographs that my photographer friends know are really difficult to do,” said Furore. “It’s satisfying when they ask: ‘How did you do that?’ Photographic problem solving has always been fun for me.”

Furore’s career will forever be tied to one of golf’s greatest legends, Tiger Woods. He started working with Woods in 1992 when the young star was 16 years old.

Former Golf Digest Design Director Nick Didio requested that Furore travel to California to photograph Woods. Furore was tasked with shooting a swing sequence using a Hulcher high-speed film camera as well as some casual pictures. That swing sequence turned out to be the first sequence of Woods ever published in Golf Digest and it has appeared in the magazine several times since.

Furore originally planned to shoot Woods running, but back discomfort caused the two to change their plans. Furore pivoted to shoot pictures of Woods with his dog in front of the family home and a portrait of Tiger and his father, Earl.

“Those are two of my favourite photos of Tiger,” said Furore. “When I returned to the Golf Digest office I said: ‘He hits it a mile, but he’s already got back problems. I don’t think he’s going to last’.”

Over the next several decades, Furore worked closely with Woods on countless instruction articles for Golf Digest. He also photographed Woods for his instruction book, and spent time with Tiger and Earl at inner city outings for his foundation.

Furore travelled to Vietnam to photograph the family of Tiger’s namesake, Colonel Tiger Phong. Additional assignments with Woods over the years included his official portrait with his Major trophies, his wedding, and his family portrait when son, Charlie, was born.

For Furore, it’s been an incredible ride following a generational talent on and off the course.

“It all went way too fast, his dominance was incredible with no end in sight,” said Furore. “It ended way too soon. Looking back on it I probably took it for granted, but I’ve always remembered and seen him as that teenager I knew before all the fame.”

Furore joins past winners Szurlej (2023), David Cannon (2022) and Leonard Kamsler (2020) as recipients of the PGA of America’s Lifetime Achievement in Photojournalism Award.

Kamsler was a mentor to Furore, which makes this recognition extra meaningful. “I loved the guy,” said Furore. “Leonard was like one of my cool uncles. He was like that to a lot of fellow golf photographers. We all called him the dean of golf photographers.

“When the PGA of America decided to give him the first Lifetime Achievement Award in Photojournalism, we would have all been perfectly fine if he was the only one who ever received it, because we all felt it was created for him. This award will forever be tied to Leonard and his inspiring talent, enthusiasm and mentorship. That really means a lot to me.”

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