Feature Interview with David Scaletti
March, 2008

Born on February 24, 1957, David graduated from RMIT in Australia with a Bachelor in Arts (Photography) in 1988 and has been a freelance professional photographer ever since. The first nine or ten years were spent in the field of commercial and advertising photography carrying out assignments for direct clients, various advertising agents, and graphic designers. Clients included Tourism Victoria, Department of Immigration, Telstra, Pasminco Mining, National Australia Bank, and the Victorian Arts Centre. His interest in golf course photography began as a result of his inability to find a quality calendar of local golf courses. So, instead, David published one himself! He went on to become the licsensee for producing a calendar and limited edition print of The Royal Melbourne Golf Club for the 1998 Presidents Cup. His photographs have appeared in numerous publications including The Sandbelt – Melbourne’s Golfing Heaven, the club history book for The National Golf Club, Australia’s Finest Golf Courses published in 2003, Golf…It’s a Funny Game in 2004, and most recently Planet Golf. The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses outside the United States of America in 2007. For more information, please visit his web site www.sportscapes.com.au.

How many countries did you travel to for Planet Golf?

Planet Golf has images from about 22 countries. Up until about a week ago I had never considered how many countries I went to, but the same question was asked a few days ago and caused me to count them up. While the actual number of countries had not been present in my mind, I was always aware of the number of days I spent away from home during the shooting of Planet Golf, 370 over a two year period. Given that this included travelling time I suppose each course had an average of about two and a half days to shoot. Sometimes I got lucky with the weather, other times I just had to make do with what conditions there were.

What are some favorite places you have been?

I have been very fortunate in the places I visited in the course of photographing Planet Golf, and I am pleased that you ask my favorite places in addition to my favorite courses. My approach to golf is a little holistic, perhaps a slight sin on this site of rabid golf architecture aficionados, but I like to be able to remember a destination and the course for the experience, as well as the golf.

Favorite places?…. In no particular order, Bonifacio, Dornoch, Cabo del Sol, Bermuda, Banff and Kawana/Asia in general.

By all means go to Corsica to play Sperone Golf Club, but for me the attraction is the nearby town of Bonifacio. If you like your real estate perched a few hundred feet vertically above the Mediterranean, atop limestone cliffs, then Bonifacio is the place for you. The town dates back to the 8th or 9th century and is one of the most beautiful towns I have had the pleasure to visit. Even if the golf doesn’t stir the juices you will enjoy Bonifacio.

Dornoch. I know no-one will quibble with the quality of golf at this northern Scotland outpost. For me it is the ambience of the town, and most of all, the experience of staying at the Burghfield House Hotel. I have noted some references at various times on GolfClubAtlas to this fine establishment, and I can only concur that a stay there is great fun. When I first arrived in Dornoch I simply could not find a room in a Bed and Breakfast, and finally stumbled across the Burghfield. Despite the imposing façade it turned out to be very reasonable cost wise. This will seem sacrilegious to many, but I missed out on availing myself of some golf at Royal Dornoch. While there I was given courtesy of the course and could play when I wanted to. Being there in June, the longest days of the year, meant there was not much time between sunset and sunrise, and I was not getting much sleep. On the second or third afternoon I was contemplating playing again, as I reclined in the chesterfield in the lounge at the Burghfield. When I finally woke up I realized how tired I was. I wanted to go out and play, but I just couldn’t do it.