Legendary Golf Photographer David Cannon Receives PGA of America Lifetime Achievement Award | Golf News and Tour Information

The PGA of America announced legendary photographer David Cannon on Tuesday as the second recipient of its newly created Lifetime Achievement Award in Photojournalism. Cannon follows Leonard Kamsler, who was named the first recipient of the award at the start of 2020.

Cannon, from Sussex, England, has been a fixture at professional golf’s biggest events for 40 years, working as a photojournalist for 121 men’s tournaments, 71 women’s tournaments, 17 Ryder Cups, 17 Walker Cups and 15 Solheim Cups.

“Over the past forty years, my ambition has been to leave a significant legacy to the sport,” Cannon said. “And while I’m not done yet, I hope this award will serve as an annual reminder that (photographers) have invested so much in the game of golf.”

Cannon was a strong player as an amateur, taking on Sandy Lyle and Nick Faldo and earning a selection for the England youth team’s training program in 1974. But in 1978, at the invitation of a friend for help photograph a rugby match, Cannon’s interest in professional photography would quickly replace his golf pursuits. The Sunday Express highlighted one of its images from the rugby match in its sports section, and Cannon was hooked. “From that second I basically stopped playing serious golf and every bit of money I had was used to buy camera gear, he said.

In 1983 he started working for Allsport, which was bought in 1998 by Getty Images, where he has worked ever since, in addition to other roles with publications such as Golf World UK Magazine. With his presence and acclaimed images captured at so many majors over the years, he has also developed relationships with many subjects, including Seve Ballesteros. The two played golf together and his image of Ballesteros winning the 1984 Open is perhaps his best known photograph.

“In 1984, when (Ballesteros) won the Open (for the second time), I had what has become an iconic sequence of him hitting that famous putt on 18, which I presented to him. He really enjoyed these images and what they represented.

Cannon was also on hand to capture Jack Nicklaus’ putter raise on the 17th green of the 1986 Masters. If there was ever a historic moment in golf, Cannon was probably there to capture it in the past 40 years. He cites the Ryder Cup as his favorite golf event, given the excitement that erupts on the golf course in three days. He covered every Ryder Cup from 1985 to 2018 and was the official photographer for Team Europe from 1995 to 2018.

In addition to his start at a rugby match in 1978, Cannon has photographed a wide range of sporting events beyond golf. His original job in the early 1980s with Allsport focused on football, which left his summers free and allowed him to take up golf shooting. Including golf, its total of events covered exceeds 700 from around the world, with credits from the Olympics, World Cup, motorsports, cricket and tennis, among others. Cannon estimated he had taken more than 3.4 million images on film or digitally, traveled 2.6 million miles visiting 115 countries, and logged more than 13,000 miles on the greatest golf courses.

The PGA of America will commemorate his life’s work with this award and a May 18 celebration ahead of this year’s PGA Championship in Southern Hills.

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