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Miami-based photographer Ray Alonso merges a love of golf with his background in fashion photography.
Miami-based photographer Ray Alonso merges a love of golf with his background in fashion photography. (Courtesy www.thebareessenceofgolf.com)

With nude calendar, photographer Ray Alonso uncovers Bare Essence of Golf

Tim McDonaldBy Tim McDonald,

I always thought the bare essence of golf was missing a two-foot putt and cussing like a sailor on shore leave. Or duffing your tee shot with money on the line and demanding a mulligan because your opponent was jingling change in his stupid pocket.

Come to find out, it's nude women. Tasteful ones, of course.

That's fine with me.

Or maybe this is a better lead for this story:

Ray Alonso has the best job in the world.

A Miami-based photographer, Alonso was talked into taking up golf by a friend. Being young, artistic and heterosexual, he began to view the golf courses he played, with their sensual curves and mounds, through a different lens.

"It's almost like an infatuation, an addiction," Alonso said. "A golf course has rolling hills and curves and to me it mimics a woman's body. Golfers, I guess, are very educated and eclectic, to some degree, and I wanted to get a mixture of golf, art and sport and put it into something golfers would appreciate."

We do, we do.

Alonso made his musings manifest in photos of nudes posed on a variety of Miami-area golf courses.

He plans to turn the collection into a coffee-table book. For now, as a segue, there is the Bare Essence of Golf calendar.

Here's a woman, shot in evocative black and white, lying on a green with a flagstick in her grip. There's a beautiful blonde reclining in a bunker, a golf ball on her taut belly and the sand strategically covering elsewhere. There's another beautiful blonde, crossing a bridge, walking away from the camera, golf bag in tow.

You get the picture: The perfect Christmas gift for the straight male golfer.

"I had two concepts," the photographer said. "I wanted to make it strictly artistic and conceptual. If you look at one of those pictures, it's very artistic. They're like shapes. I went to different golf courses and talked to random golfers, a cross-section, of what people wanted to see on a calendar.

"At the beginning there were no faces, but some of the golfers, both male and female, said, 'We want to see faces and more of the body,' and so I tried to do a blend of both."

Formally trained at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Alonso has a background in fashion photography in Miami Beach. He also has extensive experience in sports, working with Miami Dolphins team photographer Dave Cross and shooting Major League Baseball, the NBA and auto racing.

His dream is to travel the world and make it aware of what beautiful, sensuous places golf courses are.

"Eventually I want to go to different golf courses around the world and highlight signature holes and bring out these holes artistically to make golfers appreciate that there's a seduction with the golf course, out in the open air and elements," Alonso said.

"And yet there's a little bit more to it - you don't see the real beauty of it when you're playing."

I will now.

12 months of golf

The Bare Essence of Golf calendar
Price: $19.99
Web: thebareessenceofgolf.com

Veteran golf writer Tim McDonald keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation.

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