Phil Sheldon - Golf photographer

Phil Sheldon, one of the world’s foremost golf photographers, has
died at the age of 52 in the North London Hospice, Finchley, after a
long illness.

Photography was Phil’s passion from an early age
and he studied at Harrow College before getting a job at Sport &
General. One assignment was to doorstep Lord Lucan. After four days
staking out his house he decided Lucan wasn’t going to show up and left
for a squash match. He was duly sacked next morning. He then realised
that sport was the subject that he loved to photograph, and freelanced
for The Sunday Telegraph and The Sunday Times before joining The Mail
on Sunday in 1982.

He returned to the life of a freelance soon
afterwards and over the years he covered all the major championships,
comprising 24 Masters Tournaments, 21 US Open Championships, 25 Open
Championships, 18 US PGA Championships and 11 Ryder Cups.

He
photographed more than 300 golf courses during his illustrious career
and was voted Specialist Sports photographer of the Year by Sport
England an unprecedented three times.

In 2004, he was the first
recipient of the Lawrence Levy Lifetime Achievement Award, to honour
outstanding work in golf photography, presented in conjunction with
Golf International magazine.

His dramatic shot of Paul McGinley’s
winning putt in The 2002 Ryder Cup took first place in Golf World’s
@Golf’s ‘Greatest Photos’ roll of honour, and is included in Phil’s
last book, Golfing Days, which was published last year.

In the
book’s foreword, BBC broadcaster Peter Alliss wrote: “Phil Sheldon is a
tremendous photographer, has an engaging personality and is real
professional.”

Phil leaves his wife, Gill, and sons Jack (12) and Alfie (six).

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