Joann Dost

Joann Dost Oc­cu­pa­tion: Pho­tog­ra­pher Lo­ca­tion: Carmel Val­ley, CA Pro Sta­tus: Ama­teur

Golf Today Northwest - - Contents - by Clifford Cow­ley

Joann Dost started play­ing golf at fif­teen. Early on, she knew she wanted to be a pro­fes­sional ath­lete. Ath­let­ics were big in her fam­ily. Her dad was an Olympic­cal­iber speed skater, and her brother played base­ball for the Mets. Af­ter at­tend­ing an LPGA event in Bal­ti­more, where she saw many of the leg­ends of the day play­ing, she knew she wanted to pur­sue a ca­reer in golf. “My dad was a fore­man at Po­tomac Elec­tric Power Com­pany. PEPCO owned a golf course nearby. When my dad and I went to the course to hit balls, the pro saw my swing and ac­tu­ally came run­ning out of the pro shop and asked if he could coach me.” En­cour­aged by the en­thu­si­asm of the pro, she thought she might have a chance to be­come a pro her­self and she pur­sued the game with a pas­sion. In just two short years, Joann won the Mary­land State Ju­nior Girls Cham­pi­onship, the DC Ju­nior Girls Cham­pi­onship, and the Tour­na­ment of Ju­nior Champions.

Mak­ing Ends Meet

In 1973, she de­cided to play pro­fes­sion­ally, spend­ing a year on the Aus­tralian Tour, and then the West Coast Group Fore Tour. Af­ter plac­ing 3rd at the LPGA Qual­i­fy­ing School, she spent five years on the Tour where she had sev­eral top ten fin­ishes. “Main­tain­ing fund­ing to play the Tour was just as dif­fi­cult as re­main­ing com­pet­i­tive,” says Joann. “I even trav­eled in a van pro­vided by one of my spon­sors, be­cause I couldn’t af­ford to fly.” She of­ten trav­eled with Joann Avard. The cad­dies would drive while the two Joann’s slept. “It took longer, but it was more eco­nom­i­cal,” she adds. “The Tour can be tough if you aren’t win­ning all the time. The pres­sure to per­form, the stress of jug­gling fi­nances, and the chal­lenges of se­cur­ing spon­sors was tax­ing. I wasn’t hav­ing fun play­ing any more. One day, when I missed a 3-foot up­hill putt, I’d had enough and abruptly quit the tour. I came to re­al­ize that I was ‘more than my score’, and I vowed not to play again un­til the game could be fun.”

New Be­gin­nings

In­stead, she turned to pho­tog­ra­phy, which was a hobby at the time, and asked around for op­por­tu­ni­ties in golf pho­tog­ra­phy. It’s here that she, once again, found sup­port and en­joy­ment in her work. “It was like a new lease on life,” says Joann. “I still loved the at­mos­phere of the game, and the beauty of the courses. I just made my shots with a cam­era in­stead of a golf club.” Mov­ing to Peb­ble Beach in 1977 turned out to be another turn­ing point in Joann’s life. The nat­u­ral beauty of the Monterey Penin­sula and Peb­ble Beach served to heighten her love of the game. And she has prac­ticed the art of golf pho­tog­ra­phy ever since, trav­el­ing across Amer­ica, the British Isles, the Far East, and Aus­tralia to cap­ture the essence of golf course ar­chi­tec­ture and the spirit of the game through the cam­era lens. Her ex­ten­sive play­ing back­ground, al­lows her a “golfer’s” per­spec­tive in her pho­tog­ra­phy work. This rare and unique skill was duly noted by the USGA when they as­signed her to cover the 1981 Walker Cup matches. A chance meet­ing with Ansel Adams, who liked her work, led to her in­vi­ta­tion to pho­to­graph for the 1982 U.S. Open book for Peb­ble Beach. “Ansel ac­tu­ally called Clint East­wood, who was in­volved with the project, and rec­om­mended me for the job,” says Joann proudly. Over the years, Joann has re­ceived many awards for her pho­tog­ra­phy, and her work can be seen in na­tional and in­ter­na­tional mag­a­zines. Joann ex­hibits a master’s touch in cap­tur­ing the essence of golf land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy, as ev­i­denced by her mul­ti­ple publi­ca­tions, and in­clud­ing her lat­est; The Ul­ti­mate Round: Peb­ble Beach Golf Links-an Il­lus­trated Guide to Amer­ica’s Ma­jes­tic Dream Course.

Ad­vice for Young Play­ers

Even though her golf ca­reer may not have turned out like she’d planned, Joann still has a love for the sport and has al­ways been thank­ful for the op­por­tu­ni­ties it pre­sented for her. “I wouldn’t

be where I am to­day if it hadn’t been for the game of golf,” she says em­phat­i­cally. “The most im­por­tant thing I’d pass on to the younger play­ers is my own per­sonal phi­los­o­phy in­stilled by my par­ents. Be hum­ble, be gra­cious, and prac­tice the Golden Rule: do unto oth­ers as you would have them do unto you. And, although it may seem a bit old fash­ioned in to­day’s so­cial me­dia driven world, hand-write thank you notes, and send them through snail-mail. Fur­ther­more, in golf, pho­tog­ra­phy, and in life, it’s im­por­tant to pre-vi­su­al­ize what you want to do, or get, out of the shot you will be tak­ing. Then have the pa­tience to let it hap­pen. If you try to hurry the shot, you won’t end up with a sat­is­fac­tory re­sult. Fi­nally, never take for granted how lucky you are to be play­ing this amaz­ing sport.”

Fa­vorite West Coast Courses?

Joann lists Peb­ble Beach, Cy­press Point, Santa Lu­cia Pre­serve, and Ban­don/ Pa­cific Dunes as her fa­vorite courses on the west coast. “All for their ex­tra­or­di­nary nat­u­ral beauty, ex­cep­tional play, and dra­matic pho­to­graphic op­por­tu­ni­ties,” she says. “And of course, Columbia Edge­wa­ter,” she says with a smile, where I had a top 3 fin­ish!” Carry on, Joann.

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