Clay Hayner Takes on Club Corp Rebranding Project

By Jacqui Palumbo

Clay Hayner is always on the go. When he’s not photographing for top advertising, travel and lifestyle clients, he’s running in 5k, 10k, 15k and half marathons on weekends. Hayner has the level of drive and commitment to get the most out of a 24-hour day, so when he was approached to shoot all 154 locations for the leading company in private clubs, Club Corp, he decided to take on the challenge.

Hayner collaborated with Senior Vice President of Marketing Meg Tollison, Senior Director of Marketing Services Kristy Morgan, Visual Designer Jayme Goff and the rest of the Club Corp marketing team to plan out and execute the shoots. Hayner and Morgan had worked together prior to this and Morgan recommended him for the project. “She thought I would be a natural fit for the new direction of Club Corp,” he says. The new direction was a complete overhaul of the brand; the company needed new shots of each location to unify their collection of images, and new lifestyle shoots to support their purpose of “Building Relationships and Enriching Lives” throughout their golf, country, sports, business and alumni clubs.

Before meeting with Hayner, the Club Corp marketing team printed out every photo they had of each location and audited them, then conceptualized new ideas, built inspiration books and shot rough images. In addition to the regular club images they also planned out two lifestyle shoots: one for golf and country clubs and one for business clubs where they would cast real members for the talent.

Hayner has shot 79 of the 154 locations so far, flying in with Morgan and a small crew to shoot each for one or two days. From sunrise to sunset he photographs the rooms, club houses, golf courses, the bars and other areas, careful not to disrupt the daily activities of the members there. He and Morgan agree that weather is the biggest challenge when they only have less than 48 hours to shoot. Morgan says the crew all has the Sunrise App on their phones to calculate the light wherever they are.

Hayner says it’s important to be able to think on the fly when setting up his lights for each shoot. He mixes strobe and ambient, toting Elinchrom Style RX600 strobes with him since they are reliable and easy to travel with. “It’s important to have a great sense of light,” he says. “I’m always looking for that perfect sunrise shot on a golf course.”

Though there are high-stress moments that come with the territory, such as losing track of time zones, travel delays, and avoiding gators on golf courses, Hayner always keeps a level head. Morgan comments, “With every shoot, Clay's calmness, kindness and talent shine through. He is truly a gifted photographer and a solid person." They are continuing to shoot each Club Corp location, and with clubs being consistently updated, it’s a project that will keep them going for some time.

The image collection can be seen on all media channels: online, in print, on billboards, through social media and in direct mail. For more of Clay Hayner’s work, visit his Web site.


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