The 145th Open Championship

From the 14th-17th July this summer, Royal Troon Golf Club played host to the 145th Open Championship. The world’s best golfers descended on the Ayrshire coast to compete in the sport’s toughest major of the year. I made my way up the M6 early on the Tuesday morning, leaving home at 05:30 and eventually arriving at the course (via the Green media car park) shortly before 10am.

The schedule of players involved in the practice rounds played on the days preceding the competition itself was typically unpredictable. Players I needed had changed their minds, or changed their times, or had decided to skip a number of holes…the scoreboards dotted around the course found it impossible to keep up with players’ movements, which made my job hard from the start.

I was covering the golf for SilverHub, a relatively new organisation set up by a number of extremely experienced and highly motivated individuals. It was a pleasure to be involved, but I knew from the moment our plans had been confirmed that I would have my work cut out. Not only did I have to fulfill the usual editorial requirements, but I also had an extensive commercial brief to adhere to as well for one of their clients, a major tournament sponsor. I busy week lay ahead!

Once Thursday arrived, it was all hands on deck. I was flat out for the next four days, pacing around the 7,175yd course with a whole host of cameras and lenses around my shoulders, as well as various items of equipment to cater for all eventualities…being a 20min walk from the Media Centre meant I had to be prepared for a change in weather, the heat or the cold, flat batteries, extra CF cards, drinks, and so.

By the time Henrik Stenson was walking down the 18th fairway on the final day, I’d managed to clock up a little under 150,000 steps, which equated to just over 110km. The undulating nature of a links course makes it particularly hard work for anyone following groups of players, let alone those of us carrying that much equipment having to dart across the course from one hole to another. Finding shortcuts and routes with less fans on them was part of the job in the first few days.

Here is a small selection of my favourite pictures taken during the week, excluding the images taken for the commercial brief. Royal Birkdale next year…a little closer to home!…

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