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Golf was first played on the links at St Andrews, Scotland, 600 years ago. It is unequivocally the home of golf and when the Royal and Ancient (R&A) had to choose a venue for the 150th British Open this July, there was never really a choice. It would be held at St Andrews.
This small university town in Fife has always struck me as a place from which to tell a story because the golf course and the town merge harmoniously as one, which is no surprise as they have lived with each other since the 15th century. Even non-golfers find it difficult to look at the view toward the clubhouse without feeling some sense of visual overload.
My concept was to tell a period story and use the town and the historic buildings behind the 18th green as extra characters in a cinematic celebration of the most famous view in golf. It is a scene that has been painted many times, but I had not seen a photograph with a revisionist take of what the links may have looked like when golfers played “The Old Course” the other way around, as they did in the 19th century. The goal was to be greedy and include important landmarks such as the Swilcan Bridge and this demanded an intricate composition.
I knew who my lead would be, the iconic Gary Player, nine times a Major winner and three times Open Champion. St Andrews has been a major part of his life and he holds the course and the R&A in the highest of regards. Gary, whilst in his mid 80s, is still a showman, with the looks and style to carry the photograph with ease.With the idea approved by St Andrews Links, we had great support from the R&A and many of their members were game enough to be styled in 1890s gear. It was such a memorable evening and everybody played their part in making a little bit of history. I was honoured to be behind the lens and I think I did the town and the Old Course proud. As a Scot, this is an important and special picture for me and I know Gary shares my pride. Golf was fir