by Ian Cook Published 01/12/2014
I can't believe that it has been four years since I was walking around the Celtic Manor Twenty Ten course, covering the first ever Ryder cup in Wales. And four years later here I am covering the same event again, but this time in Scotland and the stunning course that is Gleneagles. It's been a totally mad year for me ie the Champions League Cup Final in Lisbon, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and now the Ryder Cup.
Once I knew I had a pass for the Ryder cup, the panic set in, accommodation, flights and driving arrangements need to be arranged. I managed to book a fairly cheap B&B in the heart of Glasgow, about a mile from one of the designated media hotels. For the record the reason I didn't stay in one of these designated hotels was the cost of the rooms, they are expensive at the best of times.
So like the Commonwealth games it was a case of ensuring all camera gear was ready, wet weather gear packed and plenty of clothes etc The gear is pretty much standard and I take the following:
Nikon D4 and D3
Nikon 70-200 f2.8
Nikon 24-70 f2.8
Nikon 300mm f2.8 with 1.4 Converter (420mm f4)
Nikon SB-910 x 2
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic 8mm f3.5 fisheye
Panasonic 7-14 f4
Panasonic 12-35 f2.8
Panasonic 35-100 f2.8
Panasonic 100-300mm f4/5.6
Card readers x 2
Monopod x 2
As I was getting the plans in place to cover what would be my second Ryder cup and started to realise I would have to drive to Scotland again. I swore that I would never drive to Scotland again after the Commonwealth games. But as my kit list is growing I had no choice - so that was it, I was driving!
From a media point of view the Ryder cup runs from Monday until Sunday, and is broken up into four practice rounds and three competition games (foursomes, fourball, then singles matches). I arrived in Scotland on the Wednesday, which gave me a chance to get my bearings and book into the B&B, etc. On Thursday morning I took myself and my gear to the media pick up point and jumped onto the coach; one hour and 20 minutes later I arrived at Gleneagles. I was greeted by the same airport security measures that were used during the Olympics and Commonwealth games; once through, it was a case of trying to find the media centre, I had no clue where it was! After asking security staff I found the media centre, showed my accreditation letter, picked up my pass, meal band (very important) and wifi log in details. Then it was a case of finding my workspace, getting the camera gear ready and heading out onto the course. Here is where the challenges started for me.
When I covered the Ryder Cup in 2010 I knew the course like the back of my hand; I knew where all the short cuts were to get to various holes, but at Gleneagles I had no clue about the layout so the practice day was more of a scouting mission around the course. An email was received from the Ryder Cup media team telling us that a section of the main stand had been allocated on a first-come-first-served basis to media, and I had already had a plan to get a shot of - that so I knew Friday was going to be a early start followed by a long day.
There are 137 days to get ready for The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
which starts on Wednesday 17th March 2021