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.
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