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Friday, July 20

Van de Velde would have drowned


It was 13 years ago that Frenchman Jean Van de Velde was the central figure in what has since become known as the "greatest tragedy in golf". He needed a double bogey six at worst on the par 4 last hole at the monster Carnoustie course to win The Open Championship and somehow contrived to take a seven, going on to lose out in a three-way play-off to Scotland's Paul Laurie.

Jean's drive on the 18th was a little to the right, his two-iron second clattered into a grandstand and came up short of the Barry Burn. Spooked, he then played a poor shot into the burn - and then temporary insanity fell upon him. The pictures of a talented golfer rolling up his trousers and stepping down into the burn with a view to blasting the ball out of ankle deep water must be etched into the memories of every golf fan who witnessed the implosion. As the saying goes, the rest is history.

Believe it or not, the river leading to the hotel, which is sited just behind the 18th green in the pic above, is the same benign Barry Burn. With all the water we've been having, it recently burst its banks and flooded the fairway. The burn is the stretch of water in the middle with the flooded fairway either side of it.


As the second pic shows, the water level must have been about six feet higher than it was when Jean went for a paddle. The walkway visible in the photograph is the bridge over the burn. These pics neatly sum up our summer so far - bloody awful! They were taken on a particularly miserable day a couple of weeks ago on my Hexar AF, an autofocus rangefinder-type of fixed lens camera. It's that fixed lens, a 35mm f2 Hexanon, that makes the camera special. It's taken me a while to warm to it but I think it's now a keeper and I'll write a bit more about it in the near future.


The film for these pics was Rollei Retro 100 developed in D76, a very nice combination. My favourite is the final photograph above. I've burned the edges in a little on all the pics but the actual scene was very similar to the last image, a dreich, grey day with a steady drizzle of rain that slowly soaked everything it came into contact with. Note the indomitable Scottish spirit, though. Despite the conditions, there were still some hardy souls who were determined that nothing was going to get in the way of their golf!

2 comments :

Jon H said...

Nice moody landscapes, with a great story. I really like landscapes on 35mm. The mere mention of D76 and I can smell it. You might be tempting me back into the darkroom!

BRUCE ROBBINS said...

Do it, Jon. Go back to the darkroom! The problem with modern day living is that everyone wants everything right now: they're not prepared to work at something. The film/darkroom process is more work, there's no doubt about it, but it's more rewarding. I haven't taken a digital shot for months and don't miss it at all. You quickly learn that you're not going to see results straight away anymore and once you're over that hump you forget all about digital.