I love autumn. I love the yellows, oranges and browns. I love the stunning light created by the low sun. I love the misty mornings and the chilly evenings.
In this blog, I will pick my 5 favourite photos from the season and explain the stories behind them.
This glorious image was taken two years ago now, on one of the first shoots commissioned to Rob Howarth and Ashley Pickering of Fairway Flyovers. This one was taken early one September morning by Rob using the drone. The wonderful morning light shows off the undulations and autumnal tones of the 14th fairway, overseen by the iconic lighthouse beside the green.
I have rather grossly labelled this image the ‘money shot’ due the frequency that we have used it for our marketing. It is by far the most popular option for the framed prints and postcards that we offer. In 2017, it was chosen as the cover photo for the inaugural brochure for Golf Tourism England. Given there are around 2,000 courses in the country, this is quite an accolade.
I like to think that the picture highlights the attributes of RCGC without the need for any words. The stunning cliff-top views, grassy valleys and gorse and bracken flanked fairways.
This is my favourite image of myself in action. It was taken by Mike Hyde of the GCMA and shows my opening tee-shot of the day in the Fairway Credit Finals at The Berkshire Golf Club in September 2017.
The reason for my fondness for the shot is largely due to the memories and feelings that it regenerates. I remember being quite nervous ahead of the shot – the 1st hole on The Berkshire (Blue course) is an extremely intimidating 200 yard Par 3 with a sea of heather between the tee and green.
The shot itself was with my 5-wood and was one of those pure strikes that you remember the sensation of through your hands and body for as long as you continue to play the game. The photo catches me just at the point of full extension into the follow-through when your body rotation brings the head up to see the result. I love the balance and relaxation (despite the nerves) that the photo portrays.
The shot nestled into the heart of the green and gave me the momentum to go 2-under par through the first three holes. Whilst this form could not continue throughout the round, 39 points was enough for individual victory and the photo helps to keep fresh the memories of a great day.
OK I have to admit that technically this photo was not taken in the autumn – it comes from a shoot in summer 2017 commissioned to Fairway Flyovers to celebrate the recent opening of the RCGC History Room. A number of the trophies were pictured individually for marketing use in the lead-up to each event.
The subject of this photo is the Gold Coast Challenge Cup, our Gents Open that for me signals the onset of autumn every year, played as it is in early September. The photo helps to remind me of the enjoyable process of creating the History Room in the autumn/winter of 2016.
The trophy itself is fine HM Silver made in London in 1927 with a mahogany base. It has been played since the 1930’s and so enjoys over 80 years of history. There is no record of the commissioning of the trophy unfortunately. The name given is most likely a reference to the sandy beaches found all the way along the North Norfolk coast, but could also be linked to the discovery of sixteenth century gold coins on the beach in 1848, at the height of the American Gold Rush.
This photo was taken on my phone during one of my morning strolls before I started work in October 2018.
It shows the 18th green before the greenstaff have swept the dew. I love how the bunkers have the appearance of slightly intimidating black holes, which sums up quite adequately how I feel about them!
The shot was taken from up by our practice putting green, a site that in a couple of years could be the location of a new Championship tee for the 1st hole, which plays away to the right of the picture.
For me the photo sums up the joy that I get from just walking the course in the early morning without even playing. It is at this time that you can really appreciate the conditioning and beauty of the layout and it is always a thrill to spot new angles for a photo.
A lot of my life is taken up with golf. From work, to blogging, to playing I spend a lot of hours thinking about this crazy game.
Everybody, though, needs time away where they can practice mindfulness and generally find peace and regain their equilibrium. For me it is out with our dog Hollie. The photo captures one of our favourite areas to explore, a wonderful oasis of heathland amongst the farmland between North Walsham and Felmingham and was taken in October 2018 on my phone.
The heath shows off different shades all year round, from bright yellow gorse to deep purple heather. This shot, however, catches a small part of the area that shines in the autumn, the 50 shades of yellows, browns and greens helping to capture the essence of the season perfectly and better than any amount of words could.