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A Glimpse into the Scottish Open 2023 at the Renaissance Club

Through the lens of an unofficial event photographer
Scottish Open view of club house, media centre and 18th green
Iska Birnie Photographer

For this year’s summer holiday, my husband and I got tickets for the Scottish Open held at the magnificent Renaissance Club near North Berwick. While my hubby is a seasoned golfer, I’m still new to the game, but am already hooked. This trip was my visit to a golf tournament of this size, and it truly was it an unforgettable experience.

I was well aware of the strict camera rules at DP World Tour events. Visitors were only allowed to bring their cameras on Wednesday for the Pro-Am tournament. That was an opportunity, I wasn’t going to miss! I mean, how often do you get the chance to photograph of the crème de la crème of tour golfers?

The pro-am day was brilliant. It nearly felt like we had the course to ourselves, not many visitors around, which meant plenty of opportunity to get really close to the action. It offered a unique glimpse into the dynamic between established professionals and enthusiastic amateurs. It was great to see the top players not only showcasing their exceptional skills and preparing for the days ahead, but also interacting with ‘their’ amateurs.

As the week unfolded, the Scottish weather decided to throw us a curveball, adding an extra layer of challenge to the game. We saw Scotland’s Bob MacIntyre play incredible golf and even briefly taking the lead on Sunday. The Scottish crowds would have loved to see Bob win on home turf, but it was not to be. Ultimately, it was Rory McIlroy, who was another crowd (and my) favourite, birdied both the 17th and 18th hole to take the win by one shot.

The hubby and I were on the 18th green grandstand for most of Sunday, soaking in the atmosphere and sheltering from the wind. One of the many highlights before the prize-giving ceremony, was a fan shouting ‘Rory – you just won me £300’ and Rory responding, ‘I just made a little more!’ (insert Rory’s Northern Irish accent)

As the Scottish Open 2023 drew to a close, I couldn’t help but reflect on the sheer beauty and energy of the event. It was great to see the camaraderie between players, how closely they work with their caddies, and the resilience in the face of challenges. The Scottish Open will remain in my memory as a vibrant celebration of skill and determination.

Unfortunately, watching pro golfers doesn’t make you a pro – as I realised the next time we played… MUCH more practice is needed.

Iska Birnie Photographer

I hope you enjoyed the blog about my Scottish Open adventure.

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Lots of Love,

Iska xx

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