Golf: The New World Order

Golf, it is full of rules and regulations. But it doesn't stop at the golfers but to its spectators too.

Welcome back and a big hello to you people that have read my Blogs before and a big Welcome to the people who have never read or even seen my Website before. Welcome all.

I have given myself some time off from the website for a little while. With me being busy filming a documentary and life planning coming around the corner I decided to just take a break. Within this break I might add I have procured a bout of flu and other illnesses that are typical of summer vacations.
But within the time from one cold to the next I decided to take a gander to Porthcawl in South Wales. 
Porthcawl is a wonderful seaside community town with classic promenades, harbours, bays, beaches and a quintessential dainty Fairground. Porthcawl is one of these towns which are trapped in time, beautiful nostalgia of good times as a little kid eating candyfloss.
So what takes me there?
Well Porthcawl is also host to a pristine Golf course called Royal Porthcawl; To all you golfers out there it is described as a links course. For you non-golfers, "Links courses" are somewhat different from other golf courses. To be called a links course the course must be situated next to coastal or open parkland. It is considered the "old classic" style of courses.
Royal Porthcawl by itself is a beauty to behold. Wonderful views and ambience gives the golfer a sense of adventure and open space more than any golf course I have ever been to, I was not even playing any golf!!!
This year, Royal Porthcawl was the host to the PGA Senior Open. And being a photographer and it being incredibly warm outside, I decided to tag along with my avid golfer of a Father and a few other friends.
With the charge of £30 to enter I was in. Buying a time sheet and a brochure it feels like any other sporting event. (Spending £45 before I even see anything) Until.......

Andrew Oldcorn with a drive from the Fairway at Royal Porthcawl Senior Open 2014.

Andrew Oldcorn with a drive from the Fairway at Royal Porthcawl Senior Open 2014.

Kirk Triplett off the scorched fairway.

Kirk Triplett off the scorched fairway.

I take a look at the reverse of the ticket to see its terms and conditions. As I am reading through it does look like a terms and conditions to a Neo-Con world. Sometime I read T&Cs from other sporting events and they discuss what is for your safety and what licenses can do with your presence at the event. All is fundamentally a T&C condition that never really shows its face at the event. Only in light of spectator stupidity.
But this T&C really get enforced. And TIGHTLY!

A couple of the T&Cs that I shall talk about is the non-permitting use of Photography equipment and mobile phones.

Being a photographer I thought this would be an amazing opportunity to get a few shots. Either of the Golf or the surroundings. A little bit of research would provide you with the knowledge of golfing etiquette; if you are going to take photographs don't use a flash and don't take a photograph during the golfers' back-swing. That is basically it.
Upon asking why is photography no permitted to a few of the "marshals". And they do also say, "people use flash" and "people go nuts taking photos". But what I couldn't get was why it was not permitted. Logically, a simple explanation is better than stopping it altogether.
"But no, just no.... I said NO!"
To get away from the fear of golfers being distracted I decided to stay well away from them, if they don't complain then there wont be a problem. But on more than several occasions I was told I cannot photograph anything. Asking the reason resorts to the terms and conditions.
I have kept out of everyones way, being situated in the middle of the fairway, no people around me, just me taking a distant photograph and suddenly the "secret police" marshal decided to tell me off. I don't have a permit. So I decided to just stop.
Though this wouldn't have been too much of a problem if I was using a tiny camera instead of a DSLR, or using a mobile (I'll talk about this one soon) to take photographs. On more than several occasions I noticed groups of spectators using cameras and video equipment and yet, I was not allowed.
Talk about being persecuted by "The Man"!
Understanding the licencing at events also needs to be understood and taken into consideration, but the nature of this Blog is to bring up an example of a person whom is there on non-commercial business, whom wants to document for themselves. Similar licenses are held for other events but licensing is impossible to enforce. Take for instance Glastonbury or F1. The same type of licensing exists there but is nowhere near as fierce as golf.

Andrew Oldcorn.

Andrew Oldcorn.

 Now, mobile phones. Just switch it to silent and don't talk when golfers are close by. To be honest this in the T&Cs would have made it simple to abide by. Two simple instructions that any person with twelve braincells would understand, but in the T&Cs mobile use is restricted to "Mobile phone zones". You can only use your mobile from these zones. And these Zones are miles away from anything. Even in the middle of a fairway at least 200 yards away from anyone will get you heavy looks from the marshals. (and ironically spectators too.)

But other uses for your mobile phones are also not permitted. Texting, taking photographs, surfing the net, accessing twitter, email, Facebook, Instagram or even the official online tournament scoreboard is not allowed. As a spectator we are not allowed to comment on the tournament in any way and in any form.

This could all be just writing and not enforced. But the general feeling I had at the tournament is that certain marshals were enthusiastic to enforce these rules. Being as thoroughly draconian as possible. People who are best suited to take the Milgram experiment.
If you really want to see what the world will be like under a society of strict rules without proper rational explanation, a life controlled by T&Cs and people in white suits telling you off then go and see a game of golf. 

Ticket