RENOWNED golf photographer Jeremy Campion, who sent back to South Africa brilliant images from the 27 straight British Open he attended as an accredited Press cameraman, is one of Randpark’s long-standing members who has a great love for the club.
And perhaps this super senior – who looks considerably younger than his 76 years – should now be renamed Jeremy CHAMPION! (This after a TATS competition on Thursday, August 20).
After starting his round by hitting his tee-shot into the river on Firethorn’s first hole, he – as he puts it – “duffed the next couple of shots” before finding himself just short of the green lying five.
But he elected to putt from there and down went the curving 30-footer (the ball just dropping into the cup with its very last roll, just as was the case with Tiger Woods’s memorable birdie putt at Augusta’s 16th hole when the American won the Masters).
England-born Jeremy then went on to one-putt no less than 10 times during his very handy round of 81 (any top professional would give anything to putt like this!) which gave him an impressive 42 Stableford points off his 15-handicap, and victory in the TATS competition. The putts were going in from all over the place, some for pars, a couple for birdies (at the 13th and 17th holes) and a couple of testers too to avoid double-bogeys.
“It’s amazing. I bought a new putter about three weeks ago but for this round I got my old Odyssey ‘White Hot’ putter out of the cupboard and it worked wonders,” the straight-hitting veteran said after his round.
He certainly lived up to the club’s name as his putting was undeniably white hot – reward for a man who has been a member of Randpark since the mid-1970s and is extremely proud of the club and its two “great” courses. “In addition to being wonderful layouts, you won’t find better bunkering than on the Randpark courses and strategically the dog-legs on Bushwillow are the very best to be seen anywhere,” he says.
Now a bit about Jeremy’s photographic career which has seen him produce thousands of stunning images from tournaments both in South Africa and overseas over the years: He was there to brilliantly capture as a lensman Ernie Els’s 2002 and 2012 Open wins, as well as Louis Oosthuizen’s 2010 triumph at St Andrews. And then, best of all, there was 1994 at Turnberry when our Randpark man was the only cameraman at greenside to take that iconic photograph of Nick Price leaping high in the air after sinking a monster 50-footer for eagle on the 17th green in the final round to effectively give him victory by one over Swede Jesper Parnevik following a fascinating duel between the two men.
“Parnevik was leading by two going to the last ahead of Price so everybody thought he was going to win, and so all the other photographers were with his group,” Jeremy explains. “Then Parnevik dropped a shot at 18 and Nick made his eagle and won by one. So my picture was unique – no-one else had it – and it was used in major newspapers all over the world the next day – the Daily Telegraph, the Washington Post, you name them, they used my photograph.” In short, Price played a world-beating shot, and Jeremy took a world-beating shot!
The TATS, for Randpark members not familiar with this group, stage two competitions a week (on Tuesday and Thursday mornings) for the over-50s, under the chairmanship of Jurie van der Nest. A good number of TATS are, like Jeremy and Jurie, in their 70s and still skillful operators on the fairways and greens. Some of them play almost every day, walking the course, staying fit, proving that being 70-plus is far from being “old”, and underlining the fact that golf is a game for life. Jeremy started golf at age 14 and he’s still going strong.
Written by Randpark member Grant Winter