This week the eyes of the world turn to Gleneagles Hotel for the Ryder Cup.
A recent TV advert promoting the event, featured deer on the course and it brought back memories.
In 1990 I art directed a photo shoot for the ‘main’ hotel brochure, the title of which was Moments of Perfection. The concept was to take each feature of the hotel and give it a slight twist, so the golf course shot was not of a golfer, but of someone on the course, very early in the morning, taking in the glory of the environment and the view – we decided that the photo needed deer in it.
As deer could not be trusted to make an appearance, and to pose for extended amounts of time, even though deer are frequent visitors to the grounds, the only solution was stuffed deer – you must bear in mind that this was pre Photoshop,
So up they came, complete with curator, from an Edinburgh museum. We started very very early. The deer were positioned around the green, with photographer, Nick Price, relaying instructions via walkie-talkie. It was a long shot, taken almost from the tee, so there was no way it could be seen that the deer were stuffed. It was drizzling on and off, so their ‘handler’ kept covering them with plastic.
Gleneagles was unable to close the course, so naturally, players started to arrive. We could hear their excitement at seeing the deer, which then turned into great amusement and fun as they had their photos taken next to them.
The final image worked incredibly well and the whole team was very proud of the final shot.
What made this story even more special for me, was my discovery years later that the then MD of Gleneagles had not been told that the deer were stuffed and had proudly shown the image on promotional tours of the US, describing how fortunate we were that the deer had appeared, as if on cue.
It’s great to see deer featuring again on Gleneagles imagery….real ones this time!