July 02, 2019

The Evolution of Fan

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John Dominis

Periscopes used by fans during National

John Dominis

The above photograph was taken at the 1962 U.S. Open, and the bottom is a snap from the 2018 FedEx Cup Playoffs. Across 56 years, it would appear the essential experience of attending a pro golf tournament hasn’t changed, only the size and functionality of the rectangles we members of the gallery hold to our faces. The periscopes of yesteryear—two mirrors set at 45-degree angles housed in cardboard—were inexpensive to make and often wound up as litter. Unsightly or unseemly, Augusta National banned their use at the Masters. That parallel with phones is obvious, but let’s consider an important difference. The periscope was to help short and late-arriving fans enjoy the action in the moment, none of whom was yet familiar with the phrase born from social media, “Pics, or it didn’t happen.”­ --Max Adler

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Tim Clayton - Corbis