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Kyle Harris

Venues of Sport
« on: September 27, 2005, 12:53:34 PM »
I've long had an interest in the histories and designs of various venues of sport. Golf Courses, Baseball Stadia and College Football Stadia among my top three.

Where do the best golf courses in the US (or world) rank among the various other venues of sport?

Bill Gayne

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Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2005, 01:50:52 PM »
Kyle, good idea for a thread.

Some great venues:

Pro football: Lambeau Field
Baseball: Yankee Stadium
Basketball: Former Boston Garden
Hockey: The old Forum in Montreal
Tennis: Wimbeldon
College Football: Notre Dame
College Basketball: Cameron Indoor
Racing: Indy, Daytona.
Golf: Augusta, The Old Course

What makes a stadium great? Great teams/athletes playing important games with a flair for the dramatic. Great teams can make lousy stadiums seem great. Example: RFK Stadium and the Redskins of the 80s. The stadium was and is a dump but it was considered great by the home fans because great teams played great games that created emotion and passion. The same could be said for Candlestick and the 49ers and Busch Stadium and the Cardinals.

I also believe that in golf great drama of the participants can uplift a golf course.

Golf is different in the sense that the competition is to see who plays the course the best. There is human intervention in the set-up that can heighten the excitement. In the other sports of course the competition is directly against the opponent.


Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2005, 01:56:57 PM »
On the other side, what are some famous venues that are just awful.  Some I can think of.

Baseball:  Riverfront Stadium
College Basketball:  Assembly Hall (Indiana)
Golf:  ????

Kelly Blake Moran

Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2005, 02:16:44 PM »
It's Camp Randall now!  The State of Bucky now has a monopoly on the greatest pro and college football stadia.  Only Texas's HS football fanaticism keeps Bucky from the triple crown of great stadia. [/b]

To piggyback on that statement:

Barrett Stadium, Odessa , Texas. Former home of the Permian Panthers, once one of the great football programs in the country until a girlie man named Bissinger lied to them and did a hatchet job on the program.  Saw a lot of great games there.

Jones Stadium, Lubbock, Texas.  home of the Texas Tech Red Raiders.  Great opening to the game with the masked rider, and loved the grass endzone as a kid.

oops didn't quite answer the question.  I don't think you can compare.  the quality of the venues I mentioned were not great, but it was the contest and the entusiasm of the crowds that made the venues special.  The venues were probably no better in quality than the courses in their respective areas but this is easily overcome by the event.  Odessa Country Club used to host a pro/am that saw Ray Floyd, Trevino, January, Blancas Dean Martin, and the atmosphere of the course was elevated to some degree, but it still was the same old basic track we played everyday.  The event itself did not transform the venue.  The games I saw at Jones and Barrett transformed the venue into something more than it really was.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2005, 02:31:29 PM by Kelly Blake Moran »

Craig Van Egmond

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Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2005, 02:38:16 PM »

College basketball/college wrestling:  Gallagher-Iba Arena!!   Intimate and loud.

Mike Vegis @ Kiawah

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Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2005, 02:44:34 PM »
Well, the only TRUE football league, the Big 10, really has the best venues by the most hated teams:  Ohio State Smuckeye's Horseshoe and The Big House at the "South until you smell 'em, East until you step in 'em" Michigan Wolverines.  

BTW, last I saw, the Michigan State Spartans are 4 and 0 ready to take it to both teams over the next two weeks...!
« Last Edit: September 27, 2005, 02:44:58 PM by Mike Vegis @ Kiawah »


Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2005, 02:48:14 PM »
College Basketball: Cameron Indooragreed

In addition to the above mentioned Assembly Hall, there is Pauley Pavilion and The Palestra.

The new Madison Square Garden does not count.


Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2005, 02:50:16 PM »
For those who might want to plan their day around waiting for Dunhill results, the pairings on ST.Andrews for Thrusday 1st round show in group #1 teeing off at 9AM :

St Andrews:

   ANDREW OLDCORN and Tom Doak
   THOMAS AIKEN and Michael Pascucci


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Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2005, 02:52:43 PM »
 Palestra--college basketball

   Driveway at Rolling Green.

      Within 100 feet +/- you see ---#14 green-great uphill par 3---#15 tee-one of the toughest drives on the course---#18 green--see how they finish---#9 green---the end of a 600 yard trek---#10 tee-watch 235 yard par 3 pressure- #3 short par 3 downhill tee shots-#2 green--approaches to one of longest par fours--and when bushes are removed #1 tee. What must have been a blast at the 1976 Women's Open is now too intimate except for small crowds.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2005, 03:09:38 PM by mayday_malone »
AKA Mayday

Bill Gayne

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Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2005, 04:00:33 PM »
The Bears have won more titles and played more meaningful games at Wrigley than the Cubs have since their last title and the Bears left 34 years ago!

The history of the World Series is encapsulated in the House of Ruth.


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Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2005, 04:20:36 PM »
the old Stadium was so loud I literally could not here the person next to me screaming at me!  a great great place that has been replaced by an antiseptic arena

but I hate Wrigley Field, because it symbolizes the Cubs futulity and the fact that SO MANY people support that team despite their unparalled patheticness: "Let's go watch the Cubbies play, have some beers, and sit in the sunchine"......

and those morons gave Dusty Baker a contract extension!
198 played, only 2 to go!!

Kyle Harris

Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2005, 04:24:50 PM »
The Big House is a 14 inch wide seat 110,000 person waiting to be a fire hazard hole in the ground. All the utilities are on the 60th row, the turf was awful and now artificial, and the tailgating is done on the golf course or the other side of Ann Arbor. Hardly in the top ten in the country, let along number 1.

Agree regarding the Shoe at OSU though, with Beaver Stadium at PSU in second. However, Penn State's tailgating is superior since it happens in the two square miles around the stadium.

Neyland Stadium at Tennessee is another favorite, as is Camp Randall.


Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2005, 04:25:55 PM »
soccer? Wembley

cricket? MCG

rodeo- Calgary Stampede Grounds

Beach volleyball- Bondi

Formula One -1st Monte Carlo, last-Indy
« Last Edit: September 27, 2005, 04:26:41 PM by Peter Pittock »

Kyle Harris

Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2005, 04:26:26 PM »
Blocking the view of Touchdown Jesus didn't help with Notre Dame's stadium, though the understated elegance of the place is a great asset.

Kyle Harris

Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2005, 04:33:17 PM »
Ross-Ade at Purdue is nothing special.


When were you at Beaver Stadium? New facade work is in the works on the master plan to eliminate the "Erector Set" look.

Also, much louder since the new expansion, but doesn't shake as much as it used to.

Bill Gayne

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Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2005, 04:39:04 PM »

"The question is about the stadium, not the great games played there and not the overall historical quality of the teams that played there."

By this measure, The Old Course is not a great venue for watching a tournament. With the routing of the holes running side by side the spectator is largely left to encircle the outside of the golf course. With at times considerable distance between the golfer and spectator. Augusta National is much better for the spectator because of the rolling nature of the land providing vistas, access to the interior of the golf course, and the spectators proximity to players.

However, I would disagree with you and include The Old Course as a great venue because of the overall historical quality of the competitions played there and it's play in the history of competitive golf.

Kyle Harris

Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2005, 04:43:42 PM »
I think there's an interesting analog between golf and baseball in that both seem to have gone/are going through a renaissance in their architecture.

Unfortunately, professional football hasn't followed suit.


Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2005, 04:45:04 PM »
Pro football: Old Soldier Field, except in Fog :'(

Baseball: Wrigley Field

Basketball: Philadelphia Civic Center.  Wilt Chamberlain, the greatest athlete of all time.  Michael Jordan couldn't hold his jockstrap.
Hockey: The Spectrum during Broad Street Bullies heyday.  It was a toilet bowl but what hockey (some don't think it was)!  Ed Van Imp hip checking a Russian and the whole Russian team left the ice like babies and then Clarke breaking Karmelov's ankle was the most thrilling game ever.  After the Russians destroyed every other team, the Flyers beat them literally and figuratively.

Tennis: Wimbeldon

College Football: Franklin Field.  Take Beaver Stadium and burn it.  No comparison.  Weightman Hall that closes the horseshoe is remarkable architecture as is the entire stadium.

College Basketball: The Palestra, hands down the most historic arena in college basketball and the best place to see great games.

Racing: Who cares?

Golf: Shinnecock Hills anytime but especially October.  Magical.

Kyle Harris

Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2005, 04:53:48 PM »
I'll agree with Franklin Field, in both the Pro Sports and College category. What a wonderful place to watch a game!


Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2005, 05:01:02 PM »
Whooah!  You're going with Not Penn State?  Oh man, I thought we'd be battling over that one!  You must be in a good mood, Kyle.  But then again, Franklin Field is a fantastic stadium.  Don't forget, not only football but the Penn Relays as well.  Have you ever been to the Palestra, Kyle?  We have to go to a Penn-Princeton or Big 5 game there.  You won't believe how intimate and loud that place gets.  By the way, ever go to the University Museum across the street from Franklin Field.  Its an anthropology museum that is a masterpiece of architecture.

Kyle Harris

Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2005, 05:15:24 PM »

I'm not affiliated with the school that has an image problem.

You are...  :P

Never been to the Palestra but would love to go to a game with you. Big 5 Basketball is a favorite.

In it's day, Rec Hall at PSU rocked, especially when PSU beat Indiana back in 1991. However, as mentioned before, the teams do make the venue - and unfortunately, Penn State Basketball never quite matched the quaintness of Rec Hall.

However, Rec Hall did used to hold all the PSU concerts. I saw George Clinton/Parliament give a free concert there in 2002. Also, Genesis played it in 1978 - have a ticket stub from that.

Volleyball games there can get quite loud, as can pep rallies.

Nobody can argue Franklin Field's history and place, and the architecture is quite neat in University City.

Kyle Harris

Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2005, 05:46:10 PM »
Does Old Veteran's Stadium = Carnoustie?



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Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2005, 05:58:44 PM »
Kyle & Shivas

You haven't answered the question.  What other stadium in the country packs in 110,000 people, looks like it holds less than 20, 000 from outside (Kyle, building the stadium in a hole was a brilliant idea, far better than these modern metal jobs that looks like a 3 year old built), looks good and is walking distance to the city center?  There is nothing like Michigan Stadium anywhere.  All the rest are pretenders.  

I can't believe anyone would hold that wreck up down there in Ohio as a worthy comparison to The Big House.

PS  I don't know what you are talking about Shivas, The Big House can very noisy.  You are the only guy I know complaining about it being too quiet.  I used to live about two miles away from the stadium, I knew when the Wolverines were in The Big House.



New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Kyle Harris

Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2005, 06:02:15 PM »

Then why the major makeover and ensuing shrinking of capacity?  :P

Neyland stadium doesn't look too big, nor does Kyle Field at Texas A&M. Neyland holes 102,000 I think. When the Kyle Field modifications are done, it will be the largest in the country. Sure, these don't look like the hold but 20,000 but their footprints aren't too spectacular either.

Kyle Harris

Re:Venues of Sport
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2005, 06:11:35 PM »
Okay, the bickering has gone on long enough  :)

The point of this thread was to get discussion going on my theory that golf courses are the most pure form of sporting venue out there, and that they should easily rank with the best and most storied venues in the country.

From a pure spectator standpoint, golf courses allow the spectator the flexibility to choose their angle and distance to view the action, and what action/player to view.

From a participant standpoint, golf courses influence play on every level more than any other venue in sports, both psychologically and skill-wise. Sure, a pitcher in Coors Field will probably pitch around batters a bit more, and playing in venues like Autzen Stadium, Kyle Field, Ohio Stadium, Beaver Stadium and Camp Randall can be harrowing for opposing team's offensive units due to noise, but that influence has many non-game factors, including the crowd and performance of the home team.

Golf Courses just lie there.  :)


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