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Merion, the Yale Bowl, and Butler Fieldhouse - Page 2

post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by zipazoid View Post

Look, it's not like this is a regular occurrence. There's only one US Open a year. And more often than not it is held at venues where logistics aren't a major hassle. I'm quick to criticize the USGA, but in this instance I appreciate their willingness to have the Open at a site reeking of history that presents logistical challenges; ostensibly for tradition's sake. And successfully pull it off.

 

It's not like they have to 'appeal' to fans to get sellouts for US Opens. They'll come. 

 

Well, that is kind of my point. Philly would have showed up regardless. It's a huge golf region and we haven't had a regular PGA event in over thirty years.

post #20 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Fair enough on your experience.

 

But you're also the only person I've heard talking about this as if it's a big deal.

 

I think that last week was a success. Everyone I've talked to that went loved it (11 people), and everyone who watched it on TV loved watching it.

 

It's always better on TV. I wouldn't have missed marshaling a US Open, but I did kind of miss being able to actually sit and watch some golf. I really had no idea what was going on most of Sunday, as I was busy getting my marshals in position. We had a couple of undesirable assignments around the 17th hole and I had to make sure to rotate the folks around.

 

There were few complaints from the spectators until the untenable situation at the end. People wanted to be there but I just think it could have been better. The USGA was closing down crosswalks on the whole back nine as the last couple of groups approached, leaving thousands of people stuck for a half hour at a time with nowhere to go, especially when they got to 17.

post #21 of 59

It's as simple as this, phan52.

 

I'm sorry that you had a bad experience. This year's US Open probably wasn't for everybody, particularly fans that are used to larger, more custom-built facilities that host other large tournaments. There are rumblings that Aronimink will be awarded a PGA Championship in the near future; hopefully a major event there will be more to your liking.

 

If the Open returns to Merion 10 years from now, I'd be more than happy to relieve you of the burden of attending again, and I'm sure there are hundreds of others who would do the same if given the opportunity.

post #22 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post

Is Sea World 16 miles from Torrey? Don't answer that, because I know it is not, it's an easy drive up 5. After the one remote parking lot was closed down because of the rain this past week, the nearest parking was in Chester, PA, almost in Delaware. And the range at Torrey is AT Torrey, not at a whole other site.

 

Not having the opportunity for ANYBODY to see important shots on the last four holes of a Major is ridiculous. And I won't even try to explain the chaotic situation at the last threee holes on Sunday on a golf course that sits on 134 acres because, really, you had to be there. In comparison, Aronimink had over 100,000 more people at the ATT National in 2010, but they have over 300 acres and there was plenty of opportunity to see every single shot that was hit on the golf course.

So what does the rain causing one parking lot to get shut down off the premises have to do with the size of Merion?  That's the rains fault, not the courses.  My point is that all of these events require patience from everybody attending, and pretty much all of them include off-site parking.  Torrey would include a really long walk if you wanted to get to the range, whereas Merion required a shuttle instead.  If I wanted to go to the range, I would drag myself over there ... but I didn't.  If you want to go to the range, guess what you do?  You get on the shuttle.  If you don't want to deal with it, you stay at the course and watch more golf.

 

I still don't see what the big deal is about nobody seeing a few shots live.  I've been to tournaments and tried to follow Tiger, and it's really hard to do.  The vast majority of people don't see squat, anyway.  I was 60 feet away from the green of 13 on Saturday when Tiger made his eagle in '08 and saw absolutely nothing.  The same is going to be true about the last couple of holes of a major no matter who is leading.  So the 500 people or so that would have had a good close up view of the putts on 16 and drives on 15 (or whatever) didn't get to?  Big deal.  That still doesn't inconvenience anybody.

 

It's a beautiful course, it held its own great, and if they hold another Open there I would be willing to bet that it will sell out again, and will generate massive TV ratings, and you will probably jump at the chance to marshal there again.

post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

So what does the rain causing one parking lot to get shut down off the premises have to do with the size of Merion?  That's the rains fault, not the courses.  My point is that all of these events require patience from everybody attending, and pretty much all of them include off-site parking.  Torrey would include a really long walk if you wanted to get to the range, whereas Merion required a shuttle instead.  If I wanted to go to the range, I would drag myself over there ... but I didn't.  If you want to go to the range, guess what you do?  You get on the shuttle.  If you don't want to deal with it, you stay at the course and watch more golf.

 

I still don't see what the big deal is about nobody seeing a few shots live.  I've been to tournaments and tried to follow Tiger, and it's really hard to do.  The vast majority of people don't see squat, anyway.  I was 60 feet away from the green of 13 on Saturday when Tiger made his eagle in '08 and saw absolutely nothing.  The same is going to be true about the last couple of holes of a major no matter who is leading.  So the 500 people or so that would have had a good close up view of the putts on 16 and drives on 15 (or whatever) didn't get to?  Big deal.  That still doesn't inconvenience anybody.

 

It's a beautiful course, it held its own great, and if they hold another Open there I would be willing to bet that it will sell out again, and will generate massive TV ratings, and you will probably jump at the chance to marshal there again.

 

You are seriously missing my point. Following Tiger is an exercise in frustration no matter where the tournament is being played. It is not the same thing as not being able to even see a player like John Peterson chip and putt on 16. You don't think it was strange watching on TV that there was zero spectator reaction to anything that happened on 16? I have never seen or heard anything lke that before. Even on 12 at Augusta the fans behind the 12th tee can see and react to what happens on the green.

post #24 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilli Dipper View Post

It's as simple as this, phan52.

 

I'm sorry that you had a bad experience. This year's US Open probably wasn't for everybody, particularly fans that are used to larger, more custom-built facilities that host other large tournaments. There are rumblings that Aronimink will be awarded a PGA Championship in the near future; hopefully a major event there will be more to your liking.

 

If the Open returns to Merion 10 years from now, I'd be more than happy to relieve you of the burden of attending again, and I'm sure there are hundreds of others who would do the same if given the opportunity.

 

I did not have a bad experience. I wouldn't have missed the experience I had as a marshal hole captain for anything. There were times when I had the 17th tee and the 16th green almost to myself. The media center and network on-site studio was also right next to the tee and I met and and had conversations with all the media personalities and players who visited for interviews while I was there. I chatted with the likes of Curtis Strange, Colin Montgomerie, David Duval and Tom Watson. It was the experience of a lifetime and I will never forget it. I saw some great golf shots from the 17th tee (I missed seeing Stefani's ace, as I was doing some duty in the quarry, but it was an exciting moment). I just don't think Merion is a great setup for spectators in general.

 

Hell, I went wherever I wanted inside the ropes and was able to see golf shots that no more than a dozen people got to see. But, think about it. That is stupid an unfair. Spectators really had little recourse other than to stake a spot in a grandstand somewhere and stay there. On Sunday, all of the grandstands were full by 11:00 and nobody budged. If you weren't there early enough, you were s*** out of luck. That is not my idea of attending a Major golf tournament and, if I wasn't marshaling, I would have stayed home and watched it all on my couch. After an early roung of golf, of course. a1_smile.gif

post #25 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post

Hell, I went wherever I wanted inside the ropes and was able to see golf shots that no more than a dozen people got to see. But, think about it. That is stupid an unfair. Spectators really had little recourse other than to stake a spot in a grandstand somewhere and stay there. On Sunday, all of the grandstands were full by 11:00 and nobody budged. If you weren't there early enough, you were s*** out of luck. That is not my idea of attending a Major golf tournament and, if I wasn't marshaling, I would have stayed home and watched it all on my couch. After an early roung of golf, of course. a1_smile.gif

 

 

Guess what? I attended the U.S. Open at Oakmont in 2007 (and 2010). I arrived at 5:05am on Sunday. I was roughly the eighth person in the grandstands on 18. By 10am, there were no spots left. And Oakmont is pretty big. That's the way it goes. It's a major. People get to their spots early at Augusta too. And Kiawah Island. And they endure long shuttle rides, etc.

 

I've been to The Memorial eight years in a row now. Sunday is crazy busy sometimes, and that too is a relatively big golf course on a good amount of land, with bleachers all over the place, and hillsides you can sit on, etc. The good spots go quickly there, too.

 

We get your point. We simply disagree with it that Merion was SO BAD compared to other tournaments.

 

Now try to get mine: please use multi-quote to respond to multiple posts in one response, rather than several. Thank you.

post #26 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceMGF View Post

I think Costas was comparing apples to oranges.

Maybe something like Fenway Park, or the old (pre-2009) Yankee Stadium would have been a better comparison?

They are/were both known for having short fences in the corners. Fenway is even like Merion in that it only seats ~35,000 people, far fewer than the average new MLB ballpark.

Or even the old Boston Garden (not to sound like a homer here, these are just the examples that I know the best). The way they overlaid the wood floor over the hockey ice was notoriously bad, and produced wet and dead spots that tended to favor the players who knew where to spot them.
post #27 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post

 

I did not have a bad experience. I wouldn't have missed the experience I had as a marshal hole captain for anything. There were times when I had the 17th tee and the 16th green almost to myself. The media center and network on-site studio was also right next to the tee and I met and and had conversations with all the media personalities and players who visited for interviews while I was there. I chatted with the likes of Curtis Strange, Colin Montgomerie, David Duval and Tom Watson. It was the experience of a lifetime and I will never forget it. I saw some great golf shots from the 17th tee (I missed seeing Stefani's ace, as I was doing some duty in the quarry, but it was an exciting moment). I just don't think Merion is a great setup for spectators in general.

 

Hell, I went wherever I wanted inside the ropes and was able to see golf shots that no more than a dozen people got to see. But, think about it. That is stupid an unfair. Spectators really had little recourse other than to stake a spot in a grandstand somewhere and stay there. On Sunday, all of the grandstands were full by 11:00 and nobody budged. If you weren't there early enough, you were s*** out of luck. That is not my idea of attending a Major golf tournament and, if I wasn't marshaling, I would have stayed home and watched it all on my couch. After an early round of golf, of course. a1_smile.gif

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

 

Guess what? I attended the U.S. Open at Oakmont in 2007 (and 2010). I arrived at 5:05am on Sunday. I was roughly the eighth person in the grandstands on 18. By 10am, there were no spots left. And Oakmont is pretty big. That's the way it goes. It's a major. People get to their spots early at Augusta too. And Kiawah Island. And they endure long shuttle rides, etc.

 

I've been to The Memorial eight years in a row now. Sunday is crazy busy sometimes, and that too is a relatively big golf course on a good amount of land, with bleachers all over the place, and hillsides you can sit on, etc. The good spots go quickly there, too.

 

We get your point. We simply disagree with it that Merion was SO BAD compared to other tournaments.

 

Now try to get mine: please use multi-quote to respond to multiple posts in one response, rather than several. Thank you.

 

I was at Oakmont as well and, while there were multiple grandstands that were filled by the time I got to certain holes, I could walk around and see a lot of golf regardless. Oakmont sits on about twice as many acres as Merion. Same with places like Winged Foot and Augusta, I could always find a spot to watch some golf. We used to have a PGA event at my course and we have about the same amount of acreage as Merion. Of course, we used to average only about 12-15,000 spectators back in the day and they didn't have things like corporate amenities. The Senior Tour thought about coming back in the late nineties because the players really liked the course, but even the Senior Tour knew that it was impossible logistically on our piece of land.

 

We'll have to agree to disagree on this because I just think it is unfair to local spectators to hold an event like this at a smallish venue. Great for the history of the game, I guess, but you won't see me there unless I'm inside the ropes.

post #28 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post

You are seriously missing my point.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

We get your point. We simply disagree with it that Merion was SO BAD compared to other tournaments.

Yeah, what he said.  I absolutely "get" your point.  Trust me.  I just flat out disagree with it.  I can also add Torrey to Erik's and your list of US Open venues that had full grandstands very early in the day.  That isn't abnormal at all, and especially at majors.  If the DIDN'T limit the number of spectators, and tried to cram the same amount of people in there as they have at Pinehurst or some other large venue, then I might be more inclined to agree with your point.

 

And to be 100% honest, I actually did not notice on TV the parts of the course that had no live fan reaction.  I'm sure if I still had it on the DVR and watched it again it would be really obvious since I was looking for it, but yesterday I didn't notice.

post #29 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post

We'll have to agree to disagree on this because I just think it is unfair to local spectators to hold an event like this at a smallish venue. Great for the history of the game, I guess, but you won't see me there unless I'm inside the ropes.

So you'd rather have them not go to the area at all? Because that's your option. The USGA didn't just decide to go to Philly and then pick Merion because it'd be a cute story. If they weren't going to play at Merion it would have been at Torrey or Southern Hills or Winged Foot.

I'd rather have a U.S. Open in my area and have a mediocre experience going than not have a U.S. Open nearby at all.
post #30 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

And to be 100% honest, I actually did not notice on TV the parts of the course that had no live fan reaction.  I'm sure if I still had it on the DVR and watched it again it would be really obvious since I was looking for it, but yesterday I didn't notice.

In fact, I distinctly remember that the 14th green was off-limits to spectators at the '07 Open; Oakmont is a much larger property, but even there, 14 green and 15 tee are wedged between the 12th and 18th holes so that crowds couldn't access that part of the course.

Under that line of thinking, Augusta National is unsuitable for championship golf, since the patrons can't get close to the greens at Amen Corner.
post #31 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post


So you'd rather have them not go to the area at all? Because that's your option. The USGA didn't just decide to go to Philly and then pick Merion because it'd be a cute story. If they weren't going to play at Merion it would have been at Torrey or Southern Hills or Winged Foot.

I'd rather have a U.S. Open in my area and have a mediocre experience going than not have a U.S. Open nearby at all.

 

I have gone to multiple US Opens outside of Philly.I was at Oakmont and Winged Foot. I was invited to go to Bethpage and Shinnicock, but I didn't feel like making the traverse to Long Island (although I have played both and the size of the complexes dwarf Merion). And BTW, as I've said, I DID attend this week; I was there for six days. But as I've said multiple times already, I was a marshal, I could go where I wanted and I had a terrific experience. A much better experience that the poor shlubs tramping around hopelessly trying to see a golf shot. One of the better things I will get out of it is that I will get to play there in a couple of weeks. I don't think the guys scrambling to get within ten rows of Phil and Justin on Sunday will have that opportunity. I simply would not have gone if I wasn't inside the ropes.

 

Sure, it is good for the community in a lot of ways, so I am happy for that. I have already heard from members in the know that they are in line for another Open. Good for them. I figure by then I might be too old to handle what I did this week, so I will happily watch from my recliner in my family room every afternoon after a morning round of golf. I won't miss being a spectator at Merion.

 


 

 

Quote:
Under that line of thinking, Augusta National is unsuitable for championship golf, since the patrons can't get close to the greens at Amen Corner.

 

But you can sit in the stands behind the 12th tee and see and react to everything that happens on 11, 12, and 13. I can personally attest to that. Nobody but marshals and the television audience could see tee shots on 15, or the result of approach shots and putts on 16 at Merion. I can personally attest to that also.

post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilli Dipper View Post


In fact, I distinctly remember that the 14th green was off-limits to spectators at the '07 Open; Oakmont is a much larger property, but even there, 14 green and 15 tee are wedged between the 12th and 18th holes so that crowds couldn't access that part of the course.

Under that line of thinking, Augusta National is unsuitable for championship golf, since the patrons can't get close to the greens at Amen Corner.

Right.  Golf courses are all different and all have their own little quirks.  Heck, I could make similar arguments about Pebble Beach too.  How many people can they possibly cram on the hill behind the 6th green that allows a view of the 7th hole or 8th tee shot?  Or in the tight space between the 5th hole and the houses?

 

Or the logistical nightmare at Torrey where the 8th green, 17 green, 18th tee and 9th tee all come together?

 

geauxforbroke was right ... "Terrible way to look at it. The USGA should not base their decisions solely on spectator experience. Otherwise, they should just build a string of 18 football stadiums with holes in the middle."

post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post

Nobody but marshals and the television audience could see tee shots on 15, or the result of approach shots and putts on 16 at Merion. I can also personally attest to that.

 

So?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by phan52 View Post

We'll have to agree to disagree on this because I just think it is unfair to local spectators to hold an event like this at a smallish venue. Great for the history of the game, I guess, but you won't see me there unless I'm inside the ropes.

 

Yeah, let's just not let any of them attend a local event at all. That'll teach 'em! d2_doh.gif

 

And Chilli makes a good point about Oakmont's interior 14th green and 15th tee.

post #34 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post

I don't think the guys scrambling to get within ten rows of Phil and Justin on Sunday will have that opportunity. I simply would not have gone if I wasn't inside the ropes.

You keep coming back to statements like this as if its not EXACTLY the same at every other major tournament.

 

When you go to see a golf tournament live and you expect to see a lot of golf, especially at a major, then you have unrealistic expectations.  You can only be in one place at a time, whereas you know if you stay home, you are going to see every relevant shot.  You either pick a hole and find a good spot, and then cross your fingers that something good happens there while the leaders are coming through, or you try and fight the crowds and follow one of those groups around the course.  Or you avoid crowds altogether and just watch the irrelevant golfers out of the hunt.  Either way, you are seeing a tiny fraction of the action.

post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

You keep coming back to statements like this as if its not EXACTLY the same at every other major tournament.

 

When you go to see a golf tournament live and you expect to see a lot of golf, especially at a major, then you have unrealistic expectations.  You can only be in one place at a time, whereas you know if you stay home, you are going to see every relevant shot.  You either pick a hole and find a good spot, and then cross your fingers that something good happens there while the leaders are coming through, or you try and fight the crowds and follow one of those groups around the course.  Or you avoid crowds altogether and just watch the irrelevant golfers out of the hunt.  Either way, you are seeing a tiny fraction of the action.

 

And you keep coming back with statements like that while ignoring the fact that I have said that I have attended MULTIPLE Majors and many PGA events. and been able to wander the property and watch golf without having to sit in a grandstand. I have experienced going to professional golf tournaments for fifty years now (I attended my first as an 11 year old in 1963 and walked a fairway right next to Arnold Palmer), and I have never seen a situation as bad as Merion in 2013 for spectators.

 

I said in an earlier post that I have attended 3 US Opens, but I actually had forgotten the fact that I attended Merion in 1971 and saw a whole lot of golf without sitting for hours in one spot in a grandstand. Of course, that predated grandstands and corporate amenities and I remember standing in a bunker at one point while watching Jack Nicklaus hit a shot, so maybe that doesn't count.

post #36 of 59

Okay, we're all wrong, and you're right. Our experiences count for nothing, yours - however muddled they seem - count for everything. The experiences of the many people I've talked to at Merion also don't count. What do they know? Heck, two of them have only been to the last 37 U.S. Opens.

 

I give up.

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