Title:
GOLF SPECTATOR CONTROL SYSTEM AND METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A spectator system and a method for controlling spectators at a golf outing is disclosed. One or more preferred viewing areas are located throughout the golf course where holders of a certain class of tickets are allowed access, but not holders of any other class of ticket. These preferred viewing areas may be in the form of relatively narrow lanes which extend along the entire extent or a portion of the extent of the tees box, the fairway, and/or green. A plurality of viewing enclosures are located throughout the golf course where holders of tickets which provide access to the preferred viewing areas may congregate for socialization and/or a viewing of the golf action while being protected from the elements.



Inventors:
Vickers, Jack A. (CASTLE ROCK, CO, US)
Thiel, Larry O. (ENGLEWOOD, CO, US)
Application Number:
08/893250
Publication Date:
12/12/2002
Filing Date:
07/16/1997
Assignee:
VICKERS JACK A.
THIEL LARRY O.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/415, 473/409
International Classes:
A63B71/02; (IPC1-7): A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090183721ARROWHEAD GUARDJuly, 2009Sabi
20040157677Golf club set with variable thickness and/or density face insertsAugust, 2004Roach et al.
20080119306TACKLING DUMMYMay, 2008Gamboa
20060019775Baseball pitching practice aidJanuary, 2006Nurthen
20090181791Golf Club Attachment Mechanisms And Methods To Attach Golf ClubsJuly, 2009Sanchez et al.
20010007835Modular golf club system and methodJuly, 2001Baron
20090143159STRIKE FORCE INDICATORJune, 2009Murph et al.
20080026883Lacrosse Head With Separable PartsJanuary, 2008Macneil et al.
20030203770Golf ball with thermoplastic polyurethane threadOctober, 2003Dewanjee
20070135245Sports racquet with string port holesJune, 2007Gazzara et al.
20090305827SPORTS THROWING TRAINING DEVICEDecember, 2009Webb et al.



Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JAMES L. JOHNSON (DENVER, CO, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A spectator system for a golf course, comprising: a first tee box; a first green associated with said first tee box; a first area extending from said first tee box to said first green; a first partition extending along at least a portion of a boundary associated with at least one of said first tee box, said first area, and said first green; a second partition, spaced from said first partition, extending along said at least a portion of a boundary associated with at least one of said first tee box, said first area, and said first green; and spectators in an area between said first and second partitions and spectators in an area behind said second partition.

2. A system, as claimed in claim 1, wherein: said first area comprises a fairway, wherein said first and second partitions each extend along a first side of said fairway and spaced from said fairway.

3. A system, as claimed in claim 1, wherein: each of said first and second partitions are selected from the group consisting essentially of rope, twine, cable, and fencing.

4. A system, as claimed in claim 1, wherein: said first and second partitions are separated by a distance within a range of about 6 feet to about 8 feet.

5. A system, as claimed in claim 1, wherein: said first partition is disposed closer to said at least a portion of a boundary associated with at least one of said first tee box, said first area, and said first green than said second partition, wherein said system further comprises a plurality of first spectators in a first space between said first and second partitions and a plurality of second spectators positioned on a side of said second partition opposite said first space and further from said at least a portion of a boundary associated with at least one of said first tee box, said first area, and said first green than said plurality of first spectators in said first space.

6. A system, as claimed in claim 5, wherein: a number of said first spectators is less than a number of said second spectators.

7. A system, as claimed in claim 1, further comprising: a first space between said first and second partitions, wherein an area of said first space is substantially less than an area on a side of said second partition opposite said first space and behind said second partition.

8. A system, as claimed in claim 1, wherein: a first space is defamed between said first and second partitions, said assembly further comprising a first access to said first space and a second access to said first space.

9. A system, as claimed in claim 1, wherein: each of said first and second partitions extend from a location at least generally proximate said first tee box to a location at least generally proximate said first green.

10. A system, as claimed in claim 9, wherein: a first space is defined between said first and second partitions, said assembly further comprising at least one access to said first space, wherein a number of said accesses to said first space is within a range of one to three.

11. A system, as claimed in claim 9, further comprising: a first access to said first space located at least generally proximate said first tee box and a second access to said first space located at least generally proximate said first green.

12. A system, as claimed in claim 1, wherein: a first space is defamed between said first and second partitions, said system further comprising a first spectator viewing structure comprising a roof, said system further comprising a private path from said first structure to said first space.

13. A system, as claimed in claim 12, wherein: said first structure is elevated a distance of at least about 10 feet above a ground that supports said first structure.

14. A system, as claimed in claim 12, wherein: said first structure comprises a first computer operatively interfaced with a second computer located outside of said first structure, wherein access to tournament information is available on said first computer through said second computer.

15. A system, as claimed in claim 12, further comprising: seating associated with said first structure.

16. A system, as claimed in claim 14, wherein: said seating comprises bleachers.

17. A system, as claimed in claim 12, wherein: said first structure is disposed at least generally proximate one of at said first green and said first tee box.

18. A method for controlling spectators at a golf tournament on a golf course comprising eighteen holes, said method comprising the steps of: issuing a first class of tickets; issuing a second class of tickets different from said first class of tickets; establishing a plurality of first viewing areas on each of said eighteen holes of said golf course; providing access to said first viewing areas to only holders of said first class of tickets; establishing a plurality of second viewing areas on each of said eighteen holes of said golf course; and providing access to said second viewing areas to holders of at least said second class of tickets.

19. A method, as claimed in claim 18, wherein: said issuing a first class of tickets comprises the step of issuing a first number of said first class of tickets; said issuing a second class of tickets comprises the step of issuing a second number of said second class of tickets; and wherein said first number is less than said second number.

20. A method, as claimed in claim 18, wherein: one of said holes comprises a first tee box, a first green, and a first fairway disposed between said first tee box and said first green, wherein one of said first viewing areas is disposed between said first fairway and one of said second viewing areas, whereby holders of said first class of tickets in said one of said first viewing areas are closer to said first fairway than holders of said second class of tickets in said one of said second viewing areas.

21. A method, as claimed in claim 18, wherein: said establishing a plurality of first viewing areas comprises establishing at least one of said plurality of first viewing areas at a location having an at least partially enclosed first structure having a floor disposed above the ground on which said first structure is positioned, wherein there is a space between said floor and said ground.

22. A method, as claimed in claim 18, wherein: said establishing a plurality of first viewing areas comprises establishing one of said first viewing areas on only a first side of one of said holes; and said establishing a plurality of second viewing areas comprises establishing one of said second viewing areas on only a second side of said one of said holes opposite said first side.

23. A method, as claimed in claim 18, wherein one of said holes comprises a first tee box, a first green, and a first area extending between said first tee box and said first green; said establishing a plurality of first viewing areas comprises installing a first partition along at least a portion of a boundary associated with at least one of said first tee box, said first area, and said first green; and said establishing a plurality of second viewing areas comprises installing a second partition along said at least a portion of a boundary associated with at least one of said first tee box, said first area, and said first green to define a first space between said first partition and said second partition, wherein only holders of said first class of tickets are allowed in said first space and wherein holders of said second class of tickets are isolated from said first space by said second partition.

24. A method, as claimed in claim 18, wherein each of said eighteen holes comprises a green, wherein: said establishing a plurality of first viewing areas step comprises retaining access to at least a portion of each of said eighteen greens for said establishing a plurality of second view areas step.

25. A method, as claimed in claim 18, further comprising the steps of: limiting a flow of holders of said first class of tickets through at least one of said plurality of first viewing areas to only one direction.

26. A golf spectator system, comprising: eighteen golf holes each comprising a tee box, a green, and a first area extending from said tee box to said green; a portable first structure comprising a roof, at least one concession area under said roof, and spectator seating, said first structure being no more than about 40 feet from at least one of said greens and said tee boxes.

27. A system, as claimed in claim 26, wherein: at least a portion of said spectator seating is disposed under said roof.

28. A system, as claimed in claim 26, wherein: at least a portion of said spectator seating is disposed out from under said roof.

29. A system, as claimed in claim 26, wherein: said portable first structure comprises a floor, said roof being disposed above at least said floor, wherein said floor is disposed above ground which supports said first structure a distance of at least about 4 feet.

30. A system, as claimed in claim 26, wherein: said portable first structure further comprises first and second types of communication devices.

31. A system, as claimed in claim 26, further comprising: a golf announcer's stand at least generally proximate one of said greens, wherein said portable first structure is different from said announcer's stand and is also disposed proximate said one of said greens.

32. A system, as claimed in claim 26, further comprising: at least four of said portable first structures, each of said portable first structures being positioned on a different hole.

33. A system, as claimed in claim 25, wherein: said first structure is elevated a distance of at least about 10 feet above said one of said greens and said tee boxes.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention generally relates to golf and, more particularly, to a system and method for controlling spectators at a golf tournament.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Golf offers an effective means of doing business. For example, potential clients or other business contacts are often provided tickets to both local and other prominent golf tournaments. Corporations and other businesses also purchase the right to have a hospitality tent at various tournaments (often at a fairly substantial expense) where employees and/or other guests may congregate to socialize. These corporate hospitality tents are typically grouped together to form a “tent city” at some convenient location on the golf course which does not interfere with the gallery and/or provide adequate viewing of the golf action. Although special tickets are issued to provide patrons access to these tents, these patrons do not receive any preferential treatment in viewing the golf tournament. Tournament viewing locations are defined by gallery ropes which are put up around the course before the start of the golf tournament to control the spectator's access to the players and the course. All spectators are required to stay behind the same gallery rope at any given location on the golf course.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The present invention generally relates to a system and method for controlling spectators at a golf tournament. Golf courses are typically set up for tournament play to include a single gallery rope between the players and the gallery so that all members of the gallery are provided equal access to all portions of the golf course for viewing the golfing action. A first aspect of the present invention deviates from this normal setup in that the gallery viewing area on at least one of the holes, and typically on a plurality of the golf holes, is segregated in a manner so that a portion of the gallery (typically a relatively small percentage) has a preferred seating of sorts in relation to the remainder of the gallery. In this regard, the system of the first aspect includes a first barrier or partition which extends along, where practical, at least a portion of a boundary associated with at least one of a first tee box, a first green, and a first area which extends from the first tee box to the first green (e.g., a fairway and/or rough, a walking area in the case of a par 3). Thus, the first barrier or partition extends along at least a portion of the first tee box and/or first green, potentially spaced therefrom, and/or along the first fairway, potentially spaced therefrom such as in the rough associated with the first fairway. A second barrier or partition is spaced from this first partition and extends at least generally coterminously with the first partition. Spectators may occupy the space between the. first and second partitions, and also the area behind the second partition. As such, the first aspect of the present invention may be used to provide a relatively small “lane” of preferred seating for a relatively small portion of the gallery. Multiple classes of tickets may then be issued, one class of ticket offering access only to that area behind the second partition which may be offered at one price, and another class of ticket offering access to the preferred viewing area between the first and second partitions which may be offered at a different and typically increased ticket price.

[0004] Various features may be associated with this first aspect of the present invention. The first and second partitions may be structures such as rope, twine, or cable, although any type of partition is contemplated by the first aspect. The spacing between the first and second partitions, or more specifically the width of the preferred viewing area, in one embodiment may be selected to be no more than about 10 feet and in another embodiment within the range of about 6 feet to about 8 feet. The length of the preferred viewing area between the first and second partitions will typically be as long as reasonably possible, and in one embodiment is at least 100 yards (e.g., along a par 3 golf hole). In another embodiment, this length ranges from about 200 yards to about 475 yards (e.g., along a par 4 golf hole), and in yet another embodiment ranges from about 450 yards to about 650 yards (e.g., along a par 5 golf hole). Access to the preferred viewing area may be controlled, such as by providing access points only in the vicinity of the tee box, the green associated with the tee box, and possibly at an intermediate location therebetween such as at a fairway crosswalk. Typically, no more than 3 accesses will be provided for each preferred viewing area defined between the first and second partitions.

[0005] Additional features may be associated with the spectator system of this first aspect of the present invention. At least one, and typically from four to seven, viewing structures (e.g., portable tents having a roof and various types of amenities, such as attendants, concessions (beverage and/or food), telecommunication devices (phones, faxes, Internet access), seating for both socialization and tournament viewing both inside and outside of the structure, one or more computers for receiving tournament scoring information on a real-time basis through interfacing with another computer located outside of the viewing structure such as at the scoring tent, and/or closed circuit television for viewing the golf action) may be provided throughout the golf course for purposes of enhancing viewing of the golf tournament and/or interfacing with the preferred viewing areas defined by the first and second partitions in this first aspect. Private paths (e.g., roped off areas) may provide access from one or more of these structure(s) to one or more of the preferred viewing areas between the first and second partitions. This allows patrons in the preferred viewing area enhanced access to viewing of the golfing action. One or more of these types of structures may be disposed at certain preferred viewing locations throughout the golf course, such as near a green or tee box (e.g., preferably no more than about 150-200 feet away from the action, and sometimes within about 30-40 feet of the golfing action or no more than about 40 feet from the golfing action), such that the patrons may view the golfing action from the convenience of the structure. Viewing of the golf tournament may be further enhanced by “elevating” one or more of the noted structures relative to the area being viewed, such as by disposing their respective floors preferably above the ground which supports the structure (e.g., a distance of at least about 4 feet; a distance within the range of about 10-15 feet) and/or positioning the structure at an elevated area on the golf course such as on a hilltop (e.g., disposing the viewing structure at least about 10-15 feet above the green, tee box, or other area being viewed from the structure). Strategically positioning these structures can be used to provide preferred viewing of the golfing action (e.g., substantially unobstructed) without interfering with the normal gallery's viewing of the golf tournament which may be positioned “in front” of the viewing structure in some cases.

[0006] Another aspect of the present invention relates to a method for controlling spectators at a golf tournament. Multiple classes of tickets are made available to the spectators. One class of tickets allows the corresponding ticket holder access to one or more first viewing areas established throughout the golf course for viewing the golfing action, while another class of tickets allows the corresponding ticket holder access to only one or more second viewing areas throughout the golf course for viewing the golfing action. That is, the holders of the second class of tickets are not allowed to access the first viewing areas, although the first class of ticket holders may be provided access to the various first viewing areas and possibly even the second viewing areas.

[0007] Various features may be associated with this second aspect of the present invention.. The number of tickets associated with the first class made available to the public may differ from the number of tickets associated with the second class made available to the public. Typically, the number of tickets of the first class will be significantly less than those available of the second class of tickets (e.g., no more than from about 1000-1,500 tickets of the first ticket class versus from often more than about 25,000-30,000 tickets of the second ticket class). Issuing these two types of tickets for viewing the golfing action may be used to provide holders of the first class of tickets preferred access to the golfing action. Holders of the first class of tickets may be positioned in areas closer to the golfing action than those holders of the second class of tickets in at least certain situations (e.g., such that the holders of the first class of tickets in a certain viewing area may be positioned between holders of the second class of tickets and the golf participants (e.g., touring professionals)). The above-noted types of viewing structures associated with the first aspect of the present invention may be incorporated into this second aspect of the present invention as well, typically in association with the first class of tickets.

[0008] The method of the second aspect of the present invention may further include having one of the first viewing areas being on one side of a given hole and having one of the second viewing areas being on the opposite side of this hole (e.g., such that a first viewing area extends along one side of the fairway while a second viewing area extends along the opposite side of the fairway). The first and second viewing areas may also be on the same side of the golf hole, with the first viewing area being defined by a space between the types of first and second partitions referenced above with regard to the first aspect of the present invention, and with the second viewing area being located “behind” the second partition. Access to the first viewing areas may be limited, such as through the use of marshals or other attendants. Moreover, the direction of spectator movement through a given first viewing area may be limited such that all traffic through the first viewing area is only in a single direction to further enhance viewing of the golfing action. Seating restrictions may also be imposed in the first viewing area(s)—that is requiring patrons in the first viewing area to be seated when not walking to another viewing location. These latter two features will typically be incorporated when the first viewing area is a limited space between first and second spaced partitions.

[0009] A third aspect of the present invention is a golf spectator assembly. The assembly includes 18 golf holes each having a tee box, a green, and a first area disposed therebetween. This first area will include a fairway and possibly rough in the case of a-par four or five golf hole, and may be merely a walk area or hazard in the case of a par three golf hole. A portable structure including a roof, at least one concession area under the roof, and associated spectator seating is provided and positioned preferably no more than about 200 feet from at least one of the greens, fairways, and/or tee boxes. In some cases, this noted distance may be no more than about 40 feet. Some spectator seating may be provided under the roof to protect the patrons from the elements while viewing the golfing action, although spectator seating or viewing areas may also be provided adjacent to the structure but away from the roof. The structure may also be elevated to enhance viewing of the golfing action, such as by disposing the floor associated with the structure a distance above the ground preferably with the range of at least about 10 feet to about 15 feet in one embodiment, and a distance of at least about 4 feet in another embodiment. The structure may also be disposed at an elevated location on the golf course to enhance viewing of the golfing action (e.g., disposing the structure at least about 10 feet above the area being viewed). This elevation of the structure may allow viewing by patrons of the structure without substantially interfering with viewing of the golfing action by the gallery. Various types of telecommunication devices may be included in the structure for the convenience of its patrons, as well as other types of amenities. A computer system may be provided to allow its patrons access to up-to-date tournament scores, such as by interfacing a computer in the structure with another computer in the scoring tent. Typically at least four to seven of these viewing structures will be strategically placed about the golf course. A larger “home-base” or home pavilion of sorts may also be provided which has even further amenities than those provided in the noted viewing structures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] FIG. 1 is a top view of one embodiment of a golf spectator assembly;

[0011] FIG. 2 is a top view of another embodiment of a golf spectator assembly;

[0012] FIG. 3 is a top view of another embodiment of a golf spectator assembly;

[0013] FIG. 4 is a top view of another embodiment of a golf spectator assembly;

[0014] FIG. 5 is a top view of another embodiment of a golf spectator assembly;

[0015] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a golf spectator assembly;

[0016] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a golf spectator assembly; and

[0017] FIG. 8 is a top view of another embodiment of a golf spectator assembly.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0018] The present invention will be described with regard to the accompanying drawings which assist in illustrating its various features. FIG. 1 illustrates a spectator assembly 2a which includes a hole 4a of a golf course which may include a plurality of golf holes (e.g., 18 holes). The hole 4a includes a tee box 6a, a green 14a, and an intermediate section 10a disposed therebetween which in the case of FIG. 1 is a fairway. In the case of a par 3 this intermediate section might merely be a walkway and/or a hazard. Various hazards, such as one or more sand traps 18a, may be utilized on the golf hole 4a of FIG. 1.

[0019] The spectator assembly 2a of FIG. 1 further includes a first barrier or partition 26a (e.g., rope, cable, twine, fence) which extends along the entire length of one side of the intermediate section 10a. A second partition 30a is spaced from the first partition 26a and extends about at least substantially the entire extent of the golf hole 4a. That is, the second partition extends along the back side of the tee box 6a, along both sides of the intermediate section 10a, around the sides of the green 14a, and along the back of the green 14a. A first viewing area 34a is defined between the first partition 26a and the adjacently disposed portion of the second partitions 30a, and is in the form of a lane or the like. Typically, a first viewing area 34a defined in this manner will be as long as practical, and in one embodiment is at least about 100 yards in length (e.g., extending from the front of the tee box 6 to the front of the green 14) and as will be discussed in more detail below is in one embodiment from about 6 feet to about 8 feet in width. A second viewing area 50a is disposed behind the second partition 30a or on the opposite side of the second partition 30a from the first viewing area 34a As such, the size of the second viewing area 50a is significantly greater than the size of the first viewing area 34a.

[0020] Access to the first viewing area 34a is provided at three locations. Access 38ai is near the tee box 6a, access 38aii is at an intermediate location of the intermediate section 10a, such as at a crosswalk 46a, and access 38aiii is near the first green 14a. The accesses 38 may simply be a rope detachably connected to a pair of spaced metal stands (e.g., as illustrated in FIG. 6) which may be easily removed from at least one of the stands to gain access to the first viewing area 34a (e.g., by a marshal/attendant associated with the first viewing areas 34 described herein to allow only the appropriate patrons access to the first viewing areas 34 and which may also monitor the first viewing areas 34). This general structure may be utilized for each spectator assembly 2 described herein where relevant.

[0021] One manner in which the various spectator assemblies 2 described herein, including the spectator assembly 2a of FIG. 1, may be incorporated at a golf outing such as at a professional golf tournament is to utilize multiple classes of tickets. One class of ticket for the golf outing may be issued which will allow a holder of such a ticket access to each of the first viewing areas 34 located throughout the golf course, and also possibly each of the second viewing areas 50. Another class of ticket for the golf outing may be issued which will allow a holder of such a ticket access only to each of the second viewing areas 50 located throughout the golf course. One or more marshals or other attendants may be positioned at one or more of the accesses 38 to a given first viewing area 34 and/or within each first viewing area 34 to monitor patron use of the first viewing areas 34 (e.g., making sure only those having the appropriate ticket are accessing the first viewing areas 34). With the first viewing areas 34 potentially being closer to the golfing action than the second viewing areas 50 (e.g., the first viewing area 34a in FIG. 1 is closer to the fairway 10a than the adjacent, corresponding portion of the second viewing area 50a), different ticket price structures may be used for the golf tournament. Tickets for the first viewing areas 34 may be priced higher than the tickets for the second viewing areas 50. Moreover, fewer tickets of the type providing access to the first viewing areas 34 may be made available than those tickets of the type providing access to only the second viewing areas 50.

[0022] Preferred viewing of the golfing action associated with the first viewing areas 34 may be accomplished without significantly disturbing the patrons of the second viewing areas 50. For instance, traffic through one or more of the first viewing areas 34 may be limited to one direction as indicated by the arrows A in the figures and controlled/monitored by the marshal(s)/attendant(s), while spectator traffic in the second viewing area 50 may limited to the direction of the arrows B in the figures or may even be unrestricted. This “restriction of movement” through a first viewing area 34 will typically be limited to those first viewing areas 34 which are defined by a limited space between a first partition 26 and a second partition 30. Moreover, patrons of the first viewing areas 34 may be required to be seated when in a stationary position therewithin when there is a second viewing area 50 behind this first viewing area 34 so as to not substantially interfere with the line of sight to the golfing action from such second viewing area(s) 50. Small fold-up seats may be provided to ticket holders of the first viewing areas 34 to effect this purpose.

[0023] The number of tickets made available in each of the above-noted classes of tickets may also differ as noted above. Significantly fewer tickets of the type which provide access to the first viewing areas 34 may be made available in comparison to those types of tickets which provide access to only the second viewing areas 50. For instance, the number of tickets made available for the various first viewing areas 34 throughout the golf course in one embodiment may be less than the number of tickets which are made available for accessing only the second viewing areas 50. As such, the first viewing areas 34 may be sized accordingly. In one embodiment, the first partition 26a is spaced from the second partition 30 by a distance of no more than about ten feet, and in another embodiment by a distance which is within the range of about 6 feet to about 8 feet. The size of the second viewing area 50a adjacent the first viewing area 34a is thereby substantially greater than the size of the first viewing area 34a. The length of a first viewing area 34 defined by a first partition 26 and a second partition 30 spaced therefrom will preferably be as long as reasonably possibly, but in one embodiment is preferably at least 100 yards long (e.g., a par 3 golf hole 4), and in another embodiment is within the range of about 200 yards up to about 650 yards (e.g., a par 4-5 golf hole 4).

[0024] At least one type of first viewing area 34 will typically be provided on each of the golf holes 4. However, how the first viewing area(s) 34 and second viewing area(s) 50 are established on each hole may differ (e.g., the “spectator assembly 2” referred to herein may be that associated with a single golf hole or multiple golf holes, including all 18 golf holes). For instance, another configuration of a spectator assembly is illustrated in FIG. 2. The spectator assembly 2b includes a golf hole 4b of the golf course. The hole 4b again includes a tee box 6b, a green 14b, and an intermediate section 10b disposed therebetween which in the case of FIG. 2 is a fairway. The spectator assembly 2b further includes a first partition 26b which extends along about ½ of the back of the tee box 6b, along the length of one side of the tee box 6b, and then along the entire length of one side of the intermediate section 10b where it effectively terminates in front of the green 14b by the water hazard 22b. A first viewing area 34b is defined behind the first partition 26b and includes a viewing structure 54b (e.g., a portable hospitality tent discussed in more detail below) which is located near the green 14b where holders of the tickets associated with the first viewing areas 34 may congregate and/or watch golf action on the green 14b and/or on the fairway 10b. In one embodiment, the viewing structure 54b is located preferably no further than about 200 feet from the closest portion of the green 14b and is located preferably no further than about 150-200 feet from the closest portion of the intermediate section 10b. The spectator assembly 2b further includes a second partition 30b which extends along about the remaining ½ of the back of the tee box 6b, along the length of the side of the tee box 6b opposite the first partition 26b, then along the entire length of one side of the intermediate section 10b, and around one side and the back of the green, 14b. A second viewing area 50b is disposed behind the second partition 30b. As such, the first viewing area 34b is disposed on the opposite side of the golf hole 4b than the second viewing area 50b. Relevant features discussed above in relation to the spectator assembly 2a may be utilized in the spectator assembly 2b as well (e.g., marshals/attendants to control access to and/or monitor the first viewing area 34b, imposing directional constraints on spectator movement and/or seating requirements in the first viewing area 34b, using multiple classes of tickets).

[0025] Another configuration of a spectator assembly is illustrated in FIG. 3. The spectator assembly 2c includes a golf hole 4c of the golf course. The hole 4c again includes a tee box (not shown), a green 14c, and an intermediate section 10c disposed therebetween which in the case of FIG. 3 is a walkway from the tee box (not shown) to the green 14c (e.g., hole 4c is a par 3). The spectator assembly 2c further includes a first partition 26c which extends along all or a portion of the length of both sides of the intermediate section 10c and around the sides and back of the green 14c. The first partition 26c may also extend about the sides and back of the tee box (not shown). A second partition 30c is spaced from the first partition 26c in accordance with the FIG. 1 embodiment and extends coterminously with the first partition 26c. A first viewing area 34c is defamed by the space between the first and second partitions 26c, 30c, respectively, and is in the form of an express lane of sorts. A second viewing area 50c is disposed behind the second partition 30c or on the opposite side of the second partition 30c from the first viewing area 34c. Access to the first viewing area 34c may be provided at one or more locations and generally in the manner discussed above in relation to the FIG. 1 embodiment (e.g., at the tee box and/or at the green 14c (not shown)). Moreover, other relevant features discussed above in relation to the spectator assembly 2a may be utilized in the spectator assembly 2c as well (e.g., marshals/attendants to control access to and/or monitor the first viewing area 34c, imposing directional constraints on spectator movement and/or seating requirements in the first viewing area 34c, using multiple classes of tickets).

[0026] Another configuration of a spectator assembly is illustrated in FIG. 4. The spectator assembly 2d includes a golf hole 4d of the golf course. The hole 4d again includes a tee box (not shown), a green; 14d, and an intermediate section 10d disposed therebetween which in the case of FIG. 4 may be a walkway/hazard and/or fairway. The spectator assembly 2d further includes a first partition 26d which extends along the length of one side of the intermediate section 10d, around one side of the green 14d and to substantially a lateral “midpoint” of the green 14d. The first partition 26d may also extend along the side and along at least a portion of the back of the tee box (not shown). A second partition 30d is spaced from the first partition 26d in accordance with the FIG. 1 embodiment and extends coterminously therewith. The second partition 30d further extends from the above-noted lateral midpoint along the remaining back side of the green 14d, along its side, and along the other side of the intermediate section 10d. The second partition 30d may also extend along the side of the tee box and along at least a portion of its back as well.

[0027] A first viewing area 34d is defined by the space between the first partition 26d and the adjacent portion of the second partition 30d, and is in the form of a lane except at the back of the green 14d where it is enlarged to provide sufficient space for a viewing structure 54d (discussed in more detail below) where holders of the class of tickets providing access to the first viewing areas 34 may congregate and/or watch the golf action. In one embodiment, the viewing structure 54d is spaced from the edge of the green 14d a distance of no more than preferably about 30-40 feet. The viewing structure 54d is a structure which is different from the television commentator's booth 82d which is also illustrated in FIG. 4. A second viewing area 50d is disposed behind the second partition 30d or on the opposite side of the second partition 30d from the first viewing area 34d. Access to the first viewing area 34d may be provided in the manner discussed above in relation to the FIG. 1 embodiment (e.g., at the tee box, at the crosswalk, and/or at the green 14d (not shown)). Moreover, other relevant, features discussed above in relation to the spectator assembly 2a may be utilized in the spectator assembly 2d as well (e.g., marshals/attendants to control access to and/or monitor the first viewing area 34d, imposing directional constraints on spectator movement and/or seating requirements in the first viewing area 34d, using multiple classes of tickets).

[0028] Another configuration of a spectator assembly is illustrated in FIG. 5. The spectator assembly 2e includes a golf hole 4e of the golf course. The hole 4e again includes a tee box (not shown), a green 14e, and an intermediate section 10e disposed therebetween which in the case of FIG. 5 is a fairway. The spectator assembly 2e further includes a first partition 26e which extends along the length of only one side of the intermediate section 10e and effectively terminates near the front of the green 14e at one of its sides. The first partition 26e may also extend along the side and/or at least a portion of the back of the tee box (not shown). A second partition 30e is spaced from the first partition 26e in accordance with the FIG. 1 embodiment and extends along coterminously therewith. The second partition 30e, however, also continues around the back side of the green 14e, along the other side of the intermediate section 10e, and possibly along the side and at least a portion of the back of the tee box as well.

[0029] A first viewing area 34e is defined by the space between the first partition 26e and the adjacent portion of the second partition 30e. The first viewing area 34e leads directly into a viewing structure 54e which is disposed at the side of the green 14e. In one embodiment, the viewing structure 54e is spaced from the edge of the green 14e a distance of no more than preferably about 200 feet, and in another embodiment a distance within the range of about 150 feet to about 200 feet. The viewing structure 54e is a structure which is different from the television commentator's booth (not shown). The viewing structure 54e may include both inside seating for watching the golfing action (not shown), and may contain outside seating 78e as well (e.g., bleachers, a porch-like structure which may or may not be covered by a roof). A second viewing area 50e is disposed behind the second partition 30e or on the opposite side of the second partition 30e from the first viewing area 34e. Access to the first viewing area 34e may be provided in the manner discussed above in relation to the FIG. 1 embodiment (e.g., at the tee box, at the crosswalk, and/or at the green 14e (not shown)). Moreover, other relevant features discussed above in relation to the spectator assembly 2a may be utilized in the spectator assembly 2e as well (e.g., marshals/attendants to control access to and/or monitor the first viewing area 34e, imposing directional constraints on spectator movement and/or seating requirements in the first viewing area 34e, using multiple classes of tickets).

[0030] Another configuration of a spectator assembly is illustrated in FIG. 6. The spectator assembly 2f is illustrated at the green 14f. The spectator assembly 2f includes a first partition 26f which extends about at least a portion of the green 14f and interconnects with a viewing structure 54f which is different from the golf commentator's booth (not shown). Private access to the viewing structure 54f is provided by a walkway 42f in which only holders of tickets which provide access to the first viewing areas 34 are allowed. The spectator assembly 2f further includes a second partition 30f. Note that at the green 14f, the second partition 30f is actually disposed in front of the first partition 26f and the viewing structure 54f. The space between the second partition 30f and the first partition 26f and the viewing structure 54f defines a second viewing area 50f, while the viewing structure 54f defines the first viewing area 34f. The first partition 26f may also extend along at least a portion of the corresponding intermediate section and/or about at least a portion of the corresponding tee box (not shown) associated with the green 14f, gas may the second partition 30f. There would, however, be a “crossing over” such that the space between the first partition 26f and the second partition 30f at these other locations would define an additional first viewing area 34f and further such that the space behind the second partition 30f would define an additional second viewing area 50f.

[0031] Details regarding one embodiment of a viewing structure 54 for holders of tickets having access to the first viewing areas 34 are also illustrated in FIG. 6. The viewing structure 54f includes a roof 56f to provide protection from the elements for its patrons. Its sides may be either closed, open, or partially open (shown as partially open). The floor 60f of the structure 54f is elevated in relation to the green 14f so that it will allow its patrons to view the golfing action even though spectators having tickets to the second viewing areas 50f may be disposed between the green 14f and the enclosure 54f. In one embodiment, the floor 60f is disposed at least about 4 feet above the ground which supports the structure 54f, and in another embodiment this distance is at least about 10-15 feet. The structure 54f is also located no more than about 40 feet from the green 14f.

[0032] Another configuration for a spectator assembly is illustrated in FIG. 7. A first partition 26g extends at least about the green 14g (e.g., the first partition 26g may also extend along all or a portion of the length of one and/or both sides of the intermediate section (not shown) and/or tee box (not shown). A second partition 30g is spaced from the first partition 26g in the manner noted above in regard to the FIG. 1 embodiment and may extend coterminously therewith and/or extend about other portions of the golf hole 4g not having a first partition 26g. One first viewing area 34g is defined by the space between the first partition 26g and the adjacent portion of the second partition 30g. The second viewing area 50g is disposed behind the second partition 30g. Another first viewing area 34g is defined by a viewing structure 54g which is positioned on a hill or bluff which surrounds at least a portion of the green 14g and which is a separate from the announcer's booth 82g. In one embodiment, the viewing structure 54g is disposed at least 10 feet above the green 14g so that patrons in the viewing structure 54g may adequately view the golfing action even though spectators are positioned between the viewing structure 54g and the green 14g. The viewing structure is also located no more than about 200 feet from the green 14g. A private walkway 42g is provided from the viewing enclosure 54g to the first viewing area 34g defined by the lane between the first partition 26g and the second partition 30g. Access to the first viewing area 34g between the first partition 26g and the second partition 30g may be provided in the manner discussed above in relation to the FIG. 1 embodiment (e.g., at the tee box, at the crosswalk, and/or at the green 14g (not shown)). Moreover, other relevant features discussed above in relation to the spectator assembly 2a may be utilized in the spectator assembly 2g as well (e.g., marshals/attendants to control access to and/or monitor the first viewing area 34g, imposing directional constraints on spectator movement and/or seating requirements in the first viewing area 34g, using multiple classes of tickets).

[0033] Another embodiment of spectator assembly is illustrated in FIG. 8. The spectator assembly 2h includes a first partition 26h which extends along one side of the golf hole 4h and terminates at a viewing enclosure 54h which is disposed at the back side of the green 14h. A second partition 30h is spaced from the first partition 26h in the manner discussed above in relation to FIG. 1 and extends coterminously therewith. One first viewing area 34h is defined by the space between the first partition 26h and the second partition 30h, while another first viewing area 34h is defined by the viewing structure 54h. In one embodiment, the viewing structure is disposed as near as possible to the green, and in another embodiment is disposed no more than about 30-40 feet from the green 14h. The second viewing area 50h for the golf hole 4h is disposed behind the second partition 30h. The second partition 30h may also extend along the opposite side of the golf hole (e.g., around the opposite side of the green 14h).

[0034] Each of the viewing structures 54 discussed above are for accommodating holders of tickets having access to the first viewing areas 34. Each of these enclosures may have one or more of the following features: 1) a roof for the protection of its patrons from the elements; 2) openings along one or more of its sides to provide viewing of the golfing action from the comforts of under this roof; 3) inside seating 70h for socialization, inside seating for viewing the golfing action (not shown) and/or outside seating 78h (e.g., bleachers extending from the front of the viewing structure 54); 4) a beverage table or bar 58h; 5) one or more scoring computers 62h which is interconnected with a computer at, for instance, the tournament scoring tent (not shown); 6) a buffet table 66h with food and/or snacks; 7) one or more types of communication devices 74h (e.g., telephone(s), fax(es), Internet access); and 8) one or more televisions 76h (e.g., closed circuit for watching the golfing action). Each of these viewing structure 54 will typically accommodate at least about 20 people at any one time (e.g, being at least about 400 square feet, but typically no more than about 2,500 square feet, and in one embodiment being about 1,200 square feet in size). Moreover, a plurality of these viewing structures 54 may be disposed throughout the golf course, each being on a different golf hole. In one embodiment, there are from 5 to 7 of these types of structures 54 disposed throughout the golf course. These viewing structures 54 are also typically portable, such as a collapsible tent. A larger “home-base” structure or home pavilion (e.g., at least about 3,200 square feet in size, and in one embodiment about 4,000 square feet in size) may also be provided on the golf course somewhat away from the golfing action to provide additional amenities for holders of tickets having access to the first viewing areas 34.

[0035] The foregoing description of the present invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. Furthermore, the description is not intended to limit the invention to the form disclosed herein. Consequently, variations and modifications commensurate with the above teachings, and skill and knowledge of the relevant art, are within the scope of the present invention. The embodiments described hereinabove are further intended to explain best modes known of practicing the invention and to enable others skilled in the art to utilize the invention in such, or other embodiments and with various modifications required by the particular application(s) or use(s) of the present invention. It is intended that the appended claims be construed to include alternative embodiments to the extent permitted by the prior art.