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Populous and Jack Nicklaus create demountable stadium for high-stakes golf putting

By Kim Megson    04 Dec 2017
Populous and golf course architects Nicklaus Design – founded by golfing icon Jack Nicklaus – designed the temporary venue for the event / MSOP
Realising we needed to make a strong statement we kept coming back to the beauty and simplicity of the sport – ‘one putt, one ball, one hole, sink it and you win’
– Bobby Sloane, Populous associate

Global sports architects Populous have designed a flat-pack 18-hole putting course that can be disassembled and moved from city to city.

The touring facility is the brainchild of Canadian firm MSOP Entertainment Inc, which has launched a new tournament called the Major Series of Putting (MSOP).

The sport of putting, developed and largely controlled by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, is a much-simplified version of golf, in which players compete on a putting surface with only one club each and no tee allowed.

The goal of MSOP’s creators is to take the event around the world and the inaugural tournament has just finished in Las Vegas, where professional and amateur golfers competed for large cash prizes.

Populous and golf course architects Nicklaus Design – founded by golfing icon Jack Nicklaus – designed the temporary venue for the event.

The stadium accommodates 2,000 spectators but has no fixed seating except for in the clubhouse. Instead, spectators are encouraged to explore, walking around the circular field of play to follow the events and players they’re most interested in watching. An elevated ring called the halo encloses the facility.

To enhance competition, a central playoff hole has been designed for tiebreakers, to create a focal point for key moments. Amenities include live leaderboards, a restaurant and a sports bar.

The construction of the 20,000sq ft (1.8 million sq m) stadium began in August 2017 on an empty blacktop parking lot off the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. It will now be taken down – returning to the site to its original state and leaving no permanent structures behind – before being rebuilt elsewhere.

In a blog on the Populous website, associate Bobby Sloane said: “After an initial visioning session with MSOP in October 2015, it became clear this venue wasn’t going to look or feel like a traditional golf course. The facility needed a modern look representative of the sport of putting. Realising we needed to make a strong statement we kept coming back to the beauty and simplicity of the sport – ‘one putt, one ball, one hole, sink it and you win’.

“As conversations evolved from ideas into sketches, the circular form of the cup and the ball and the inherent connection of the two started to fit the bill of what a temporary putting stadium should look like.”

Jeff Keas, Populous principal-in-charge for the project, added: “Designing the MSOP stadium was a unique experience because there is no precedence in place. There is no such venue in the world.

“We had no boundaries in developing the conceptual design and therefore we were able to explore countless new ideas in order to help MSOP create their vision.”

Demountable sports facility are in vogue. Earlier this week, the design of a temporary ground for the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar was revealed. The 40,000-capacity Ras Abu Aboud Stadium will be disassembled after the competition is over, and will either be rebuilt in its entirety elsewhere or separated into sections that can form smaller sporting and cultural venues.

The circular, walkable stadium accommodates 2,000 spectators but has no fixed seating except for in the clubhouse / MSOP
Spectators are encouraged to explore, walking around the circular field of play to follow the events and players they’re most interested in watching / MSOP
The sport of putting, developed and largely controlled by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, is a much-simplified version of golf / MSOP
Populous  Jack Nicklaus  putting  Major Series of Putting  Guy Laliberté  temporary venues  architecture  design 
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