On June 15, 2015, Chambers Bay hosted the U.S. Open in the Pacific Northwest for the very first time in its history. With massive, rolling fairways, towering dunes, undulating greens and unpredictable coastal winds, the traditional link course provide (with some controversy about how difficult the course was) the world’s best with a test unlike anything played at a U.S. Open.
With tawny fescue grasses, towering sand dunes, massive fairways, and breathtaking views of the Puget Sound and snow-capped Olympic Mountains, Chambers Bay brings the traditions of Scottish linksland to the Pacific Northwest. Located in University Place, Washington, this 18-hole, walking-only course provides an authentic links experience for players. Chambers Bay is a public course, operate by the County park service and the typical green fee is $305US per round, with reservation months in advance.
The last time I attended an US Open event was in Chicago in 2000, where I watched Karen Webb won her first Open title.
Since the US Open doesn’t come to the Northwest too often, I know I had to go. I got tickets for the family with access passes to one of the sponsor tent. The drive from Seattle to Tacoma was pretty straight forward. I had parking passes so we didn’t have to go to the public parking lot. My two boys were very impressed with the way the police waved us through to the private lot… Daddy is so cool…
The first player I saw was Bubba Watson (the 2014 Master champion), his drive were very impressive, it went over 300ft down the middle of the fairway. I also watched Sergio Garcia and Rory Mcllroy went through at the 10th hole. Sergio was pretty pump-up, I think he got three straight birdies before this hole. A small observation for me is that the players look much smaller in real life than on TV. Maybe it is the camera angle or the distance they are away from the fan…. Just an observation.
My two boys got bored quickly. They like to play golf (mini-golf or par 3) but not watching other playing (I am the same way). Kian found a his own game, where he rolled down the undulating fairway (like a log) sideway. He did this a couple of times until he was covered in grasses and dirt. Cayce had to take him into the sponsor tent to clean up. Kian then discovered the free ice-scream in the tent. That was the last time I saw the boys outside, with free soda/lemonade and cookie/cup-cake, I wasn’t surprised. Cayce and the boys ended up watched the Open on the flat screen TVs from inside the air-condition tent, with free foods and drinks.
After lunch, I walked the ground for a little bit. I followed Justin Rose, the top English player for a couple of holes. I remembered watching him on TV as an amateur at the 1998 British Open. He had a security detail following him around. I also saw Phil Mickelson and Angel Cabrera as I made my way back to the Sponsor tent area. The temperature really heated up, without shade the ground was getting uncomfortably hot.
After 4 hours at the course, we had enough and made our way back to the parking lot. There were a lot of bad press about the Chambers Bay course, but I think the course is beautiful with its undulating fairway and the water/mountain view. I will try to play here one day… once the boys are a little older.
For those doesn’t know me. Cayce and I used to play a lot of golf when we were living in Florida and before the boys were born. I used to have 16 Handicap and played 2-3 times a week. Now I play once a year if I am lucky.