Chambers Bay is changing its greens and deserves another U.S. Open

Trevor Woods

The 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay was one of the most memorable in recent memory, but for all the wrong reasons. The fescue greens were hated by the masses, and legendary golfer Gary Player called the conditions “diabolic”. However, the course is about to get a huge makeover that may land it another US Open in the future.

Chambers Bay initially had fescue greens, which is not native to the Pacific Northwest, this resulted in poa annua grass rising up (which is native to the Pacific NorthWest) into the fescue. Some of the greens appeared dead, and lumpy poa was evident too. The surface was the opposite of smooth.

Source: Purdue University

The solution of the matter is one that should have been part of the original course design, the solution is allowing the poa grass to take over the greens. Eventually the poa will take over the greens, replacing the fescue. When that occurs the final goal is to make poa greens that are firm and fast for the biggest of tournaments.

Chambers Bay currently is in the mix for a future U.S. Women’s Open, and will be hosting the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship. The U.S. is already schedule through 2026, so it may be quite sometime before we see Chambers Bay back in the rotation. That isn’t stopping them from improving their course to show the golfing world they have fixed the main deficiencies there.

Being the first venue in the Pacific Northwest in the U.S. Open makes Chambers Bay unique, and one that an entire region embraces and takes great pride in having. The 2015 U.S. was the largest sports event in the history of Washington, and it brought in over $134 million dollars to the region.

For the faults it did have, which there were a handful, Chambers Bay is a unique course with a beautiful setting. The majestic blue Pacific Ocean can be seen from nearly every hole of the course, creating an astoundingly beautiful panorama. The major issue is the greens, an issue that is being corrected. By the time Chambers Bay is able to host another U.S. Open, the greens will actually be green, and not an ugly brown. The Pacific Northwest deserves to have a big golf tournament once every decade, and Chambers Bay should be allowed another opportunity to showcase that region of this great country. There’s a reason Golf Advisor gives the course a 4.5/5 rating.

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