On June 18, the second major of the golf season will begin in the Pacific Northwest, at Chambers Bay in Washington about a 40-minute ride form the Seattle-Tacoma Airport.
Most golfers are nervous playing a U.S. Open and that could cause sleepless nights. However, after the golfers walk the uneven, up and down terrain of this links course, sleep will come easy. This will be a grueling test, especially if the winds pick up.
The course sits on what used to be a gravel mining operation. Robert Trent Jones II resurrected beautifully into a links course that butts up to the Puget Sound’s blue waters.
Similar to St. Andrews, the course is the property of Pierce County, Washington and open to the public daily. It’s one of the nation’s finest public facilities.
Golfers might think they are playing the Open Championship this week on this links course. The course has a look as though it were centuries old, yet it is less than 10 years old. It is wind whipped, beaten and rugged looking.
The USGA has embraced this course where every blade of grass is fescue: from the tee boxes to the fairway, the roughs and the greens.
Golfers will likely feel as if they are putting on an ice rink. None of the greens have a collar.
A Few Highlighted Holes
Holes 9 and 10 will offer the golfers dramatic landscapes.
The par-3 9th drops from tee to green 100 feet so the wind direction will change the club selection. The green is protected heavily by bunkers on the right with the green slopping left to right.
The par-4 10th is an uphill valley tee shot that is open, but the approach shot is to a green that is banked with high mounds that give a feel of hitting through a tunnel.
The 13th is a 534-yard par-4 where a three will give the player a birdie, but might make him feel like it was an eagle. There are eight potential holes of more than 495 yards that are all par-4s. The ground will need to play firm and fast to make these holes seem playable for a majority of the field.
The 16th can play 423 yards to an inviting pin position or a drivable 287 yards to a green that is one of the skinniest ever on tour. It will be the home of some weekend excitement down the stretch.
The links will be new to many watching the U.S. Open, but the course’s uniqueness, dramatic landscapes and tough greens will make this a test of survival for all.