Chambers Bay Course Preview May 5, 2010 By David Shefter

The only tree on the entire Chambers Bay layout sits behind the par-3 15th green. The 2010 U.S. Amateur will be the facility's first of two scheduled USGA championships. The 2015 U.S. Open also will be held at Chambers Bay. (John Mummert/USGA)

Chambers Bay, University Place, Wash.
Yardage: 7,742 yards
Par: 36-35—71 or 37-34 –71
Opened: 2007
Designer: Robert Trent Jones II 
Second stroke-play course: The Home Course (Dupont, Wash.)
Yardage: 7,317 yards 
Par: 36-36—72  
2009 champion: Byeong-Hun An

USGA championships: This will be the first championship for Chambers Bay, which will also host the 2015 U.S. Open.

Championship notes: The first and 18th holes will alter playing as a par 5 and a par 4 during the event. When the opening hole is a par 5, the closing hole will be a 4 and vice versa.

Washington and the USGA: This will be the 23rd USGA event held in Washington and the second of 2010, following the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee in Sammamish. But it will only be the second Amateur conducted in the state. The 1952 Amateur was conducted at Seattle Golf Club, where Seattle native and club member Jack Westland won the title.

Public welcome: Chambers Bay becomes the third municipally owned golf facility to host a U.S. Open, following Bethpage State Park’s Black Course (2002 and 2009) and the South Course at Torrey Pines (2008). The course is owned by Pierce County.

Early praise: Only eight months after Chambers Bay opened for public play, the USGA announced it was taking the 2010 U.S. Amateur and 2015 U.S. Open to the facility. The course received rave reviews, including being named the best new public course for 2008 by Golf Digest magazine.

Genesis of a course: The course was built on a quarry that dates as far back as the Steilacoom Indian Tribe and the area’s first European settlers in 1832. Over the past 200 years, the land was used as a paper mill, railroad center, county gravel mine, a bus barn, a regional wastewater treatment plant, a preservation and recreational area and now a county-owned golf course.

Links feel: Chambers Bay was built entirely on fescue grass and features exactly one tree on the entire layout. Created from a former gravel mine, the course features wide fairways, large dunes and the kind of wispy rough one might encounter on the famous links venues in Scotland and Ireland. The course is designed to play firm and fast, a philosophy the USGA adheres to in its championship setups.

Lone Fir: That’s the name given to the short par-3 15th hole because of the only tree on the entire layout. It is situated behind the green. But the tree isn’t the hole’s only distraction. Players get a gorgeous view of Puget Sound from the elevated tee.

Local honoree: Ryan Moore, one of two golfers to have won the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Amateur Public Links titles in the same year (Colt Knost is the other), has agreed to serve as the honorary chairman for the 2010 U.S. Amateur. Moore grew up in nearby Puyallup and graduated from Cascades Christian, which did not have a golf team, so he played for Puyallup High. He was the runner-up at the 2000 U.S. Junior Amateur before winning the 2002 APL. Two years later, he claimed the rare double. He also was a member of the 2003 USA Walker Cup team and victorious 2004 USA World Amateur Team.

Good walk: Chambers Bay, like Bandon Dunes Resort in southwest Oregon, is a walking-only facility that features no cart paths. Golfers are permitted to carry their own clubs, use a pull cart or take a caddie.

A sanctuary: In 2007, Chambers Bay was designated a Certified Silver Audubon International Signature Sanctuary by Audubon International, becoming the state’s first Certified Signature Sanctuary. Pierce County also is actively participating in KemperSports Management’s Green to a Tee program. The focus is to manage each facility in as environmentally sound a manner as possible, playing particular attention to golf course maintenance practices, habitat management, water conservation, energy use, recycling and other environmentally friendly practices. The course has completed two of the four certification levels to-date.

Home sweet home: The Home Course was acquired by the Washington State Golf Association and Pacific Northwest Golf Association in May of 2007 from The Weyerhaeuser Company. The course features visible views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains and Mount Rainier. It was designed by University of Washington alum Mike Asmundson, whose works have included several projects in the desert southwest and South America. He also owns Discovery Bay Golf Course in Port Townsend, Wash. In the future, The Home Course will be the headquarters for the WSGA, PNGA and USGA activities in the Northwest along with it being the home for junior, caddie and environmental programs such as turfgrass research.