For the first time in 115 years of the United States Open, the Championship will be coming to the Pacific Northwest and Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington. Washington is the 18th state to have hosted the United States Open and this year will be another fantastic challenge for the golfers in the field.
Chambers Bay is an interesting course. It is almost as if this is being played in Britain because it is a links-style course that you may see used for an Open Championship. Chambers isn’t a typical American golf course as the feature color of the course is brown with long tall weeds that make up the rough. It is very hilly with deep bunkers and it will create quite a challenge. Some golfers are even asking the question of where the greens start.
Players who can fly the ball the farthest will have a good shot to win this thing, but don’t expect scores to be too low this week. There have been a number of golfers that have said that this course will be one of the toughest they have played, but for a US Open, this is exactly what the USGA wants out of this championship.
Chambers Bay is one of the most interesting courses that the US Open has been held at. It is a completely sand course as it was built in an old gravel and sand pit right on the shores of Puget Sound. In addition, this course was specifically built for this Championship. When it was being designed, they wanted to attract the US Open, so designer Robert Trent Jones Jr. kept that in mind and now, it has all paid off.
It will be interesting to see how the Americans play on this golf course because it really isn’t too similar to anything they have played on too often in the past. Europeans play on courses like this more often and they potentially could have the upper hand as it is very similar to courses in Europe.
Golfers will have to be creative especially when playing at different times in the day. As the day goes on, the golf course firms up and makes for different playing conditions from the morning to the afternoon. Players will have to adjust to these changing conditions and how different it will play with the wind.
The USGA can set this course up very differently. For example the 1st and 18th tees can be maneuvered so that one day one will be a par 4 and the other will be a par 5 and vice versa. There are so many different figurations and it will keep the players on their toes and they will have to adjust to the changes in the golf course over the weekend.
Some factors that might come in to play with this golf course with so many different variables are elevation changes, the deep bunkers, and the greens that are the opposite of flat. The slopes on this golf course will also change the approach for some golfers, as that will be a big factor this week. Tees will be moved up and pin locations will change to make for some interesting shots.
Tiger Woods, after his practice round on Tuesday, had some interesting comments about Chambers Bay and the US Open.
“I think this is unlike any major I’ve ever had to prepare for,” Woods said. “There are so many setup variables. It’s going to be interesting.”
USGA president Mike Davis is going to pull out all of the stops this week to make the course pretty difficult.
Woods went on to say, “I’m thankful that Mike (Davis) mentioned the need to see the golf course more than just during the championship week.”
Davis warned golfers that this course would require multiple practice rounds beforehand and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if someone who played this course before this week ended up winning this tournament.
Could McIlroy or Woods get this done? Or will Mickelson or Spieth capture their first US Open? There are so many great storylines and Chambers Bay will showcase the beautiful Pacific Northwest and put on display this wonderful golf course with the best in the world taking it on.