What is the U.S. Open?
The U.S. Open is the national golf championship of the United States. It was first played in 1895 and is conducted annually in June. Winners of the U.S. Open have included some of the greatest players in golf history, such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. The championship is played at a different site every year, and the courses that host the U.S. Open are among the best in the world.
There have been just 50 facilities to host the U.S. Open, and most have been private clubs or high-end resorts. Only two municipally owned facilities, Bethpage in New York and Torrey Pines in California, have hosted the U.S. Open.
The U.S. Open is one of golf’s four major championships, along with the Masters (played in April), British Open (July) and the PGA Championship (August). The 2015 U.S. Open at Pierce County-owned Chambers Bay, in University Place, will be the 115th playing of the national championship, and it will be the first to be conducted in the Pacific Northwest.
Who conducts the U.S. Open?
The United States Golf Association (USGA) conducts the U.S. Open. The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico.
The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” charitable giving program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.
In 2008, Pierce County invited the USGA to conduct the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. After an exhaustive evaluation process, the USGA accepted the bid and is planning all aspects of the championship in partnership with Pierce County.
How many people are expected to attend the U.S. Open?
An estimated 235,000 people will attend the championship during the week, June 15-21, 2015. There will be three days of practice rounds (Monday – Wednesday) followed by the four-day competition, which begins Thursday, June 18. (In case of a tie, an 18-hole playoff will be conducted on Monday, June 22).
Will the U.S. Open be on television?
In the recent past, the U.S. Open has been broadcast to more than 100 million people in 180 countries, with more than 30 hours of live coverage domestically. In 2015, the USGA’s national championships will be televised by Fox Sports. In August of 2013, the USGA announced a comprehensive multi-media agreement that makes the FOX network and FOX Sports 1 the principal domestic media partner of the USGA and the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open Championships, as well as the USGA’s national amateur championships and other live content, beginning in 2015. The landmark, 12-year agreement, which runs through 2026, brings premier major championship golf for the first time ever to the FOX broadcast network, home to the country’s greatest sports events, including the Super Bowl, World Series, Daytona 500 and World Cup.
Where will spectators stay during the U.S. Open?
Spectators are responsible for securing their own accommodations during the week of the championship. At prior U.S. Opens, spectators have stayed in hotels, motels and private homes around the local and regional area of the host site. To learn more about local accommodations and things to do in the Pacific Northwest, please visit Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau (TRCVB) at www.traveltacoma.com and Visit Seattle at www.visitseattle.org.
Are you bringing in a cruise ship for additional lodging?
Pierce County and the USGA were willing and able to assist with the logistics if a viable business interest wanted to pursue leasing a cruise ship. However, a series of exploratory meetings with potential partners in recent years determined that financial, operational, logistical and public safety challenges far outweigh the benefits of bringing in a cruise ship for additional lodging for one week. Here's an example: the U.S. Open is held in mid-June, which is during the peak season for Alaska cruises, so it would be hugely expensive to rent a ship that otherwise is fully booked and headed north. Other challenges involve various maritime laws and shore access. Ultimately, it doesn't pencil out.
How can I volunteer for the 2015 U.S. Open?
The USGA cannot conduct the U.S. Open Championship without the assistance of volunteers, who perform tasks such as transportation, marshaling and scoring. The championship will require the assistance of more than 4,500 volunteers serving on 24 committees. Volunteer recruitment will begin in February 2014. Please visit www.usopen.com or www.chambersbaygolf.com at that time to learn more about volunteer opportunities and sign up to be a part of this historic event. Please see the ‘Volunteer’ section below for additional information.
What is the format of the U.S. Open?
The U.S. Open is a 72-hole stroke-play event. The field of 156 will be cut to the low 60 scores plus ties following the completion of 36 holes. An 18-hole playoff will take place on Monday, June 22, if two or more players are tied after 72 holes.
When and how do I purchase tickets to the U.S. Open?
Tickets will be available for purchase at www.usopen.com beginning on Monday, June 9, 2014. USGA Members will have the opportunity to buy tickets in the spring of 2014. For information about how to be a USGA Member, please go to www.usga.org.
What kinds of concessions and merchandise will be on sale during the championship?
When and where can I buy U.S. Open merchandise now?
A large variety of concession items will be available for purchase throughout the championship grounds. A 36,000-square-foot merchandise pavilion will be stocked with more than 100,000 different items featuring the championship logo, ensuring that there will be something for everyone. A small sampling of merchandise is currently on sale in the Chambers Bay pro shop. In addition, merchandise for the current U.S. Open is available at www.usga.org.
Are cameras and mobile phones allowed on the grounds during the championship? Will there be a time for autographs?
Cameras will be allowed on practice rounds (Monday-Wednesday) only. Mobile phones are not allowed any time during the championship. Players are not required to sign autographs, but many do so during the practice rounds, after they have finished playing and practicing.
How do I rent out my house to players or spectators?
The USGA is in the process of collecting information from local homeowners within a 5-10 mile radius from Chambers Bay who are interested in renting their homes to Players. In the fall of 2014 the Championship Office will reach out to the homeowners detailing the program. For those interested in renting their home and meet the above criteria, please feel free to contact the 2015 U.S. Open Championship Office at (253) 883-3433.
The USGA does not rent homes to spectators or corporate clients. If interested in renting your home to spectators or corporate clients it is recommended you explore other options to reach a larger audience.
There may be a select number of players, spectators and corporate guests who will be looking to rent homes near Chambers Bay. Several local realtors have been collecting information from residents interested in renting their homes during the championship. Pierce County and the USGA will not be involved in connecting potential home renters with interested residents.
When will the golf course close to the public prior to the U.S. Open? Does that include access to the Central and North meadows and the regular walking trail? How will this affect access to the trail system?
There will be significant activity prior to, during and after the championship in both meadows and on the golf course. It should be assumed that there will be major disruptions to these beginning in March of 2015 and lasting through July 2015. Pierce County and the USGA are working together to minimize the impact of the U.S. Open on these areas as well as the trail system. A comprehensive championship Public Safety Plan to include security, parking and transportation details will be released to the public in the spring of 2015.
Will you build a permanent clubhouse at Chambers Bay before the U.S. Open?
At this time, there is no plan to build a permanent clubhouse in advance of the U.S. Open. The championship does not require a clubhouse; the majority of the facilities needed during the championship will be comprised of temporary tented structures.
Where will everyone park? How will the U.S. Open impact local traffic?
The USGA and Pierce County are exploring every potential parking option in the surrounding area. The overall goal of the parking and transportation plan is to minimize vehicular traffic in the immediate area surrounding Chambers Bay by utilizing remote lots and shuttles. We will continue to work with local, regional and state representatives to construct a plan that provides safe, effective transportation to and from the U.S. Open for all spectators. A comprehensive championship Public Safety Plan to include security, parking and transportation details will be released to the public in the spring of 2015.
Does the transportation plan include trains and/or the ferry?
At this point, we are considering all options regarding the transportation plan.
Can I watch the championship from the water in my own boat? Is there any limitation on boating adjacent to the course? Is there an impact on county ferry operations? Will railroad activity disrupt play? Will rail traffic be diverted inland during the event?
At this point, we have not had the necessary discussions with the proper agencies to provide a definitive answer about which activities will be permitted on the waterway and the railroad tracks adjacent to Chambers Bay during the championship. When a decision is made, we will better be able to address these questions.
Do the marquee players arrive by private jets? Where will they land and where do they stay?
Player information not pertaining to the conduct of the championship is considered private and confidential.
How will the U.S. Open affect my local business?
There will be increased activity in the local communities leading up to and during the championship. The impact on particular businesses depends on many factors including, but not limited to, the type and location of the business. Some businesses will see a significant spike during the championship, while others should expect normal business volume. Spending during the Championship week is primarily focused on travel related industries. However, significant spending will also occur pre-championship by the USGA and its vendors during the construction of facilities required for the championship. While specific business segments may not benefit directly impacted by the championship, the overall economic impact of the championship ($150 million) will positively impact Pierce County and the surrounding areas.
The championship relies heavily on the support of local residents and business owners. We will be contacting many business owners prior to the championship to ask about providing goods and services to our players, officials, volunteers and support staff.
How can I find out more about corporate sales options?
Contact MSG Promotions, Inc., the official corporate hospitality marketing company for the U.S. Open, at 484-223-3295 or www.msgpromotions.com.
Can I use the U.S. Open, USGA and/or Chambers Bay logos for advertising or publicity for my business or personal use?
No. The term U.S. Open as well as related marks and logos relating to the Championship and/or the USGA are trademark protected and therefore their use for business or individual purposes are protected. Any additional questions regarding intended uses of the Championship name or logo should be directed to the USGA Legal Department at 908-234-2300.
What is the biggest misconception that people have about volunteering for a major golf championship?
Generally, the biggest misconception about volunteering for the U.S. Open Championship is the timeframe in which an individual can sign up to volunteer. Since it is such a large event, the planning process begins years in advance of the Championship. Often, the USGA will have individuals inquire about volunteering in the calendar year of the Championship. Volunteer recruitment for the 2015 U.S. Open Championship will kick-off in February 2014. It is expected all volunteer positions will be filled by the summer of 2014! It is important for anyone interested in volunteering to sign-up early when the volunteer application is made available on www.usopen.com or www.chambersbaygolf.com.
Is it difficult at times to explain that it actually costs money to be a volunteer?
As is the case with most major golf events, there will be a fee associated with the volunteer package for the U.S. Open. The fee for the 2015 U.S. Open Championship has not yet been determined. The fee does prove to be a worthwhile investment for someone who is not only interested in participating as a volunteer but is also interested in having the ability to attend the Championship on a daily basis. The cost of volunteering covers the actual cost of the uniform package specifically designed for the 2015 U.S. Open Championship, meal vouchers for each shift a volunteer works and includes a credential valid for all seven (7) days of the Championship. The credential will serve as a ticket for admissions any day of the Championship regardless of whether or not the volunteer is assigned to work. A weeklong grounds ticket package or badge is typically around $400.
For more information on the cost of volunteering and sign-up process, please visit www.usopen.com or www.chambersbaygolf.com in February 2014 when the volunteer application is made available.
What is the time commitment for volunteering? How many hours/shifts would I work?
All volunteers for the 2015 U.S. Open Championship will be required to work a minimum of four (4) shifts with each shift lasting approximately five (5) to six (6) hours and will be responsible for arriving at their assigned positions on time. The USGA will conduct training sessions for each volunteer committee in the Spring of 2015. Volunteers are expected to attend their respective volunteer training session which will generally take place on a weekend and last approximately one (1) hour.
The range of duties for volunteers is pretty wide spread. What are some of the duties that surprise potential volunteers the most?
The 2015 U.S. Open Championship will require the assistance of more than 4,500 volunteers serving on 24 different committees. These committees cover a broad spectrum of responsibilities, including but not limited to: Hospitality Services, Marshaling, On-Course Operations, Scoring Functions, Spectator Services and Merchandising.
Will area private clubs still be “marshaling” a hole, and if so, should members of those clubs sign up through their clubs, or should they go through the normal volunteer registration channels?
The USGA will choose local golf and country clubs to assist in marshaling designated holes during the week of the Championship. It is recommended members reach out their club(s) in advance to inquire about the possibility of volunteering through the club to be a marshal prior to submitting the general volunteer application. The volunteer application to be released to the general public in February 2014 will include a section allowing the applicant to submit information regarding committee preferences, previous experiences and club memberships. The USGA will do their best to match up members with their affiliated club as well as match up volunteers with their preferred committees.
How do I sign up to volunteer with my spouse, family, friends, etc.? Can you schedule us for the same volunteer shift?
The volunteer application will include a notes section in which each applicant can make the informal request to be placed on the same committee as his/her spouse, family member, etc. The USGA will do its best to accommodate such requests. Volunteer availability forms will be sent out towards the end of 2014 calendar year. At this time, volunteers will be able to indicate the date and shifts each individual can work.
What are some of the thoughts volunteers share with you once the championship has concluded?
As an integral part of the Championship, volunteers are given the opportunity to communicate through day-to-day interactions with USGA staff or by completing a survey during and after the Championship. In most cases, the results and comments are very positive. Often, volunteers will echo their sentiments towards the unique experience volunteering afforded them during the week of the Championship and how exciting it was to be actively involved as part of such a historic event. In some instances, volunteers will provide constructive feedback on how to improve the volunteer experience. USGA staff thoroughly reads through each survey and takes into consideration all of the feedback, good and bad, in order to improve the volunteer program and experience for future championships.
Where should potential volunteers look/go to sign up in early 2014?
Volunteer recruitment will begin in February 2014. Please visit www.usopen.com or www.chambersbaygolf.com to learn more about volunteer opportunities as they are made available.
For any additional questions, please contact email@example.com.