The design challenge for Chambers Bay was simple yet formidable: Robert Trent Jones II was asked to create a world-class golf course, enjoyable for golfers of any skill level, yet capable of hosting major championships and events.
Built on the site of a former sand and gravel mine adjacent to Puget Sound, Chambers Bay gave the architects an ideal medium upon which to build a traditional links golf course. The extraordinary views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains provide an environment where golfers enjoy not only world-class golf, but also a sense of visual nirvana.
Robert Trent Jones II and his team developed creative solutions to a number of design challenges presented by this monumental project. The land set aside for the golf course was degraded after a century of industrial usage but contained bold landforms shaped by wind and weather. The design team used these landforms as the scaffolding for the golf course design. They crafted a dramatic links landscape by clearing non-native vegetation and reworking the sand piles left from mining operations of the past into massive dunes. They then routed the golf holes between, over, and around these dramatic features and planted the entire course in fescue, the grass found on traditional British links.
Much like the traditional links courses of Scotland, Robert Trent Jones II designed Chambers Bay to encourage the imaginative and creative shot making that epitomizes links golf, particularly along the ground. There is no “line of play” around Chambers Bay, but rather an infinite number of strategies from tee to green that will get the player around the course successfully. Risk/reward opportunities abound, though wide fairways welcome all golfers to swing away.
Train tracks border the golf holes as they do at such beloved links courses as Prestwick and Royal Adelaide. And “ancient” ruins—from the site’s mining era—are visible from a number of holes, as at several links courses in the British Isles. A public walking trail winds through the course, allowing walkers to form impromptu galleries, just as they do at St. Andrews. No housing mars the purity of the golf holes, and as Chambers Bay is a continuously turfed, walking-only venue, no cart paths intrude upon the natural look. This award-winning course possesses the attributes of the world’s greatest golf links.
For more information about Robert Trent Jones II and his course design philosophy, visit the Robert Trent Jones II website.
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