Changing the face of Championship golf in the Pacific Northwest
“Putting greens are to golf courses what faces are to portraits.”
-Charles B. Macdonald
In July of 2016 the USGA accepted Pierce County’s invitation to host the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, giving Chambers Bay the privilege of being the first municipal course to host the USGA’s newest Championship and joining an elite list of courses, including the Olympic Club, Winged Foot, and Pinehurst, that will have hosted the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open, and U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championships.
Meanwhile, we had come to terms with the inevitability of a natural evolution to Poa annua-dominated putting greens, and we were adjusting agronomic practices to attempt to accelerate the transition. Then in early 2017, turfgrass health issues surfaced on three putting surfaces (No. 7, No. 10, and No. 13) and it was determined that we needed to re-surface those greens. We chose to do so with a local source of Poa annua sod.
Early results of that sod work prompted conversations between Chambers Bay, Pierce County, and the USGA about the prospect of re-grassing all of the greens. By the end of that year, consensus had been reached that such a project would not only ensure better putting surfaces for future Championships, but would improve the every-day experience for our customers.
Now, with the 2018 growing season nearly behind us, we’ve experienced universally positive feedback about the three Poa annua greens.
“The people I have talked to have been nothing but positive about the Poa annua greens that they’ve played,” said Larry Gilhuly, USGA Agronomist. “Players think the greens are spectacular. They’re firm. They have good pace.”
Consequently, we are formally announcing the commencement of the remainder of the project. The course will close as of Oct. 1, 2018, and is planned to re-open with Poa annua putting surfaces in March. The transition from fescue to Poa annua putting greens will provide long-term benefits to the facility and ensure that we host an exemplary U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2021.
During the closure the golf shop and restaurant will be open as follows:
M-F – 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sat & Sun – 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The golf course closure will not impact operations of the Chambers Creek Regional Park.
Throughout the process we will provide regular photo, video and narrative updates.