Chambers Bay 2015 U.S. Open Comment

Now that the U.S. Open is over and all the hub bub about the course and its “bumpy” greens has settled down I think it is important to realize that Chambers Bay probably would not have been built as a links-style course and selected for the 2015 Open were it not for the success of the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (some 400 miles to the south on the Southern Oregon Coast).  Mike Keiser, resort owner and golf visionary, brought links-style golf with its fescue grasses to the Northwest and its success provided some of the rational for building a links-style course with fescue grasses to serve as a U.S. Open venue in University Place, WA.  Having played two of Bandon’s courses (Bandon Dunes and Pacific Dunes) in the last several weeks gives testimony to the fact that smooth putting surfaces can be maintained with fescue and Poa annua grasses.  Evidently Poa annua also has some perennial varieties that can show up after time and don’t seem to grow at the same rapid daily rates that the more common Poa annua does.  The cooler temperatures in coastal Bandon may also slow the rapid daily growth of the Poa sp.  But, all in all, I would bet that Chambers Bay can eventually maintain smooth rolling predictable greens and there is no reason that Chambers Bay should be excluded from consideration for future U.S. Opens.  The picturesque site and the golf were spectacular.  The end justified the means.  The photo of the 3rd hole was taken during construction in 2007.  Incidentally, the U.S. Amateur is going to be played at Bandon Dunes in 2020.


Golf at Bandon Crossings

BC13_5886_wI recently had the pleasure of playing Bandon Crossings in Bandon Oregon.

This is a great course that needs more exposure and play.  The course is in great condition.  The greens are beautiful and putt true.  Thanks to Brant Hathorn, superintendent.  There are tees for every player level.  Every hole holds interest and challenge.  The architect, Dan Hixson, has created a course that welcomes many return visits.  The head professional, Jim Wakeman, is the consummate professional and the rest of the staff are courteous and helpful.  I am looking forward to many more rounds.

A “gimme” can best be defined as an agreement between two golfers, neither of whom can putt very well. ~Author Unknown