Chambers Bay will replace its fine fescue putting surfaces with perennial Poa annua in a decision that will immediately improve daily playing conditions and ensure the ability to conduct an exemplary USGA Championship in 2021, officials for Chambers Bay recently announced. Chambers Bay — site of the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, 2015 U.S. Open and the 2010 U.S. Amateur championships — will close play on Oct. 1 and reopen in March 2019. The golf course closure will not impact operations of the Chambers Creek Regional Park.
The ongoing turfgrass project will provide long-term benefits to the facility, which is an important asset to the community and region, according to Matt Allen, General Manager. Chambers Bay is owned by Pierce County and operated by KemperSports.
In early 2017, turfgrass health issues surfaced on three putting greens (No. 7, No. 10, and No. 13), and the decision was made to re-sod those greens with a local source of Poa annua. Results of that sod work prompted conversations between KemperSports, Pierce County, and the USGA about the prospect of re-surfacing every green. By the end of the 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.
“We acknowledge the foresight and initiative of everyone at Chambers Bay for undertaking this work,” said John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s Senior Managing Director of Championships.
Overwhelmingly positive feedback has been received from customers and stakeholders about the new Poa annua greens.
“The people I have talked to have been nothing but positive about the new greens they have played,” said Larry Gilhuly, USGA Agronomist. “Players think the greens are spectacular. They’re firm. They have good pace.”
“Any concerns that Poa annua would not be conducive to the firm and fast conditions that are hallmarks of links golf have quickly been erased,” said Eric Johnson, Director of Agronomy at Chambers Bay.
While the course is closed, the clubhouse, golf shop, and restaurant will remain open Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information or to book a tee time at Chambers Bay, visit www.chambersbaygolf.com/.