By Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Executive.
More than two years ago we made a decision that, in retrospect, was a pretty good one.
Let me give you a bit of background: those of you who remember the 2015 U.S. Open Championship probably remember it as much for the terrible putting greens as anything else. The “broccoli” that players had to contend with upstaged our moment on the international stage. For you non-golfers like me, having the greens compared to a vegetable is NOT good!
We knew that if we were ever going to see Chambers Bay reach its full potential and host another major championship, we would have to replace the greens. It was a big decision and required us to close the course for a few months. But the results were worth it.
You can see the grass renovation in action in this video:
We shared our plans with the United States Golf Association (USGA) and kept them apprised as we literally rolled out the new greens. The payoff? An opportunity to host this week’s U.S. Men’s Four-Ball Championship for some of the most elite amateur players in the world.
The players raved about the course, including the greens! Sports reporter Gregg Bell wrote a series of stories over the last week and this one is my favorite. He described the big finish as “epic” and I couldn’t agree more.
Do you know what was even more epic than the exciting come-from-behind finish? The announcement that we are hosting the best amateur women golfers in the world next year at the U.S. Women’s Amateur! That means we will have hosted four of the top 6 USGA tournaments. I’m not sure any other public course can claim this!
Preparing for and putting on a tournament of this magnitude is very challenging. My thanks to the greenskeepers, golf course staff, and our partners at KemperSports. Matt Allen and his team tended to the course with such care and concern. They knew that we had one chance to make a good second impression on the USGA and they took great pains to show off our slice of heaven to its best advantage. They even mowed some of the greens twice a day and hand watered parts of the course!
Thanks, also, to Don Anderson from my team, Roxanne Miles and her crew from Parks, and the City of University Place for their fantastic work to strengthen and deepen our partnership with the USGA.
We are getting close to the end of May, which is the month our nation celebrates and recognize members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (or AAPI) community. So, in honor of AAPI month, I invite you get to know Peter Asai, our recruitment manager in Human Resources. This video gives you an insight into what motivates Peter to work so diligently to bring greater diversity to our recruitment and hiring at the County. I can personally attest to the quality of Peter’s outstanding work recruiting top talent to lead our county. We are stronger, more diverse and better positioned to support our community because of his attitude and expertise.
I want to finish this blog with a last plug for next week’s Town Hall. We’ve received some great (and anonymous) questions, so far, but I’d like to hear what’s on your mind. You can submit your questions here.
We have a three-day weekend ahead of us and a forecast for beautiful weather. I hope you enjoy some restful and relaxing time with those you love.
First published on the Pierce County website.