The USGA has gone all-in on the technological possibilities in presenting the visit of this year’s U.S. Open to Chambers Bay. From this link on their website you get a thorough and interactive view of what the players will experience when they tee it up at Chambers Bay for this year’s next major.
Chambers Bay is a very linksy styled course on Puget Sound manufactured by Robert Trent Jones Jr out of a cavernous pit left by an abandoned sand and gravel mine. It is almost a cross between Pacific Dunes and Whistling Straits given that it took an estimated 100,000 truck loads to move 1.4 million cubic yards of dirt and sand to create the dramatic playing topography confronting the players. The USGA providing a full HD quality view of the detail of the course is enthralling and informative.
Creative genius…..not the pure hand of nature…….Embed from Getty Images
This will all be about playing tactics for the winner. Chambers Bay will confront the competitors with sweeping hard and fast sand based fairways confined by broken ground and massive sandy waste areas. Picking the proper club off the tee to get to the advantageous landing area based on the day’s wind influence and pin position will be key.
The green complexes are….how do I put this….complex. Fescue grasses on fairways and greens make discerning the green from the approach area very difficult. The orientation of the greens to the drastic topography and waste areas around them means that shaping the approach shot and using the ground as your friend will critical to getting birdie opportunities on undulating greens with well defined pin placement areas. This is not conducive to the hoist and stick it style of approach most professionals prefer.
With dramatic scale….Embed from Getty Images
From the first page of the link dig into the detail of each hole through tabs for Hole Insights, Photo, and Flyover Video. The Hole insights looks like a yardage book map of the hole with an accompanying descriptive. The vivid photo is what will bait you into the Flyover Video. The video includes a knowing voice that explains the various tactical options the players will choose from. For the Millenial in you there is even a button for “Play This Hole” which is essentially a sophisticated video game that allows you to play the course. Very cool feature if you have youthful patience.
And stunning backdrops…remnants remain of it’s less glamorous mining daysEmbed from Getty Images
Bringing the U.S. Open to a municipal facility with a sand based links style golf course was a bold move on the part of the USGA. This tool they have provided will prepare you for a fuller appreciation of what the players are complaining about when they step into the unknown at Chambers Bay for the U.S. Open Championship.