Those pesky greens continue to cause grief at Chambers Bay.
Chambers Bay has been replaced by Oregon's Bandon Dunes Golf Resort as host of the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, according to the United States Golf Association.
Chambers Bay will host the event in 2021 instead, allowing time for a "turfgrass transition project" to replace its much-maligned fescue greens with Poa annua. As every golf fan knows, Chambers Bay took plenty of heat during a controversial 2015 U.S. Open, where players griped and groaned about inconsistent green speeds and conditions. The Robert Trent Jones Jr. course is owned by Pierce County. A USGA statement reads:
The ongoing turfgrass project, which will transition the putting surfaces at Chambers Bay from fescue to Poa annua grass, will provide long-term benefits to the facility, which is an important asset to the community and region, according to Matt Allen, general manager of Chambers Bay.
Bandon Dunes, also managed by KemperSports, has been a regular stop for USGA events. It will also host the 2020 U.S. Amateur - its seventh USGA event following the 2006 Curtis Cup, 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur, the 2011 U.S. Amateur Public Links and 2011 Women’s Public Links (held at the same time but no longer in existence) and the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball. The 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, a stroke-play tournament featuring 128 two-man teams, will be held May 25-29 on two resort courses to be named later.
"The USGA is extremely grateful to owner Mike Keiser and Bandon Dunes, a trusted supporter of amateur golf, for agreeing to host the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball while this work occurs at Chambers Bay," USGA senior managing director John Bodenhamer said in a release.
Meanwhile, this announcement raises questions about Chambers Bay's immediate future: Could poor green conditions scare customers away during the transition? That won't be good news for the big plans unveiled last fall to build a 160-room hotel, golf clubhouse, meeting and event space, spa and 200-seat restaurant on the site.
The most recent Golf Advisor review of Chambers Bay came in October from user 'Lcholette', who noted in his two-star review that the "Greens were in terrible condition. Way over priced for conditions." Golf Advisor's Tim Gavrich was more diplomatic in his assessment during a round in August, writing in his five-star review: "Things are improving on that front (regarding the greens), though the course still has a ways to go before the conditions match up with the phenomenal design of the course and scenery."
Would you like to see Chambers Bay host more USGA events or other tournaments? Does it deserve a second U.S. Open? Post your comments and opinions below: