Venture to a time when golf was at its purest. Envision undulating greens and crisp winds gusting salt spray through high grasslands. Chamber’s Bay golf course on Puget Sound in University Place, Washington, will transport you to the Scottish Isles 500 years ago where the game first began.
Many hail to be, but only a few can actually call themselves a true links-style golf course – Chamber’s Bay is one of them. A links course is a specific type of course characterized by seaside terrain, much like Linksland in Scotland, where golf was invented.
To be called a true links course, several geographical features must be present:
- Built along a major body of water
- Very few trees
- Easily drained, sandy soil
- A natural open layout where weather is allowed to affect the native landscape, making rain and wind a major factor
- Ground contours with inherent undulations in greens and fairways
- Rarely possesses internal water features – if any
- Rough areas feature pure, seaside grasses
A former sand and gravel quarry, the 610-acre piece of land was destined to be a municipal golf course gifted to the public with open land, walking trails and beach access. To stand out against Pierce County’s many other course offerings, the County Council envisioned more. Master architect and course designer Robert Trent Jones II was charged with the objective of creating a world-class course, worthy of Washington’s picturesque scenery and worthy of the world’s best players with hopes that one day it might host a championship event.
Since day one, Chamber’s Bay Golf Course has been breaking records. Opening in June 2007, it only took eight months for the USGA to award Chamber’s Bay with the honor of hosting 2015’s U.S. Open Championship. It’s only the third municipal park to host the U.S. Open and the youngest course in thirty years to do so.
A course of this caliber is suitable for any level of play, but demands creativity in gameplay from all. Technically, there is no line of play. It’s up to the player’s own ingenuity and know-how to navigate its organic features. No cart paths, no housing, and no turf ensures Chamber Bay’s course remains pure to its dramatic native features inviting golfers to enjoy ethereal views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.