The golf course at the University Place, Wash. property was closed in October 2018 so its fine-fescue greens could be replaced with poa annua, after complaints about the “dirt-and-sandpaper” greens that were seen throughout the world when the course was the site of the 2015 U.S. Open.
Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. will reopen April 3, after a five-month closure for a $238,000 project to replace its fine-fescue greens with poa annua, The News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash. reported.
The course was closed in October 2018 to start the project that was spurred by complaints about the “dirt-and-sandpaper” greens that were seen throughout the world when Chambers Bay hosted the 2015 U.S. Open (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/chambers-bay-gc-closes-to-replace-fescue-with-poa/)
Chambers Bay is owned by Pierce County, Wash. and operated by KemperSports, and officials said they decided to make the switch to poa annua—the predominant golf grass in the Northwest and the species that was already taking over the course despite efforts to stop it—to ensure a better experience for guests and provide improved putting surfaces for future championships, The News Tribune reported.
Chambers Bay will be the site for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2021. The course was supposed to host the four-ball championship this year, but requested that it be moved to Bandon Dunes in Oregon so the grass could be replaced, The News Tribune reported.
Before the reopening, the course will host the Seattle University Redhawk Invitational, featuring 19 Division 1 schools in a 54-hole competition.
The golf course opened in 2007 as one of the only all-fescue courses in the country, but the greens were criticized as bumpy by golfers who played in the Open, The News Tribune reported.
Grounds crews spent months leading up to the tournament trying to keep poa annua grass from taking over, but the invasive grass thrived thanks to the more frequent waterings, due to warmer-than-usual temperatures, The News Tribune reported.
During the work for the Open, poa grass was shipped from British Columbia and used to re-sod the Nos. 7, 10 and 13 greens, as well as the practice green. It went so well that officials decided to redo the other 15 greens, The News Tribune reported.
“There is no question that Chambers Bay, Pierce County and KemperSports made the right choice to convert the greens to a grass that does well in our climate,” Larry Gilhuly, an agronomist with the U.S. Golf Association, told The News Tribune.
Added Matt Allen, a Vice President with KemperSports: “Chambers Bay is firmly established as an architectural gem. We are excited to unveil the superior playability and consistency of all new putting surfaces.”
C+RB featured Chambers Bay as a cover story in its October 2008 issue: https://clubandresortbusiness.com/sudden-impact/
To view video of the course and it greens that was included with The News Tribune’s report on its reopening, go to https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/article228396004.html