I’m a bit late writing this review. I played Chambers Bay in September 2016 so things may have changed in the nearly four years since then. I hope so. It wasn’t the course, it was the experience.
Having hosted the US Open the year before we had the highest of expectations and because we were in Seattle on a trip I convinced my loving wife that the bus and taxi to get us to Chambers Bay would be worth the organisational difficulties. Even though my wife does not play! No, but she knows golf well and is perfectly happy sitting in the clubhouse having a cup of tea and reading her book. If you wonder why I’ve never managed to convince her to join me on the course it is because of her severe arthritis that can give her great pain in her feet and hips. Walking is difficult. Where golf carts are available she will often be my driver although I have to watch out she doesn’t run over me whilst looking for my ball. No golf carts at Chamber Bay.
In regards to the course, yes the greens were bad simply in terms of pace. A downhill putt on the last stuck on the downslope and didn’t run down that’s how slow they were. It was very frustrating to have to smash every putt.
I was playing with some higher handicappers who were struggling somewhat with their pace of play. I play relatively quickly but we got hassled by the staff who wanted us to speed up. I don’t mind that they are asking for play to be faster but having one of the staff asking my handicap, 7, and then being told, “Well that’s more like 16 around here!” It’s not. The slope adjusted number is 9 and in fact Chambers Bay has the same slope rating, i.e. degree of difficulty as my home course. I didn’t find it harder except for the greens being so hard to putt on. We were asked to change to more forward tees and even though I had paid a large sum to play I (reluctantly) agreed. But I wasn’t having any trouble from the tee I was playing from.
It did take us well over five hours to get around which at my home course is unacceptable. I don’t think I was a cause but it was a problem. However that was not the overriding nor unforgettable memory from Chambers Bay.
The clubhouse was a temporary and very small building. I would guess that four years on something more appropriate has been built. When I finally got back I found my wife in tears having been told to leave the venue because they had a wedding booked and there was nowhere for her to sit. She couldn’t find a seat indoors or outdoors and had to stand for three hours in great pain waiting for me to finish. She got no relief until we were leaving in the taxi.
It was such a bad experience that I cannot recommend that anyone ever go there.
Date: July 01, 2020