I have played Chambers Bay twice - once for a social round and once in a tournament. I also walked the course inside the ropes with Bubba Watson, Aaron Baddeley, Ben Crane, and Ryan Moore at a charity skins event. Chambers Bay is a unique links golf experience in America. That is what makes it so special. Though I am unsure if that if Chambers Bay was located in Ireland, the course itself would receive such acclaim. For starters, the property is in a spectacular setting. And if you take in the whole package - the walking only course, the waterfront setting and views, the 3.5 mile public walkway around the course, the railroad along the water, the Stonehenge bins along 18, et al - it is a great experience. Bottom line, I love the place. It has a great vibe and it is in its infancy. The golf course layout and flow is very good. Like all top courses, there are some fantastic holes that you will remember and others that will blend together. Using an American baseball term, it is a 'hitters ballpark'. Tee it high and let it fly since the fairways are very wide. The par 3s in my opinion are underwhelming, though the view from #9 and #15 give a pause. #7 might be one of the hardest par 4s I have ever played. But there are downsides. The price to value ration is steep. I played Chambers ($159) and Bethpage Black ($90) this year summer and The Black easily wins hands down. The walk is very challenging. The condition of the course overall could be classified as 'immature' as the course photographs better than close eye inspection. Should you play there? Hell yes as it has hosted the US Amateur in 2010 and will hold the US Open in 2015. It is a very good golf course. But it is not worth it to make a special trip to Seattle.
Date: October 31, 2010