“Google Chambers Bay.” My friend emailed me right after the USGA June 2015 Open. “That’s where they cut the stones for those buildings Hans Pederson built in downtown Seattle. You can write another blog about your father.”
Pulling up Wikipedia, and then Pierce County Washington’s History of Chambers Creek Regional Park, I learn that the site has been reinvented many times through the years. The Hudson Bay Company followed the Steilacoom Indians, then gave way to Army forts that policed the U.S border with Canada. Grist and lumber mills came next.
They may have cut stone in Chambers Bay for early 20th century Seattle buildings, but later in the century, Lone Star Northwest turned the site into the single largest producer of sand and gravel in the nation.
Reclaimed again, the Chambers Bay Golf Course opened in 2007 as part of the Chambers Creek Regional Park. In the June, 2015 U.S. Open, spectators marveled at the challenges faced by the players on the course’s unique terrain. Rather than meandering down lush green fairways, players waded through hayfield-style rough that snaked beside the sand. Comments ranged from “Worst course I’ve ever seen,” to “Caring environment. Not just for millionaires.”
Chambers Bay has just one tree, a Douglas fir behind the 15th green. Throughout the tournament, occasional trains rumbled along the edge of Puget Sound, giving the players a temporary break on the arduous course.
It didn’t really look like fun. More like a marathon through an obstacle course.