You might want to put Chambers Bay Golf Course in Tacoma, Washington (near Seattle), on your gotta play list. Ever since I posted about it in April, I have been receiving rave reviews about the links-style course perched above Puget Sound.
(My original post is here. Check out Chambers Bay here.)
Following is what golfers and caddies are saying.
This course is absolutely incredible. I live just across from the main entrance of the new course and have watched the course develop. When it first started taking shape, I had difficult imagining the hole layouts. Now, I feel like I am looking at panoramic shots from the British Open. RT Jones II really went all out – there is nothing like this in the area. One thing you cannot get a sense of from the website pics is the significant elevation changes throughout the course and the monstrous size of some of the dunes. Honestly, though, this will be a once-a-year event for me – unless I cut a hole in the fence and play 2 thru 17 only ;-)“Unlike any course I’ve ever seen”
The course is beautiful. I walked the loop around it today. It is going to be tough! Lots of elevation changes and narrow, narrow fairways. The soil off the fairways is very sandy and there are quite a few sandy waste areas. This is definitely unlike any course I've ever seen.“Potential to be better than Bandon (Bandon Dunes)”
This course is so unique to the Pacific Northwest; it's hard to compare it to anything. It has the potential to be better than Bandon in Oregon and the fact that it isn't miles and miles from civilization like Bandon makes it even better. I had the chance to play it the other day and recommend saving up to play it yourself...just don't plan on doing it in the near future, it's booked solid for a long time.“Definitely use caddies”
Another caddie and I caddied for two guests yesterday. I believe they had an excellent time. The other pair of golfers in the same group used their own push carts. They commented to me that next time they are at Chamber Bay, they will definitely use caddies. Now that is a nice compliment.“World-class course”
I played Chambers Bay on Monday and came away totally impressed. Sure it's expensive, but this course is still a good value because it’s a world-class course. I've played all three Bandon Courses and Chambers reminds me of Pacific Dunes.“U.S. Open in the near future”
I can't wait to see how this beauty matures over the next 5-10 years. This place definitely should be considered for a U.S. Open as it can handle a huge crowd with excellent terracing for optimum viewing. Oh, it's a great challenging course as well.
My only complaint was the slow greens. I was told they were stimping 8 and I consistently left many putts short. Overall, I can't complain cuz it was fun and I did manage two birdies on the back nine!
I played golf at Chambers Bay on 6/27/07. This course is amazing! The walk is very long though. This course will be receiving a U.S. Open in the near future. The Par 3's are amazing. The greens are still very young and slow but the undulating setup gives you a lot to think about when approaching a green. This will be the best links course in the U.S., period. $150 a round. Have fun. It’s worth it.“Bring a camera”
Chambers Bay is a gorgeous course – bring a camera! It's not gorgeous like some you see with artificial landscaping everywhere – the sand dunes and grasses are meant to look indigenous and there is only one tree on the entire course. It's gorgeous because it's golf in its almost original form. In Scotland, links are the almost-treeless “links” between usable land and the coast and they are open to the public, just like Chambers Bay. The 9th hole, Olympus, is frequented by spectators on the public walking trail (and one of the best views on the course!). Many other holes see spectators peeking between the dunes from the walking trail.
I agree with the previous post that walkers move more quickly than cart golfers. We had two older, disabled golfers in carts recently who were in a foursome with two walkers and the carts definitely slow things down, as well as detract from the total golf experience of having a caddy. Sometimes the caddy isn't there exactly when you want because he is parking the cart!
Although you can spot golfers without caddies there, I anticipate that more and more golfers at Chambers Bay will use caddies as word gets out that it is a very long course with some serious elevation changes. Unless you are in excellent shape (Ironman, marathoner, Best Ranger competitor, etc.) you will be exhausted by hole 18 without one!
Greens fees are about $150 plus about $20 tax (a hefty Pierce County recreation tax is added), and caddies are $35 per bag. Don't forget as you plan your trip to Chambers Bay to calculate the customary generous tip for a deserving caddy!
The Armchair Golfer