A second course for Chambers Bay?
By John Strege
Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., which will host the U.S. Open in 2015, is not for everyone, given its difficulty quotient and the fact it's a a walking-only course. But is a more accommodating second course in its future?
A Los Angeles development company, Sonnenblick Development, has entered into a preliminary agreement with Pierce County, which owns Chambers Bay, to build a 220-room hotel there, according to the News Tribune, which also reported that a second 18-hole golf course is included in the agreement.
Robert Trent Jones II, who designed the Chambers Bay course, said it is premature to reach any conclusion. "We're doing a study on behalf of [Sonnenblick Development]," Jones said from Chambers Bay on Friday. "He [Robert Sonnenblick] has an opportunity to build a hotel there and he would like to see more golf.
"But the whole thing is up in the air. There may or may not be [a golf course], but it won't be anything like Chambers Bay. It would be more like a family course."
The question is whether there is enough room on the Chambers Creek property to the south of the existing course to accommodate another course. Jones suggested that in the event there isn't enough room that a nine-hole course with different sets of tees that would allow it to be played like an 18-hole course is an option.
"There's a whole resort golfer community who won't play [Chambers Bay] right now because they don't walk 18 holes," Sonnenblick told the News Tribune.
A hotel has long been planned for the site, but a previous developer was unable to secure financing and the project was put off until after the U.S. Open.