The Loop

Brandel Chamblee: Greens are an unfortunate part of U.S. Open story that might have been avoided

June 21, 2015

Too much energy has been expended talking about the greens at Chambers Bay to the detriment of the U.S. Open itself, and possibly was avoidable, Golf Channel's Brandel Chamblee said on Saturday night.

Rich Lerner asked him the extent to which the greens are taking away from the U.S. Open.

"I think in a great way," Chamblee said. "One, we spend way too much time talking about the greens and the setup of the golf course. To the degree we do that we spend less time talking about the exemplary talents of the players that are competing in this event."


Patrick Reed in a familiar pose on Chambers Bay's greens (Getty Images)

The fescue greens have been invaded by poa annua. As the day progresses, the poa grows and the fescue lays down, creating bumpy surfaces.

"It's an unfortunate subplot that very well could become a major plot," Chamblee said. "You come down to the last hole, you got a four-footer on one side, I got a four-footer on one side. Skill should determine the outcome. Say I've got 50 pieces of poa annua between me and the hole and you don't. They're not the same for everybody…Luck has become introduced in a far greater factor than it should.

"I talked to a lot of agronomist friends of mine over the last couple of days. One of them said you could have seeded these greens with bent. He offered A1-A4, 007 Tyee, Proclamation or Luminary. Those don't mean anything to me. But he threw them out there. He said a combination of those and then you could chemically eradicate the poa and have the purest putting surfaces anywhere.

"And he gave me several golf courses that had done just that, with a bent-fescue combination in the greens and tees. One of those is Friar's Head on Long Island, which is superb. And they could have done that here and it would have been worthy of the talents of the players who are competing in this event and we wouldn't be having these types of discussions."