News & ToursAugust 25, 2010

Chambers Bay is a hard course--literally

__UNIVERSITY PLACE, WASH.--__Under the heading of "Water Management" on the course set-up notes for the first round of match play at the U.S. Amateur Championship there is an interesting comment:

"The putting greens were rather heavily watered last evening in an attempt to slightly soften them relative to the firmness of we had for stroke play."

Some of the players might argue that making them "slightly softer" wasn't enough. They needed to be heavily watered to make them "much" softer.

While players expected to be greeted with firm-and-fast conditions at Chambers Bay, what they found was firmer and faster than most truly envisioned. Through two rounds of stroke-play competition on the course, the average score at Chambers Bay was 79.247.

By way of comparison, Scott Langley played at the Royal Portrush in Scotland for the Palmer Cup and at Pebble Beach for U.S. Open at Pebble Beach earlier this summer. When asked about the conditions of those courses compared to Chambers Bay, he noted that each was softer than what he found here at the three-year-old course along the Puget Sound.

With the move to match play, the USGA's Mike Davis got a chance to adjust the tee markers on several holes and even change par on a few. The 18th hole was moved up to 515 yards and technically played as a par 4 rather than the 604-yard, par 5 it was listed at for stroke play. Conversely, the tees were moved back on the first hole to 542 yards and the hole became a par 5 rather than the par 4 it played as Monday and Tuesday.

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