All eyes will be on the Seattle-Tacoma area and Chambers Bay for the U.S. Open this week, and if you're lucky enough to be attending, your dance card is probably pretty full.
But if you decide to take the sticks and try to wedge in 18 on one of the tournament days, you're making a wise decision. The wild topography and mild weather that help make Chambers Bay so special also gives it some fantastic public course neighbors.
Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton is 30 miles north of the U.S. Open venue, and doesn't share the same advantageous position right on the water. But the two courses that make up the property are both among the strongest in the Pacific Northwest.
The John Harbottle-designed Olympic Course opened in 1996, and has hosted the USGA twice before, for the Junior Amateur and Amateur Public Links. The Ken Tyson-designed Cascade Course is the original one on the property, from 1971, and offers a spectacular trip through mature stands of fir trees.
The club normally runs a cross-promotion with Chambers Bay that lets you play all three courses over two days, but the tee times at Chambers are otherwise detained. You can still book the 36-hole special, though -- 18 holes at the Olympic and Cascade for $150. The regular green fee is $100 for each round.
Bremerton isn't a bad jumping off point for a last minute Open trip, either. You can still find hotel rooms there in the $100-$200 range per night during the week, and you'll be shuttling down to Chambers Bay in a different direction than all of the Seattle-Tacoma traffic. Follow @RudyWriter