Robert Trent Jones Jr. describes his masterpiece, Chambers Bay
October 05, 2011
1 of 14Dick Durrance
Hole No. 1
498 yards, par 4
The getaway hole plays as an optional long straightaway par 4 or shortish par 5 and reveals that the golfer must consider the ground game immediately. The broad roughless fairways have a correct side and incorrect side for the best angle to approach and hold the contoured green.
2 of 14Dick Durrance
This hole is flexible in length and can be played as a drivable par 4. Golf shots are played along the railroad tracks across and between vast sandy wastelands. It is a beautiful, relatively flat golf hole, where all shot options are apparent. The strong player can take dead aim at the green. However, any mistake will be severely punished. Play safe and you still have a very small target green to approach from an awkward angle. Note the tire marks from the tractors in the right of the photo. This shot was taken early in the course's life when much of the grass outside of the fairways had yet to grow in. We left the tire contours specifically to give the grass seeds a place to find purchase in the windy and sometimes rainy conditions. This created a very natural pattern of growth.
3 of 14Chambers Bay
The beautiful downhill 15th hole incorporates multiple tees and can measure all the way from 246 yards to 92 yards. The iconic fir tree, the only tree on the course, is seen just behind the green.
4 of 14Chambers Bay
This portrait of the rough-hewn landscape was recrafted out of the original degraded industrial landscape of an active sand and gravel mining operation to create a variety in the golf landscape.
5 of 14Chambers Bay
The 14th green is guarded by the large mound which helps define the green entrance. If your ball comes up short, you will have a very difficult pitch over the mound or bump and run shot that could run all the way across and over the green.
6 of 14Dick Durrance
This dynamic hole starts the beautiful conclusion of the Chambers Bay golf course. The tee shot is from the high teeing grounds to a very wide fairway where a deep central bunker (known as 'Bobby's Bunker') bisects the choice of line. Long players can attempt to carry the diagonal waste hazard to the left. More cautious players, especially often into a strong wind, may play to the right, followed by a much longer approach shot to a large, open entranced green.
7 of 14Dick Durrance
The wide 13th hole plays uphill in the direction toward the mining quarry remnant wall and Mt. Rainer. The hole's primary hazard is the benign looking greenside mound to the left. The more obvious bunker hazard may seem out of play until a thoughtless shot ricochets off the primary hazard and enters the treacherous, secondary hazard 30 yards short of the green. This is the essence of 'Pasture Pool' -- you must think through the angle off the cushion to properly execute your approach shots onto the green.
8 of 14Dick Durrance
From the elevated championship tee, the competitor plays across the vast, unkempt sandy waste to a split fairway with a hummock in-between the target zones. Choose your route carefully. The better play is left in order to access the elevated green. The farther right you play to avoid the hummock, the poorer the angle to the green.
9 of 14Jay Blasi
Great care was taken to create natural craggy edged greenside bunkers that may claim a misplayed shot. The hard, tight turf portion of the green spills into the bunker. In Championship conditions, the greens are concrete hard and the ball does not leave any pitch mark when it lands.
10 of 14Dick Durrance
This is a narrow par 4, playing into a funnel-like fairway enclosed by ominous dunes to a smallish green. Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountain range in the distance are a beautiful distraction. Lose focus on this hole and the possibility of a birdie will turn into a bogey.
11 of 14Aidan Bradley
The wide open fairways of Holes 5, 6 & 7 are connected and separated only by the intermittent sandy wastelands and hummocks. The blended fairways create a strategy for each par 4, especially in consideration of the variable weather patterns.
12 of 14Aidan Bradley
Notice the ribbon tees in the foreground. The tee area is sweeping left to right and continuing through the waste bunker all the way to the green in one continuous swath of fescue turfgrass. The closely cut tees are uneven and not perfectly level. Therefore, choose your stance for your line as well as choose your club.
13 of 14Dick Durrance
Hole No. 2
404 yards, par 4
Indented sandy 'blow-out' bunkers must be thought through for correct positioning of lay up and approach shots. Consider how to use the kicker slope on the right of the green in order to access the flagstick.
14 of 14Chambers Bay
There are many variable angles of attack from the right back tee. A large, wide gull-winged shaped green with plateaus on the right and left with a deceptive central swale. Precision and daring are necessary to even get onto and hold the green, much less get close to the flagstick. In the background is the old dock, railroad and quarry works.
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