Tacoma hits Big Time with June classicHold onto your hats – an army of golf enthusiasts from around the world is about to descend upon the Pacific Northwest and, in particular, a golf course that is taking its first bow in front of the entire world. Tacoma’s Chambers Bay has hit the Big Time.
The facility landed the 2015 U.S. Open that is to be played June 15-21. It’s the first time Chambers Bay has hosted the prestigious event and it means that all of the big names in golf will be there. It’s a golfer’s dream to play the U.S. Open, and the U.S. Open is a dream for Tacoma’s Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The city of Tacoma has been touting the U.S. Open for many months, realizing this is a chance to show off a city that often seems to be in Seattle’s shadow but, in fact, has plenty of things going for it all its own. While there are certainly industrial areas, and it does rain or drizzle practically the entire winter, the sunny spring and summer months bring out a gorgeous panorama of islands and waterfronts, quaint, historic neighborhoods, fun shopping districts and city parks like Point Defiance that are second to none.
Chances are you may not be able to actually stay in Tacoma if you haven’t already made your reservation for the weekend of the U.S. Open. In fact, Seattle and much of Puget Sound will also get their chance to show off to the many thousands of visitors expected to be on hand for the U.S. Open. Seattle’s just a 45-minute drive from Chambers Bay – if you drive it at the right time – and there are places to stay in the many Seattle suburbs.
So why Chambers Bay? Chambers Bay was designed as a walking-only golf course which traditionalists like because that’s the way golf was when it was invented. Caddies carry the bags while golfers drink in the magnificent Puget Sound and mountain views. The course itself is 18 holes, designed by Robert Trent Jones, a famous name in the golf community. Chambers Bay is located near the shores of Puget Sound in University Place, a scenic part of the greater Tacoma community.
As famous golfers from around the world contemplate this June’s U.S. Open, there is a bit of consternation about the course. Nobody’s sure exactly what to expect because it’s the type of course that can be played many different ways. Sometimes you may assume a certain golf professional will do one thing; on this course he may have to do something else. Players, in short, will have to be quite versatile.
These particular players can handle it because they’re the best in the world. It’s a grueling process for many of them to get here that includes several qualifying rounds. The elimination system allows some of the more famous players to leapfrog the early qualifying, with about half of the 156 entrants qualifying simply because of previous titles, wins and standings. The rest of the field comes from the 9,882 applicants who set out to run the qualification gamut for this year’s U.S. Open.
But those who make it are realizing a dream – every professional golfer would love to one day play in the U.S. Open. And this June, 156 of the top golfers in the world are coming to Tacoma to do just that.
If you go: Tickets to the U.S. Open are available for some days, although many of the premium days are sold out. If you visit early in the week, you can pay as little as $50 a ticket. A week-long ticket package is $1,875. For ticket information, go to www.usopen.com. Chambers Bay is located at 6320 Grandview Drive West in University Place.
For information on Tacoma area attractions, visit www.traveltacoma.com.
PHOTOS: Chambers Bay view; Tacoma Dock Street Marina
PHOTO CREDITS: Chambers Bay photo by Adam Bradley; marina photo courtesy Dock Street Marina
RECOMMENDED LODGING: Seattle lodging
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