In Search of Par

  • Tue May 13th, 2008 6:30pm
  • Sports

Rich Rae and Dick Goff take in the view at Chambers Bay.

By Ron Bates

As we piled out of the concierge vans, the breathtaking links-style course was majestically strewn over what seemed like miles of some of the most coveted property in the Tacoma area.

It was hard to imagine the thousands of truckloads of material it took to sculpt such a Northwest gem. But, there we were April 29 — 16 golfers from the San Juan Island Men’s Golf Club staring down at her with much awaited anticipation.

There are a few steps into tackling a golf course like Chambers Bay. Make friends with your caddy as quickly as possible! Spend sufficient time on the practice putting green to learn the speed and subtleties, and to make sure your physical and mental game are in top form. It’s a walking-only course and is nearly eight miles in length.

After the round, most of us looked like we had just won the lottery. The beaming grins, tales of great shots — and the not-so-great shots, and caddies running about cleaning clubs and guys already planning return trips …

To have a local golf course in a mix of names like Winged Foot, Pinehurst, Oakmont and Pebble Beach seems surreal to most local golfers. But in 2015, Chambers Bay will host the U.S. Open golf tournament, and you can bet that this gang of 16 will be there front and center!

— Ron Bates is a periodic golf columnist for The Journal.