UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. -- There are a lot of challenges for the 30,000 spectators who are moving around the Chambers Bay golf course for the U.S. Open.
Good shoes, and being in good shape are two keys.
“You need to be in great shape or else you could have a heart attack out there,” said Nick Clark, while walking the course with his wife.
There are a lot of hills and changes in elevation on the sprawling course, and fans are starting to learn to stake out one spot.
“It is easier if you kind of pick a spot, camp out, and then watch and wait,” said Darcy Patterson.
The U.S. Golf Association has heard some complaints that fans can’t always follow their favorite players.
“It’s a little different in that you can’t follow a group around, like a lot of fans are used to doing,” said Chris Minaker.
“This is not a flat golf course,” explained Danny Sink, the tournament director. “You can not walk down every fairway. I don’t think that’s a big secret.”
It’s one reason the USGA built giant grandstands around the course, with 18,000 seats in all. The grandstand on the 18th hole has 6,000 seats alone, making it the largest grandstand in U.S. Open history.
That’s where Tim Monohan settled in after trying to walk the course on the first day.
“You can see across several holes and you don’t have to walk in the gravel,” said Monohan. “It’s hilly here and I’m not in the best shape.”
The best viewing areas include the 12th, 16th, 17th, and 18th hole.
“We want everyone to have a great experience,” said Sink. “You can’t always walk five feet from the ropes on every hole but we want to create a great experience.”