The U.S. Open is underway at Shinnecock Hills in New York.
This is also the third anniversary of the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in Pierce County.
The course and the county are still hoping the attract the major golf tournament back to Chambers Bay, and are continuing to make changes to the whole area to bring in visitors.
“The U.S. Open was a great introduction of the course to the world and really put Pierce County on the world map,” said Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Executive.
It may be a world class golf course, but it is also a regional public park with walking trails that wind around and through the golf course.
The public now has access to the beach in front of the course, and the bridge that was built there prior to the U.S. Open will soon house a boat dock as well.
“There’s a lot of work still to be done to make this exactly what we envision for our full community,” said Dammeier.
Those plans include constructing a new hotel, restaurant, and clubhouse just above the 9th and 18th greens. The idea is to make the golf course more of a destination.
“We still want to increase the play, we still need to get more folks here,” said Dammeier. “That’s part of the reason we’re doing the improvements to the course, and adding to the resort.
Improvements to the actual course include a radical plan to close it down this fall and stretching into next spring to replace all of the greens.
There were a lot of complaints about the bumpy Fescue greens during the U.S. Open three years ago.
Course managers hope by replacing them with the native Poa Annua grass, they can attract the U.S. Open back in the next decade or so.