UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. (AP) — The brown, lumpy patches that dotted nearly every putting surface at Chambers Bay and became the story of the 2015 U.S. Open are now lush, smooth and a Northwest-appropriate shade of green.
Four years removed from a championship that was largely derided because of its putting green problems, Chambers Bay may have salvaged its future hopes of being part of golf’s championship rotation with a massive effort to replace every green on the course.
“I wouldn’t overstate this but it did kind of exceed my expectations,” said USGA senior managing director John Bodenhamer, who got a tour of the changes in late March. “I expected to see a few more seams and things but I think it grew in beautifully. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but I kind of was.”
Rather than continuing to try to fight off the invasive poa annua grass that caused so many problems on the greens during the U.S. Open, the course took the drastic step of closing down for six months to replace 15 of 18 greens; three had already been replaced in 2017. The fescue grass was torn out and replaced with new poa annua greens. Some of the…