US Open 2015: What will Chambers Bay really be like?June, 2015
The venue is a total mystery – but here are our predictions
1. Moving tees
This is not your average golf course. There’s a par 3 that can play uphill or downhill like some kind of MC Escher painting; par 5s that are sometimes par 4s; and holes that can be drivable one day and require two woods the next.
Mike Davis is the USGA’s evil genius, or so he likes to think. At Chambers Bay, which is enormous, tees can be moved all over the place so there is plenty of scope for variation over the week.
2. Scoring won’t be as high as you think
If you are playing US Open bingo, then you can rely on someone saying that the winning score will be 10 over par in the build-up. This year, step forward Graeme McDowell.
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It won’t be, because Mike Davis doesn’t want that to be the case and should the scoring be too high, he has the means to throw a load of water on the course, move half a dozen tees up and cut the holes in more generous positions.
Hey presto – a scorable golf course.
3. Scoring will be volatile
As ever at a US Open, there is the potential for big numbers. But a new feature of the event is eagles and short par 4s.
US Open 2015: Tee times
On some holes at Pinehurst last year, tees were in the middle of fairways, like some kind of junior markers. Davis likes it this way and it evens out the scoring.
US Opens used to be about grinding the pars out, it’s more like bogeys and birdies now.
4. Balls will roll and roll. And roll
Not only is Chambers Bay quite literally built on sand, it’s not exactly flat either. What does that add up to? Balls rolling downhill for hundreds of yards.
US Open 2015: The short history of Chambers Bay
This is the kind of course where approach shots can briefly be on the green and eventually require a full wedge for the next shot.
5. They’ll find a way round
They always do. No matter what the examination paper looks like, someone always has the answers.
What we have seen in a few US Opens recently is a player separate himself from the field – like Kaymer last year and McIlroy in 2011.
That could happen again here, or maybe it will be a case of a group of players detaching themselves from the rest. We’ll have to wait and see.
US Open 2015: Chambers Bay’s One-Handed Chipper