Considering The Chances Of Another Major At Chambers Bay

For anyone hosting a major or thinking of doing so, Tony Dear's Links piece is worth a read given the high-profile Chambers Bay experiment.

As the story notes, it succeeded on the financial and ratings front, but agronomically left a scar that is now being rectified by a creative conversion to poa greens.

Since June 2015, Johnson has increased cultural inputs (mowing, rolling, fertilizer, pesticide, water) to favor annual bluegrass establishment, and is seeding the greens with the only commercially available annual bluegrass turf—Poa reptans Two-Putt. “The good news,” he says, “is that it establishes pretty well. The bad news is that its prolific seedhead production in the first year or so gives the greens that blotchy appearance.”

Johnson has also begun saving and analyzing clipping yields from the greens in an effort to monitor growth and make better decisions on when to cut, seed, fertilize, and irrigate. “Every-day play is our focus as a public course,” he says. “I want smooth greens as well as consistent speed and firmness.”

On the financial side, Chambers continued the trend of public-access venues raking in more money for the USGA (we won't know how Erin Hills fared for a while):

According to its Annual Report, USGA revenue from its Open championships (U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Women’s Open) in 2016, when the U.S. Open was played at Oakmont, was $53.3m. In 2015, it was $64.3m. 

The irony in all of this is that Chambers would make a great PGA Championship August. May? Not so much. Though still certainly doable and capable of bringing big energy and bigger West Coast ratings.