Chambers Bay has the catchiest bunker in golf.
It collects bouncing golf balls in the 18th-hole fairway.
It is also very penal - with the profound nickname of “Chambers Basement.”
“Caddies call it ‘Chambers Basement,’” course designer Robert Trent Jones Jr. said, “as sort of a light joke.”
After the 2010 U.S Amateur at Chambers Bay, USGA executive director Mike Davis suggested another round of course improvements in anticipation of this U.S. Open in June.
Davis likes the idea of flipping par between the first and 18th holes. When one hole plays as a par 4, the other will be a par 5 (so it will be a total of a par 9 between the two holes daily).
When Davis looked at the hole as a par 5, he wanted a hazard in the secondary target area of a wide fairway - some 120 yards away from the green.
Davis wanted a death-sentence pot bunker built - and it was finished early in 2012.
“I thought he meant 4-5 feet. Then we doubled it to 8 feet,” Jones said. “And he said, ‘Go again.’ We went to 12 feet.”
Jones wasn’t thrilled with the idea in the first place. But he certainly was more opposed to Davis’ original idea of retooling the green complex of the finishing hole, including adding a bunker on the back end of it.
“The compromise, or the give and take, was to add the pot bunker,” Jones said.
“Chambers Basement” is not only one of the course’s most notable features, it is also a popular area for a photo opportunity.
In fact, when Jones teed off Saturday, he noticed a crowd of people around the deep pot bunker, looking down in it.
And up came Greg Norman, who was on a playing tour of the course for Fox Sports.
“I guess he is a sand shark,” Jones quipped.
“(The bunker) is what it is,” Jones added. “It will be a talking point.”