Pay the green, play the greens

Fantastic views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains? Priceless.

Eighteen holes at a championship-caliber golf course? That will cost you up to $150, depending on where you live.

Pierce County has announced the greens fees for the publicly owned Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, set to open June 23. Here’s what you need to know:

How much will it cost? From its opening in June through Oct. 14, Pierce County residents will pay $85 Monday through Thursday and $100 Friday through Sunday and holidays. Noncounty residents will pay $135 weekdays and $150 Friday through Sunday and holidays.

From Oct. 15 through April 2008, county residents will pay $65 Monday through Thursday and $80 on weekends and holidays. Nonresidents will pay $115 and $125, respectively.

What’s the caddy fee? Use of a caddy is optional on the walking-only course. The fee is $35 for a single bag and $70 for a double bag.

How did the county come up with these fees? Pierce County project manager Tony Tipton said the county adopted a fee schedule recommended by KemperSports, the private company that will operate the links-style course designed by Robert Trent Jones II.

The fees are based on comparisons with other area golf courses and with comparable courses nationwide, such as Bandon Dunes in Oregon and Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

Tipton said the county is marketing the course to a mix of local, regional and national golfers.

So how do the fees stack up? Newcastle’s Coal Creek course is still the most expensive in the region at $160 during prime time on a summer weekend. Other comparable greens fees include $94 at Washington National in Auburn, $79 at Trophy Lake in Port Orchard and $60 at Gold Mountain’s Olympic course in Bremerton.

At Bandon Dunes, which Chambers Bay promoters like to cite as a model, comparable fees are $195 for hotel guests and $250 for nonguests.

When can I make a reservation? Chambers Bay has begun booking group events. Individual tee times can be booked online beginning April 23. The course will begin accepting telephone reservations about 30 days before opening.

Where can I get more information? At www.chambersbaygolf.com.

David Wickert: 253-274-7341