Group of friends volunteer together at US Open

For some volunteers working the bag check, the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay is a group effort.

Tim and Paula Russell, 1973 graduates of University of Puget Sound, now live in Redmond, Oregon. But they said they had to volunteer at the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay to see the golf course that was built from “nothing.”

“This was a wasteland,” Tim Russell said.

Both he and his wife couldn’t believe the transformation.

“There’s been a lot of progress since 1973,” Paula Russell said.

And they weren’t alone in their efforts.

They joined four other couples, who requested similar shifts and the same days off in order to enjoy the championship together.

Many of them were working together this week, including experienced volunteer Diane West of Clackamas, Oregon, who worked at the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

“(Chambers Bay is) very impressive,” she said. “Very different than anything I’ve seen before.”

Ron and Sandy Mountain of Salem, Oregon, are another couple in the volunteer group. Ron Mountain has worked Torrey Pines and the 2003 Women’s Open in Portland, as well as the LPGA championship for 20 years. His wife worked Torrey Pines, as well.

“Chambers Bay’s climate and course are absolutely great,” Ron Mountain said.

He has never played at Chambers Bay but plans to: “Maybe when they widen the fairways a little,” he quipped.