United State Golf Association executive director Mike Davis became enchanted by the abandoned Chambers Creek rock quarry at first sight in 2006, and he later told the architects at Robert Trent Jones Jr.’s firm not to screw up a golf course that could someday host a United States Open.
As Chambers Bay grew into itself, Davis’ love for it also grew.
Thus, a harmonious marriage between USGA giant and golfing gem was born.
Good or bad, they will certainly be connected when the 115th U.S. Open arrives at the links-style site June 15-21.
With its stunning scenery, and its unique construction and style, Chambers Bay has the high-ceiling potential to be a national open host for the ages
But what if Chambers Bay does not bewitch the world’s best golfers? What if they consider it a too-big-of-a-reach host for a championship of this magnitude?
If Chambers Bay fails as a credible U.S. Open site, based on whoever’s criteria? Does Davis’ forward-thinking reputation take a hit?
With the sport’s stars, it very well could happen.
But how about within his own association?
“No,” he said. “There was unanimity to come here. Nobody said we shouldn’t do it.”
No U.S. Open site happens without the approval of the USGA executive committee. But its loudest voice is Davis, whose outside-the-box thinking for American championship golf is widely lauded.
“When he gets excited about something,” said Reg Jones, the senior director of U.S. Open championships, “he can be pretty convincing.”
Davis knows Chambers Bay is uncommon — especially as a U.S. Open site. That is a huge reason he has attached himself to it.
“Next year, we are at Oakmont. People know Oakmont. It’s got a history. It is tried and true. The only surprise at Oakmont is, ‘Does it rain, or is it dry, or is it windy?’ We know how it is going to play,” Davis said.
“Here, there is just a lot more to do. There were a lot of changes that had to happen, so there was that element of, ‘Are we going to get there, and have we thought of everything?’ Trust me, we have not thought of everything. There will be mistakes made. There will be things we will see out there (and go), ‘Eh, we did not get this one right.’ ”