The national hype has begun for the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, and it took just 18 seconds.
The impact was felt immediately.
During last month’s broadcast of the NFC Championship between the Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers, Fox briefly cut away to shots of Chambers Bay.
“You are looking at the site of the 2015 U.S. Open: Chambers Bay, just 35 miles south of Seattle,” said Fox broadcaster Joe Buck.
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He continued, “Links-style course, home of the 2015 U.S. Open right here on Fox, June 2015. We’re thrilled to be a part of this sport, and this historic event.”
Matt Allen, general manager at Chambers Bay, was thrilled to see the short spot — and its impact.
“What was most exciting was the traffic we got, just with (18) seconds to 46 million viewers,” he said. “In the 12 hours immediately following, we had almost 10 times our normal web traffic, with every state and 19 countries represented. Just think of the impact the U.S. Open will have over the course of the week, with 200 million people watching.”
The event, which will be played June 18-21, 2015, will be the first men’s U.S. Open to be played in the Northwest, and will also be Fox’s initial foray into golf. The USGA has said there hasn’t been this much early corporate and local interest since 2002 when the Open was held at Bethpage on New York’s Long Island.
That’s why the USGA expects to have no trouble filling up its 4,500 volunteer slots. Registration for volunteers began at 12:01 a.m. Monday.
“Since June 2008, people have been e-mailing me, asking how they can get involved,” said Danny Sink, the championship director for the 2015 U.S. Open. “It’s an exciting time now that it’s finally here and people can sign up to be a part of it.”
Eric Steimer, who is assisting Sink and is in charge of volunteer coordination, said there has never been a problem filling volunteer slots at a U.S. Open. He expects the slots to be filled up in two to three months.
“It’s a great experience for all of our volunteers,” Steimer said. “It’s a behind-the-scenes perspective.”
Steimer said there are 24 committees to fill, ranging from such duties as being hole marshals, updating leaderboards and helping out with player services and corporate hospitality.
When signing up, a volunteer can list up to four preferences of what they would like to do, and those who sign up first are more likely to get their choices; the USGA fills committees while the applications are still coming in.
Volunteers are charged $165 and are expected to work a minimum of four shifts during the seven days (including three days of practice rounds). Shifts are five or six hours, for a total commitment of between 20 and 24 hours.
Each volunteer will get two 2015 U.S. Open golf shirts, a windbreaker, a piece of headwear and some other accessories, along with a credential that is good for all seven days of the tournament. A meal voucher is provided with each shift.
For information on how to volunteer, go to https://2015volunteers.usga.org
Scott Hanson: 206-464-2943 or firstname.lastname@example.org