Chambers Bay will close temporarily to replace its fescue greens with poa annua greens. The old greens drew criticism from top pros when Chambers Bay hosted the U.S. Open in 2015.

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Chambers Bay, the Pierce County golf course that hosted the 2015 U.S. Open, will close Monday (Oct. 1) and reopen sometime in March as it converts to poa annua greens.

The closure is no surprise as course management said months ago it was likely.

The course’s fescue greens were invaded by poa annua, the predominant Northwest greens grass, before the U.S. Open. The combination of the two competing grasses, plus extended dry conditions before the tournament resulted in the greens being criticized — and in some cases, ridiculed – as unfair by some of the world’s best golfers.

Three troubled greens were purposely replaced by poa annua last year. Course officials said success with those greens led to the decision to convert all greens to poa annua.

Chambers Bay was scheduled to be the site of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball (best ball) Championship in 2019, but at its request the tournament has been moved and Bandon Dunes in Oregon will be the site. Chambers Bay will host the four-ball championship in 2021.

Chambers Bay was the site of the 2010 U.S. Amateur and management has aspirations of being the site of a future U.S. Women’s Open and a return of the U.S. Open.

While the course is closed, the clubhouse, golf shop, south driving range and restaurant will remain open Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kayak Point closing Oct. 21

Kayak Point Golf Course between Marysville and Stanwood faces an uncertain future as the current private operators of the public course plan to make Oct. 21 their final day of business.

Snohomish County is looking for a new operator for the course but also inviting other proposals for use of the 270 acres. Among the possible uses are camping, disc golf and equestrian use.

Kayak Point opened in 1977 and at one time was on Golf Digest’s list of “top 50 public courses to play.”

The course has been operated since 2005 by Access Golf of Redmond but has faced a decline in rounds, higher operating costs and a lack of funding for future improvements.

In a prepared statement, Snohomish County parks director Tom Teigen said Access Golf “has been a wonderful partner.”

Notes:

  • An off-campus residence – a “scholarship house” — at the University of Washington for recipients of Evans Scholarships for caddies has opened at 2104 NE 45th St. with 24 occupants. A similar facility opened at the University of Oregon in 2016.
    The national Evans Scholarship program started in 1930. Beginning in the 1950s, more than 230 UW students have received Evans Scholarships.Candidates are judged on caddie performance, academics, financial need and character. The first elected president of the UW scholarship house is John Marks, a senior in business administration from Bothell. He caddied at Inglewood Golf Club in Kenmore.
  • A course employee says no arrests have been made in the vandalism of 16 greens with a grass-killing chemical at Swinomish Golf Links outside Anacortes in May. The course was forced to close for a month to replace the greens before reopening July 11. A $10,000 reward is offered for information that leads to conviction in the case.
  • Dick Stephens, president and CEO of Varsity Communications, is the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Service Award from the Northwest Golf Media Association. Stephens helped launch the Seattle Golf Show and two Seattle-based regional golf magazines.