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South Sound Prepares To Host First U.S. Open Golf Championship In Northwest

John Mummert
Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place

Pierce County will step onto the national stage when it hosts one of the country’s premiere sporting events. In June, the U.S.Open golf championship will be held at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place.

It will be the first time in the event’s history that it will take place in the Pacific Northwest. The first ever U.S. Open was held in 1895.There are a lot of signs that something big is about to happen in University Place in the south Sound.

In Chambers Creek Regional Park, next to Chambers Bay golf course, entire sections have been temporarily closed off, including  a large meadow, a walking path to the beach and an off leash dog park.

Large tents are being erected on the site to accommodate the 30,000 spectators a day, as well as national and international media, expected at the U.S. Open in June. 

Others in the region are gearing also gearing up. At the University of Washington Tacoma, spokesman Mike Wark, says they’re sponsoring a series of lectures on everything from what it takes to run an international tournament to golf injuries.

“This is a huge happening that’s happening right here in our community, so we wanted to provide more of an intellectual connection with it,” Wark said.

This Thursday, at 7 p.m., at U.W. Tacoma, United States Golf Association (USGA) Senior Managing Director John Bodenhamer will talk about conducting international championships and governing the game in the modern era.

The U.S. Open is the second of four major golf tournaments each year.

It’s called an open because it’s open to anyone who qualifies, including amateurs.

This USGA produced video is on the Chambers Bay site promoting the event.

The event is expected to generate more than $150 million in sales, rental car and hotel taxes. One disappointment for some in Pierce County is that the USGA’s companion fan experience event , which includes food, entertainment and golf related activities, is likely to be held in Seattle, rather than University Place or Tacoma.

Paula is a former host, reporter and producer who retired from KNKX in 2021. She joined the station in 1989 as All Things Considered host and covered the Law and Justice beat for 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.