Inside Opinion

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Tag: Chambers Bay Golf Course

Aug.
20th

Chambers Bay or University Place? Let’s talk about it

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

A new idea shouldn’t be tossed out just because it’s a new idea. The citizens of University Place ought to at least explore the merits of rechristening their city Chambers Bay.

Several city leaders floated the notion recently, and so far it hasn’t proven seaworthy. People tend to see their community and its name as an indivisible package deal. Call it something else, and it’s not quite the same place.

In this case, there’s a certain charm to a “University Place” that has no university. The city’s name dates to the late 1800s, when the founders of the University of Puget Sound decided to establish the school there – and then changed their minds.

The locals stuck with the name, which at least made the community sound as if it abounded in scholars.

“University Place” has a century of fond tradition on its side. Let’s consider the case for “Chambers Bay”:

The name is short, lovely and evokes images of a picturesque cove on Puget Sound. What’s more, University Place actually does have a picturesque cove on Puget Sound.

But the best argument for “Chambers Bay” is that people across the United States will recognize the name in a few years.
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June
19th

Looking ahead to the 2015 U.S. Open


The "lone fir" at Chambers Bay Golf Course. (Staff file photo)

I’m not really a golf fan – my idea of an exciting day at the links is a scorching round of putt-putt – but I tuned in to the U.S. Open over the weekend with an eye toward 2015.

That’s when the Open – arguably the most prestigious golf title in the U.S. – comes to Chambers Bay, the former strip mine turned world-class golf course.

I’ve never played the Scottish links-style course, but I’m a big fan of it for another reason. By building it, Pierce County was able to develop the Chambers Creek Properties for a variety of public uses. I enjoy the Soundview Trail around the golf course as well as the very good restaurant with its spectacular view over the water and the Olympic Mountains. On a nice day, there’s hardly a more pleasant place to eat or just have a drink than out on the Chambers Bay Grill patio. Other people use the dog park, the Bridge to the Beach, the events pavilion and the Playground by the Sound.

But back to the golf course. Will it be up to the U.S. Open? It won good reviews when it hosted the U.S. Amateur in 2010, but the U.S. Open is a much bigger event. The Amateur draws 3,000 to 5,000 spectators each day; the U.S. Open attracts as many as 65,000 daily. That’s a lot of people wandering over the rugged course and getting to and from it through University Place. Read more »

Aug.
26th

Playground by the Sound has bucks, needs builders


Playground by the Sound, which will be built by volunteers Sept. 20-25, will have a sweeping view over the Chambers Bay golf course and Puget Sound. (Staff file photo)

This editorial appears in Friday’s print edition.

Less than a month from now, a small army is scheduled to descend on the west slope of University Place. It will be a peaceful army with one mission: build the Playground by the Sound.

The army still needs volunteers to commit to at least one “building blitz” shift Sept. 20-25. Under supervision of Leathers & Associates consultants and volunteer coordinator Rebecca Vader, they will construct the 12,000-square-foot, handicap-accessible playground in the North Meadow of Chambers Creek Properties. Also needed are donations of materials, use of building tools, food for the workers and day care for their children. Read more »

March
9th

County playing long game at Chambers Bay

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Chambers Bay – Pierce County’s high-end golf course in University Place – has drawn fans and critics alike since opening in June 2007.

What it hasn’t yet attracted is enough paying golfers to cover the bills.

The course lost $1.3 million in 2009, its second full year of operation. Pierce County loaned the course $2.5 million to cover the loss, plus expenses associated with making course improvements for this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship.

It’s not the strong start that the course’s planners envisioned. Then again, this is not the economy anyone would have predicted in 2007. A golf course opened on the eve of the Great Recession can be forgiven for having a bad year.

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March
9th

Historical perspective on Chambers Bay

I just read the 100-plus comments posted on David Wickert’s Sunday story about recent losses at Chambers Bay Golf Course.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think Pierce County officials woke up one day and said to each other, “Let’s go build us a golf course.” Nowhere did I see any recognition of this project’s long history, which paints a much different picture:

• The Chambers Creek site was purchased to allow the county to expand its wastewater treatment facility.
• Federal mining reclamation laws prohibited the county from leaving the site as is.
• The

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