Following is the transcript of the June 11 Twitter chat, featuring ASGCA Past Presidents Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and Bruce Charlton. Chambers Bay, host to the 2015 U.S. Open, was designed by Robert Trent Jones II Golf Design. The complete chat can be found on Twitter at #ASGCAUSOpen.
Q: Is Chambers Bay in US Open Championship condition now?
A: The fescue turf is silver in Spring, gold in Summer; firm, fun and fast, the way we like it for USOpen
Q: Was the course designed with the thought of hosting a U.S. Open or other major championship?
A: Pierce County leaders wanted us to design & build a course worthy to host USGA Championships
Q: What was the biggest challenge in getting the course prepared to host the coming tournament?
A: Maintaining fescue turf in championship conditions (mild winter helped for flourishing grass) Golf gods blessed us!
Q: Is there a ‘signature hole’ on the course?
A: There are no signature holes, because @SBCharlton and I write our names all over the course.
Q: The environmental improvement is significant. Has the community embraced the facility?
A: The old mines have been transformed into a regional park for everyone – dog walkers to concert goers.
Q: As the course architects – do you have any input on suggested pin placements during the 4-day tournament?
A: For the tournament, it is the @USGA prerogative. M.Davis the Master “outdoor chess player” one move ahead of the field
Q: I’m watching from home this weekend: what do I look for to enjoy the tournament more?
A: On @FOXSports, some holes to keep an eye on: 5 – plays downhill, 9 – drops 100-feet West, rises 5-feet to South; #ASGCAUSOpen Beauty of 10; closing holes show crescendo of the course – 15, 16 beautiful along Puget Sound, 18 can play par 4 or 5
Q: Was it a goal to create as many options as possible for every shot?
A: Yes, especially around greens and tee shots on 4s and 5s. Many ways to get ball close to pin; player imagination!
Q: How much of the course is irrigated?
A: There are only 60 acres of irrigated/mowed surfaces. By comparison, there are 70 acres of rough/sandy blowouts.
Q: Do the comments of professional players have any effect on you?
A: Interested in what they say & why. I like that P. Mickelson says he likes the course, but does not affect us.
Q: There have been many comparisons to Chambers Bay playing like an Open Championship. Is this a fair assessment?
A: By all means; a very fair assessment. The type of game needed there is similar to what is needed @ChambersBayGolf
Q: How important is it for you and RTJ2 to be shown on such a high visibility stage?
A: It’s like winning the Academy Award for Best Picture. But the story has only partly been told. The players are next.
Q: Speaking generally … what needs to be taken into account when designing a course in the Pacific Northwest?
A: Took advantage of maritime climate & natural sand. Fescue grew naturally. 1st USOpen on wall-to-wall fescue
Q: The USGA is making a statement about ‘firm and fast’ with Pinehurst, Chambers Bay and Erin Hills. Can you comment?
A: It is good to see; lean and mean, a sustainable course where irrigation is limited. It is a huge message (1 of 2) #ASGCAUSOpen Everyday golfer is targeted w this message; accept conditions on the course. To industry: be smart, respect environment
Q: How do you wish others to view your work, and ultimately, how do you see your legacy?
A: Our courses can be played by all, regardless of skill level. They should have the flexibility and freedom to have fun. #ASGCAUSOpen Bobby Jones was one of the first to promote environmental awareness. Each course is different with unique character.
Bruce and I are only two living architects to attend U.S. Open on their courses, and first since 1970. Hazeltine was my father’s design and I was there. On this Open Saturday, he would have been 109 years old. His Spirit is w me.