19
   

My brain has been taken over by martians: I have new interest in golf.

 
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2015 06:16 pm
@ossobuco,
Does look like a links course...and way, way out there. Certainly the most unusual courses I've ever seen.

Usual crybabies are complaining...like Sergio.

Test of endurance as well as golf skills.

Jason Day still looked a bit out of it today. I hope he gets the vertigo under control. Bad thing to have in golf.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2015 06:21 pm
I live not far from Chambers Bay and am taking an interest in how much the course is being ripped by the golfers and spectators. Lets remember that Tacoma is the same city that sees fit to fun an internet service and a railroad, so taking on what I think is normally a private endeavor of owning a "championship" course is not odd for them. But then again this city is always trying and failing to make the big time, they misfire more than they hit the target, so doing a golf course poorly is also right up their alley. But it is not just the design that is a problem, the golfers say that the greens are poorly kept, but some talking heads are saying that they just dont know this European style of doing greens (which I find hard to believe, these guys never play Europe?)

For now I am listening. I have not made up my mind about this course, but the fact that 5 holes are not designed to have spectators, and that most places that do have them in stands is a huge strike for a "championship" course. I think it is very likely that having the tour stop here was a mistake by the tour.

Lets see what the reports are over the next couple of days first though.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2015 06:29 pm
@Frank Apisa,
But wait, there's this from Gary Player -

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/golf/usopen/11689205/US-Open-2015-Chambers-Bay-a-betrayal-says-Gary-Player.html

I'm mixed in that I appreciate the european links courses, not that I've been on one, but this seems constructed chaos (not that I've been there). Reading the play by play has been on the bizarre side.

Oh, and now there's a fire at the nearby marina..
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 02:18 am
@ossobuco,
That was one hell of a fire. The smoke from it was certainly an interesting background to that one hole!

Jason Day had a great day...and it was nice to see the crowd cheering for him the way they did.

Gary Player speaks his mind...that is his right. I think he went a bit overboard on this...but as I said, that is his right.

As for me...I'd love to play the course just to see what it would be like. I'm sure I would be way above the 110 he mentioned...even if I play from the old man, rather than the championship, tees.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 03:47 am
@Frank Apisa,
As for the greens I read a piece that blames the tour because normally they are much better. I did not know this but apparently the tour manages the course conditions, and this course has not gotten much water on it lately.
0 Replies
 
lmur
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 05:48 am
The television coverage -pictures that is - has been hopeless. Many times it focuses on the player's reaction rather than following the flight of the ball. Dustin Johnson hit a shot that landed on the green but caught the wrong side of a slope and started rolling further and further from the hole. Rather than wait to see where the ball finished, the Director decided to cut to another player who appeared to be scratching his left bollock. I understand the 'host' broadcaster changed this year. A pity because the new host is populated by amateurs.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 07:02 am
@Frank Apisa,
This shows my complete ignorance but what is a "links" course , (as opposed to a regular one).
Is this something European?
I tried watching some yesterday while I was sitting out the rainstorm waiting to get back in the garden.

I stuck with it for about 30 minutes and was delighted at some of the planned growth around the fairways. There was one especially nat planting that was interesting. I suppose they must choose rather robust plants that can take schlopfing and crushing by duffers.
ossobuco
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 07:36 am
You probably looked at this already -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Links_(golf)

I gave the link earlier in the opening post of the thread but that's now a bunch of pages and a few years back. Annoyingly, it brings you to a page where you have to scroll down the page to Sports, and click on that to get to the page that explains it.

I'll just copy it -

Links (golf)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A links is the oldest style of golf course, first developed in Britain. The word "links" comes via the Scots language from the Old English word hlinc : "rising ground, ridge"[1] and refers to an area of coastal sand dunes and sometimes to open parkland. Linksland is typically characterised by dunes, an undulating surface, and a sandy soil unsuitable for arable farming but which readily supports various indigenous browntop bents and red fescue grasses, that result in the firm turf associated with links courses and the 'running' game. It also retains this more general meaning in the Scottish English dialect. It can be treated as singular even though it has an "s" at the end and occurs in place names that precede the development of golf, for example Lundin Links, Fife.[2]
St Andrews Links, Fife, Scotland

Contents [hide]
1 Geographic location and course management
2 Unqualified courses
3 Common locations
4 Effective playing
5 Notable links golf courses
6 References

Geographic location and course management[edit]
Links courses tend to be on, or at least very near to, a coast, and the term is typically associated with coastal courses, often amid dunes, with few water hazards and few, if any, trees. This reflects both the nature of the scenery where the sport happened to originate and the fact that only limited resources were available to golf course architects at the time and any Earth moving had to be done by hand, so it was kept to a minimum. Even today, some links courses do not employ a greens staff, use only basic machinery such as hole cutters without boards to ensure that the hole is cut unevenly, and use grazing animals to keep the grass cropped.[citation needed]

Unqualified courses[edit]
Although the term links is often considered synonymous with any golf course, few golf courses have all of the design elements of true links courses, including being built on linksland[citation needed]. The presence of a seaside location does not guarantee a links golf course.[citation needed] Many famous courses that claim to be links do not have all of the necessary characteristics (e.g., Pebble Beach Golf Links, Old Head Golf Links at Kinsale, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island)[citation needed]. On the other hand, some courses located hundreds of miles from a coast can have all of the characteristics of a seaside links except for proximity to water. One notable example of such a course is Sand Hills Golf Club, located in the midst of the Sand Hills of Nebraska.[3]

Common locations[edit]
Links courses remain most common in Ireland, Great Britain, and especially in Scotland. The Open Championship is always played on links courses, and this is one of the main features which differentiates it from the three major championships held in the United States. The first exception to this was the 2004 PGA Championship, which was played on a true links course, Whistling Straits, located near Kohler, Wisconsin.[4] The 2015 U.S. Open will be played at Chambers Bay, a British links-style course in University Place, Washington.

Effective playing[edit]

This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (March 2014)
The style of play on a links golf course is considerably different from the style of play on other types of courses. The challenges of links golf fall into two categories: Firstly the nature of the courses themselves, which tend to be characterised by uneven fairways, thick rough and small deep bunkers known as "pot bunkers"; and secondly, due to their coastal location and lack of trees, many links courses are frequently windy. This affects the style of play required, favouring players who are able to play low accurate shots. As many links courses consist literally of an "outward" nine in one direction along the coast, and an "inward" nine which returns in the opposite direction, players often have to cope with opposite wind patterns in each half of their round. As a result, successful links golfers learn to control the trajectory of their shots by playing a lower ball flight. Greens on links courses tend to be free of fronting hazards, allowing golfers to bounce the golf ball into the green rather than hitting high approach shots with strong backspin.
end/copy

There's more on the page about particular courses, but this above is the gist of the page.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 10:21 am
Quote:
By all accounts, this is one of the the worst major championships ever for spectators. Fans are paying loads of cash for tickets, showing up to Chambers Bay and then trudging through the sand and gravel unable to actually watch any golf. The property is just not conducive to accommodating large groups of spectators. The pathways lining the fairways are typically dug between large mounds, so you're unable to watch while walking like you might at the traditional tree-lined parklands U.S. Open venue. So the USGA placed an emphasis on large grandstands. The only problem with those, however, is they're set back 25, 50 and 75 yards from the green that they are purported to view.

And despite all these setbacks, despite so many fans on the grounds removed from the actual golf, the crowds have been impressively loud and rowdy. Alcohol helps, of course, and it got interesting Saturday around the final group.

http://www.sbnation.com/golf/2015/6/21/8819651/jordan-spieths-chambers-bay-problem-and-other-u-s-open-things-to

I am still trying to get my brain around the fact that Tacoma built a "championship" course without allowances for spectators.
ossobuco
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 11:05 am
@hawkeye10,
My impression from following (in my way - no tv but play by play commentary and some photos/videos on golf websites) is that the european links courses also use grandstands for the spectators; u.s. folks mostly aren't used to it. Past that though, it seems that this course was somewhat wretched in lots of ways. I'm just not clear from my reading about it that it is all that different from regular "real" links courses; I take it that making the course as much as possible like those was the intent of the designer, who's got a pretty fair background in course design.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 11:14 am
@ossobuco,
Speculation is that the tour thought that this would look so awesome on TV that the fans on site not being able to see much was an OK trade off. THe plan was to let people who paid $110 (was there also a parking fee?) park themselves in bleachers and offer them the best food that has ever been seen and beer, and that the fans would go away satisfied. I have not heard enough first person accounts to say if that worked or not. Rarely will a bet that the American people are lazy and want to stuff their faces go bad, but this seems a stretch.

On the other hand I was at a Mariners game about 3 weeks ago and I was amazed at how much time people spent out of their seats buying food. The food is pretty good at Safeco Field, and post recession they have made a big effort to keep prices down, which seems to have a lot of folks thinking that this is as much about eating as it is about watching baseball.

Maybe the tour knows more about what sells now than I do.

I am still listening. This is certainly interesting.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 01:25 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
"It is borderline laughable at some of the greens and some of the pin positions," said Henrik Stenson, "when we're actually almost better off plugged in a bunker than being on the top of a ridge, like on the fourth. And it's pretty much like putting on broccoli, as well."

Stenson cut off his remarks quickly after the second round in fear of being fined.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/golf/2015/06/20/sergio-garcia-henrik-stenson-rory-mcilroy/29047521/

This is a problem if true. We also must now consider that the players on whole might believe that the course is a whole lot more sub par than they have already said. One player is saying that at least 4 greens are full on dead...that is a huge ******* problem.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 01:34 pm
@hawkeye10,
It is worth mentioning that we were fine on rain till the first of april but as of now we have 21 inches but should have had 26. As of three weeks ago we are on the drought map(most of the state as of last week), and the gov called out a state of emergency. The lack of water on this course might be related, perhaps for cost, perhaps the tour does not want to be accused of using scarce water for the eliteish game of golf.

Journalists should look into this, especially tacoma journalists, the city can ill afford to have this course sucking at the public tit, they already have massive budget and economic problems. All of this negative publicity might pull operations back deep into the loss column just as it looked ready to finally get out.

EDIT: I also question the theory that people are going to see on TV this difficult brown course with ONE tree in TACOMA and decide that they have to play it. Not too many golfers like to rough it, and not only are we told that putting on some of these " greens" is like trying to putt on broccoli but there are few decent places to stay within 20 minutes, and not very many good restaurants either. Call me sceptical that is is going to sell to enough people to get this course to stop losing money.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 01:48 pm
@farmerman,
I see you've gotten several good answers here, FM.

Linked to the sea is the feature most often mentioned...lots of sand and few trees are also mentioned.

Chambers Bay seems to miss the definition mostly because of the lack of access to the sea. (The sound apparently does not count.)

But Chambers Bay looks like a links course...so the commentary has been directed to the look.

Pebble Beach is a links course that looks a lot less like a links than Chambers Bay/

For me...it is interesting to see these pros battling conditions they normally do not have encounter.

Obviously some people, notably Gary Player, think differently.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 01:53 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
Obviously some people, notably Gary Player, think differently.

Did you see a retired county exec say that when he was leading the effort to build Chambers Bay that Gary Player lobbied for the design job, and obviously did not get it?
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 01:55 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
For me...it is interesting to see these pros battling conditions they normally do not have encounter.

Almost the entire point is to get you and those like you to want to play it someday.

Do you? You would need to go to Tacoma, and fork over $200 or a bit more. Are you in?
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 02:03 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
Hosting the U.S. Open is starting to pay off for Pierce County’s Chambers Bay golf course.

The course recorded a $435,000 profit in 2014 — its second straight year operating in the black – as total revenue rose 15 percent to $6.9 million.

The county on Monday released its annual report on finances for the course. It was full of good news for a project that bled $1.8 million in 2010 and had to borrow money from other county funds to claw through the recession.

“It’s been a lot of hard work to get us here, and of course the U.S. Open is providing the greatest impact for why we’re able to go from being in the red to being the black,” said County Executive Pat McCarthy.

Highlights from the 2014 golf course financial report include:

• The county sold more than $1 million in Chambers Bay merchandise, up from $700,000 in 2013.

• The course earned $1.9 million from food and beverage sales, up from $1.6 million in 2013.

• Average green fees hit $109, up from the previous high of $91 in 2008.

Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/2015/04/13/3676639_rising-revenues-at-chambers-bay.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

http://www.theolympian.com/2015/04/13/3676639_rising-revenues-at-chambers-bay.html?rh=1

Ok, so they are out of the loss column now.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 02:04 pm
So "links" have a meaning as a seaside longish course eh?
We have one like thatsouth of us here, in the town of Oxford Pa, and it has a big development built around it (or rather along its length, for it isnt one where you start at one end, go out to 9 holes an then work your way through the last 9 holes that bring you on your way back to the bar. They have a lot of pampas grasses and what appears to be just weeds. (Not a lot of trees.). Its called Wynncote Golf CLub an theyve already had a bunch of tournments there (its only about 15 years old).

They have a couple of spring impoundments that they use for irrigation . Our Basin Commissions only allow golf courses to water their greens extensively and about 3" per fairway acre per month. But rain shortages are not in our climate usually.

Here are some pictures of the "links" , now that I know what it means, I can comment on golf club designs. (I wasnt that impressed with the Wyncote site cause I thought it a grand waste of land.Now Ill have to reconsider since this was a conscious decision)


http://www.wyncote.com/
ossobuco
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 02:42 pm
@farmerman,
More than just being seaside and long, but also preferably natural/native planting, relatively little grooming, and so on, harkening to old days of just knocking a ball around in nature, if only as a concept. I'm not clear if the problem is american ignorance of this kind of golf, or if the course was weirdly overdone in the area of the greens, which it sounded like in the play by play descriptions I read and graphics I saw. Some small portion of the US Open players are actually used to links play across the pond. Hawkeye, on Player, I did know he was a competitor for the design job; I think that was in the article. He might be right, though, despite that.

Meantime, I've missed reading today's play by play in the Guardian. Yesterday's - quite entertaining, I must say - tired my eyebrows out from all that raising and frowning, off and on over several hours.

Lmur, who has been posting on the thread, probably knows far more than I do about links courses.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 05:30 pm
@farmerman,
One thing I did not mention is that although "links" has a particular meaning...

...almost any golfer will occasionally use "links" interchangeably with "course."

"I'm heading to the links," is heard by golfers who never go near a links course every day.
 

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