This is the unofficial and awesome Ultimate Spectator’s Guide to the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay. Find information and tips on where park, what to wear, where to stay and most importantly where to watch the tournament and where to look to see the best action. The USGA guide provides some general information as well especially in regards to rules and regulations of the event.
If you want an inside look you’re in the right place! Read more to find out what to expect and how to prepare for viewing the US Open at Chambers Bay.
WHERE TO STAY CLOSE TO CHAMBERS BAY
When you think of where to stay during the Chambers Bay US Open, you might be tempted to plan your accommodations in Downtown Seattle. But remember these words of wisdom – Seattle may be known for its rain, but it should really be known for it’s traffic! Plan your hotel or other vacation rental accordingly when booking a room for Chambers Bay.
The city of Seattle is a good hour or more away from the Chambers Bay golf course and traffic is pretty slow at all hours of the day. If you have to drive that far, carpool to make sure you can drive in the HOV lane. The only downside to staying closer to Chambers Bay is that there isn’t much to do outside of going to the tournament.
If the tournament is your main reason for being in Seattle, then you may prefer to be closer to the course. My suggestion is to stay in Tacoma by the waterfront and park at the BLUE LOT. It’s still going to take you a good 40-45 minutes to get from your hotel into the tournament but you will get the best of both worlds. Tacoma is a very walkabout town with beautiful views and a lot of charm.
If you love wine and breweries stay in the WoodinVille Wine Country. There are some nice Bed and Breakfasts in the area and there is also the Willows Lodge which is a nice, quiet, upscale hotel in the area. You can also always check out AirBnB if you are on a budget or would rather rent a house for tournament week. If you stay in Seattle or WoodinVille, your best bet is to go to the RED LOT for parking.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PARKING
Parking is a big deal at the tournament, obviously with so many people in attendance parking can be an event in and of itself. To make life easy, check out all the parking details and maps that you will need at the US Open Chambers Bay.
Here’s the Cliffsnotes. There will be 2 designated parking lots. Shuttles will run continuously beginning at 5:30 am and continue for one hour following the conclusion of play. Please note: There will be no spectator or disabled parking near the golf course.
If you are planning to take a cab, Uber or Lyft you will want to utilize the Drop-Off Zone, located at Sunset Primary School which will be a 5-10 minute walk to Gate 2.
There are two main lots. The Red Lot which is 30 Minutes to Chambers Bay and the Blue Lot which is 25 Minutes to Chambers Bay.
RED LOT: Located at the Washington State Fair Lot in Puyallup. To get there, take the 167 South to enter into the lot and follow signs. Here is the address to enter into your GPS –
Washington State Fair
110 9th Ave SW
Puyallup, WA 98371
BLUE LOT: Located at Ft Steilacoom Park. To get there, take the 5 South to Exit 125 and follow signs. Here is the address to enter into your GPS –
Fort Steilacoom Park
8714 87th Ave SW
Lakewood, WA 98498
The USGA guide says there will be a restriction on phones and bags allowed into the course. Please check the guide to see if your cell phone and purse or other bag fit the requirements. That way you’ll know what to bring and what to leave in the trunk of your car, or back at the hotel.
WHERE TO WATCH THE US OPEN AT THE CHAMBERS BAY GOLF COURSE
Chambers Bay is a beast to walk but you are in luck if you are going out to the tournament during Father’s Day weekend. There will be some unique points of view to appreciate the tournament and the game of golf. It is always exciting to watch pros play!
Of the 36,000 tickets sold there are 18,000 grandstand seats. The best place to camp out is at Hole #6 or #7 grandstand. To see what I’m talking about check out this preview for Hole #6 and Hole #7. From your seat at either of these holes you will have the best views of the golf course.
It’s also worth getting there early and sticking around until you can’t handle the sun and heat anymore. At that point venture back over to the Spectators Square for some lunch, A/C and a little shopping before you go back out for a nice walk around the course.
Pic of me on Hole #7 with Hole #5 in the background
Something special to keep an eye out for is the Par 3 at Hole #9. It will be a spectacle to watch since it will be played from two separate tee boxes during the tournament, one from above and one from below.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE COURSE
The grass is cut the same length from tee box to green. It’s just one giant fairway. (except for the rough and sand traps everywhere else) The one question I had when scouting out the course is when I could actually mark the ball since you don’t know where the fairway ends and the green begins. It should be interesting to see if the USGA makes a clear distinction or leaves the course as is.
The course also looks more intimidating off the tee than when you get to your ball. As an amateur the course is wide open and forgiving. The course also has a lot of roll, so those 200 yard drives might start to look like 225 yard drives.
You better be in great shape if you want to play or walk this course. After 4 rounds on Chambers Bay Golf Course those boys are gonna be tired!
Fox sports is going to have a field day with Hole #2 Foxie and Fox Island, the giant island in the background of the course.
There is only 1 tree on the course. So make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen and bring a hat because shade will be tough to find unless you are in the spectators square.
Lone tree behind Hole #3 is the only shade you will find on the course
WHAT TO WEAR AS A SPECTATOR
Just remember to wear your most comfortable shoes with some breathing room, because with just one tree on the whole course, it can be extremely hot! Take it from me, you don’t want to walk the whole course barefoot because you wore the wrong shoes! Also don’t forget your sunscreen.
Comfort and protection from the weather is key. Walking shoes, sun protection including a hat or parasol and sunscreen are a must. Check out my What to Wear Guide to dress your best and comfortably for the US Open tournament at Chambers Bay.
BUY A UNIQUE SOUVENIR
Not all merchandise is created equal! Bring something home to mark the occasion that represents the event and becomes a usable piece of memorabilia. For example…
These beautiful ball markers were created by a local metal stamping company. Make sure you check them out in the back of the merchandise tent at Chambers Bay. To make it extra special, you can even get your name, a special date or your initials engraved or stamped on the back.
WHERE TO EAT
The best places to eat will be near to the parking lots or in Tacoma.
But let’s face it, parking dictates a lot in life. Especially when you’re zapped from the sun and walking all day! When it comes to a take-it-easy approach to dining, go to an area that makes sense for your travel plans. Try restaurants along the Tacoma Waterfront if you are parked by the BLUE LOT or in the town of Puyallup if you are by the RED LOT.
A few places that come highly recommended are Marzano’s Restaurant, Asado Cucina Argentina, Indochine Asian Dining Lounge and El Gaucho Tacoma. You can find a whole list of the best Tacoma restaurants to try on Trip Advisor as well.
Do you know a great place to dine while at the US Open at Chambers Bay? Let me know. I’ll be sharing more insider tips during the Tournament to keep you up to date on the best of in and around Chambers Bay.