Reclaimed pit took center stage as US Open host

By |  June 22, 2015

The 2015 U.S. Open Championship, one of four men’s major golf championships this year, was played on a reclaimed sand-and-gravel site.

The site, now the Chambers Bay Golf Course in Puget Sound, Wash., has changed hands a number of times throughout its history, according to the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA). According to NSSGA, Lone Star Northwest consolidated the site after parts of it changed hands over the years. Glacier Northwest, a subsidiary of the CalPortland Co., later bought the site.

NSSGA adds that the site was also previously used as a paper mill, an industrial center, a railroad center and a home for lumber companies.

“The Chambers Bay Golf Course is just one high-profile example of an aggregates operation that went on to a higher purpose of serving its community,” says Mike Johnson, NSSGA president and CEO. “It exemplifies the sustainability of the stone, sand and gravel industry and shows what an asset an operation can be to future generations.”

Ron Summers, senior vice president at CalPortland Co. and at one time manager of the site, tells NSSGA that an underlying layer of sand and gravel makes the Chambers Bay Golf Course hard and fast.

Seth Jones, editor-in-chief of Golfdom magazine, a publication owned by Pit & Quarry parent company North Coast Media, visited Chambers Bay Golf Course ahead of the U.S. Open. Jones says remnants of the pit are visible around the golf course.

“There are sorting bins near the No. 18 tee box, a leftover from the sand-and-gravel pit days that architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. decided to leave intact as a tip of the cap to the course’s previous life.”

In addition, NSSGA says the aggregate produced in the former quarry was highly sought because of its extreme hardness. About 95 percent of Seattle was built on the site’s sand and gravel, according to reports.

Photos courtesy of Seth Jones, Golfdom

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