UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – Chambers Bay may be an unfamiliar venue for many of the players in this week’s U.S. Open, but Phil Mickelson is quite familiar with the course – or at least, the land upon which it was built.
Mickelson visited the coastal property well before Chambers Bay opened in 2007. While the course was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Mickelson explained Tuesday that his design group also put in a bid to design the layout from a former gravel pit.
“We were involved in the bidding process and one of the final selections,” Mickelson said. “I thought it was a spectacular piece of property.”
Mickelson’s design portfolio includes an 18-hole layout at Whisper Rock in Arizona that opened in 2001, and he has plans to renovate the North Course at Torrey Pines, site of the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open.
Mickelson effusively praised the current layout at Chambers, comparing it at different points to both St. Andrews and Augusta National, but made it clear that the course players will encounter this week is far different than the one he would have created.
“It wouldn’t have turned out anything like this, no,” he said. “Not good or bad, I think it’s a wonderful course. My vision was totally different.”