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We are frequently asked, “why does Chambers Bay topdress so frequently?”

The putting greens are topdressed with sand every 2-3 weeks throughout the growing season. Combined with morning dew, this may cause the ball to pick up sand. The primary reason greens are topdressed is to manage the thatch layer. Thatch is a combination of living and dead plant material and is a natural byproduct of growing healthy turf. A reasonable amount of thatch helps turf resist foot traffic, however, too much thatch will hold water and create soft, “spongy” playing surfaces. Less thatch typically means less opportunity for disease, and smoother, firmer putting surfaces.


We attempt to apply the minimum amount of sand to match projected growth, which can be a challenge as growth decreases in the fall. To help minimize the negative impact of sand, we usually follow up with an application of wetting agent to aid in reducing the impact of dew and enhance distribution of thatch/soil moisture.

As we transition from fescue to Poa annua putting surfaces, thatch management remains critically important to maintaining the turf firmness that provides an authentic links golf experience.

Check back with us in the next couple of weeks as we will be providing updates on the re-surfaced putting greens on holes #7, #10 & #13.


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Showing 7 comments
  • Mike

    Can you address the temporary green situation? I understand that you have one temporary currently. I really want to play the course but my playing partner refuses to play if there any temps. Thanks.

  • Hodge

    I have played CB every year for the past decade coming out from the Midwest. I fell in love with the course and location on a business side trip up to Seattle after playing with some friends at Bandon Dunes. I probably have 20+ rounds at CB of which maybe one third have had all 18 greens in play. A minor distraction given the setting, the challenging walk and carry and the varying holes. It is a unique venue. One temp green does not an experience spoil. Come without that playing partner. You’ll have a blast picking up with other locals and visitors like myself and won’t miss your regular playing partner one bit.

  • Mike

    Hodge – Thanks for the advice. You make some excellent points, although when I called I was informed that their are three temporary greens now. I would say that the blog could be a tad more forthcoming with information.

  • Pete

    I made a tee time for the 30th of March, 2018. I called the office and asked about the greens and if any wete temporary. I was told no all greens are good. I see on the reservation a different story. 3 greens are in transition. Is this true? No way am I paying the price to play temporary greens.

    Thanks for any info.

    • Zac Keener

      Thank you for reaching out. #7 green is now open every day while #10 & #13 are open Friday – Sunday in March. They will all be open every day beginning in April. So to answer your question, yes, they will be open for your tee time on the 30th. It should be noted that the alternate greens we have established have the similar “playability” to the rest of the putting surfaces on the golf course; aside from some change in length, they do not take away from the overall experience. We look forward to seeing you out on the links!

  • RB

    Does the sanding of the greens every three weeks make it similar aerification elsewhere? Booked 7/23 and am curious how the course will be, first timer.

    • Chambers Bay

      Thanks for reaching out RB. The topdressing that occurs every few weeks is extremely light and will be without notice by the time play gets to it. The course is firm and fast and looking forward to your visit on the 23rd.

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