USPGA: Whistling Straits vs Chambers Bay


We look at how the US PGA’s Whistling Straits and the USGA’s Chambers Bay stack up against each other as courses and venues  for a major championship.

Whistling Straits


Chambers Bay

Great lake views (from 14 holes) and a nice place to visit, for sure. But it’s not the easiest place for players or fans to reach.


Even better water views (every hole) and much easier to get to – only 40 miles to Seattle – so big local markets to tap into.


Pete Dye fans will love it. With a reported 967 bunkers, the design is a little unconventional, but there is a lot of variety, many exciting shots, and some wonderful lake holes.


With limitless cash and acres of sand, you’d expect all 18 holes to be superb. But Chambers has a couple of bland holes. The best holes (6th, 10th, 12th, 15th, 16th) are truly great though.


Bentgrass greens allow players to fire at pins. Although the setting is different, the course plays like a typical PGA Tour stop. The wind factor – and of course the bunkers – add to the challenge.


Less windy, but plays more like a genuine links with firm fairways and greens, so players must consider what happens to the ball after it lands. Severe contouring on huge greens adds to the test.


Generally good. All holes are visible and, though a tough walk in places, spectators are able to follow their favourite player all the way around.

Fan experience

Loses significant marks here.

A handful of holes are all but invisible to fans. Long lines for grandstand seats. Long walk on fine sand is very demanding.


A 560-acre site with several Kohler-owned fields surrounding the course which are able to be used for parking. Getting to and from the course, and parking, are therefore pretty easy.


Part of the 932-acre Chambers Creek Properties. Access is a little awkward, but there is plenty of space for the range, media, merchandise, concessions, Spectator Square and so on.



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