It was a little more than 200 days before Chambers Bay GC just outside of Tacoma, Wash., would play host to the first swings of the 2015 U.S. Open. But on this day in early November, that major championship seemed a long, long way away. For those tending to the course on this day, just keeping warm was job one.
In the Pacific Northwest, winter was making its first appearance of the year. Air temperatures had only dropped into the lower 40s, but a nasty northeast wind barrelled across Chambers Bay, making it feel much, much colder. It was also wreaking havoc with the greens covers that had carefully been placed atop at least six of Chambers Bay's fescue putting surfaces in an attempt to protect the young grass blades there from winter's bite. Today, though, winter was winning that battle, with gusts as high as 45 mph shoving the covers here and there, leaving the grass uprotected until crews could track down the wayward covers.
The only person who didn't seem bothered by any of this — the bone-chilling cold or the wandering greens covers — was the person who you'd figure would be most concerned by what was taking place, Chambers Bay superintendent Josh Lewis (@theturfyoda), a nine-year GCSAA member. Instead of ducking for cover in the face of wind gusts strong enough to knock a man off his feet or freaking out when that wind got the better of the greens covers and the 15-pound sand bags designed to keep them in place, Lewis instead focused on happily guiding a pair of guests around a rapidly maturing golf course that in less than seven months time will play host to the best players in the world.