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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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‘Chambers Basement’ bunker unique feature of Chambers Bay

It’s a stairway to trouble at ‘Chambers Basement’ bunker near 18th green. (Tyler Tjomsland)
It’s a stairway to trouble at ‘Chambers Basement’ bunker near 18th green. (Tyler Tjomsland)

Roughly 120 yards from the 18th green rests a wicked, sunken bunker nicknamed “Chambers Basement.” It figures to could come into play more when the hole is played as a par 5 in the 600-yard range as opposed to a par 4 from a shorter distance.

It was one of the additions recommended by USGA executive director Mike Davis following the 2010 U.S. Amateur at Chambers Bay.

“Mike felt in order to play it as a par 5 what might be the second shot landing zone needed some sort of feature that made players think about that shot,” Chambers Bay general manager Matt Allen said. “We certainly don’t expect anybody to be in there; they would have made a terrible mistake to be in there but it changes the thinking of where to go.

“It puts that thought in their mind and they have to pick a spot that’s a third of the width of what the shot would be like without it.”

Players who hit a wayward shot must descend a flight of stairs into the base of the narrow, 12-foot deep bunker, which is angled in such a way that it makes a shot directly to the green unlikely.

“I’ve been in it once,” Allen said. “You have to be in the right part of the bunker to be able to do that (reach the green). I opened up a 9-iron and got it out with enough left-to-right spin and a helping wind. It landed on the green but rolled off into the bunker.”

Players often stop and take a picture to remember Chambers Basement.

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