UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wa. – Chambers Bay golf course’s vast fields of fescue are in good hands.
The course, which will host the 2015 U.S. Open, is pointing to that event with recent changes made to its grounds crew. Chambers has brought in a pair of experts who understand the vagaries of fescue, which covers the entire course.
Eric Johnson started work this past week as the course’s director of agronomy. He had been serving as the Bandon Dunes’ grounds superintendent, specifically the Old MacDonald course.
“He is someone I’ve known for 10-plus years,” said Chambers Bay General Manager Matt Allen, who had spent 9 ½ years in a similar role at Bandon, the southern Oregon golf mecca.
Johnson replaces Dave Wienecke, who had been head of the grounds operation for the first six years of Chambers’ existence. Wienecke, 59, the first employee hired by KemperSports Management in July 2006, had resigned from his position.
Last September, the course hired Josh Lewis to work under Wienecke. Lewis also is a former employee at Bandon Dunes and more recently was the assistant superintendent at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Ca.
“He’s (Lewis) got a lot of fescue experience, too,” Allen said. “So we’ve got as potent an agronomic combination that you could possibly have.”
Because the course also has the responsibility for landscaping the walking and service trails that meander through the property, Lewis will have the title of golf course superintendent. Johnson’s title will be the director of agronomy.