U.S. Open Played on Reclaimed Quarry

The 2015 U.S. Open, hosted by the Chambers Bay Golf Course on Puget Sound, Wash., is the first championship match played on a reclaimed sand and gravel site.

“The Chambers Bay golf course is just one high profile example of an aggregates operation that went on to a higher purpose of serving its community,” said National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association President and CEO Michael W. Johnson. “It exemplifies the sustainability of the stone, sand and gravel industry and shows what an asset an operation can be to future generations.”

Johnson, an avid golfer himself, noted that many former aggregates operations are transformed into parks, municipal water reservoirs, golf courses and amusement parks. Some are simply filled in and returned to their original state.

Over time the Chambers Bay site has been used as a paper mill, industrial center, several lumber companies, a railroad center, and eventually one of the most successful quarries on the West Coast.

Throughout its history, different aspects of the quarry changed hands numerous times before it was consolidated by Lone Star Northwest. Eventually it was bought by Glacier Northwest, a subsidiary of the CalPortland Company.

Ron Summers, senior vice president at CalPortland Co. and one-time manager of the site, has played the course. He said the underlying layer of sand and gravel makes the course hard and fast.

“It is going to be a challenging and exciting U.S. Open,” Summers said.

“Steilacoom grade” aggregate was some of the best in the region and highly sought after because of its extreme hardness. It is estimated that 95 percent of Seattle was built on the site’s sand and gravel.

“The aggregates industry is central to American prosperity,” Johnson added. “There is nothing significant built in this country that doesn’t begin with a rock and the Chambers Bay course is no different. If the aggregates industry is doing well, America is doing well.”

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