Seattle Redhawk Invitational – Washington State, USA

The Iowa State Cyclones travelled to Seattle in Washington State to play in the Seattle Redhawk Invitational which was played at Chambers Bay, the course used for the 2015 US Open.  As you can imagine the team were pretty excited to be playing here.

The excitement was further added to when they won the tournament by a shot – Freshman Tripp Kinney had an eagle on the par 5 18th hole which played a crucial part in the win.

The victory adds to ISU’s season titles at the Badger Invitational and the National Invitation Tournament, marking the first time in 20 years (1996-97) the Cyclones have tallied three tournament victories in a season.

Nick tied for 15th shooting rounds of 73, 71 and 73.

In Nick’s own words…..

Getting a team victory was so sick!  I think this was the first time that we all went there knowing that we had the goods to dominate the others teams. It was so cool to see Tripp finish the way he did, he deserved it after all the work he put it

I enjoyed stepping it up a notch before the event. I told the blokes that my intensity in the week leading up to the event was really good.  I put more emphasis into handling adversity because I knew that would happen a lot at Chambers Bay.

I beleive I embraced the adversity really well out there. I got a few dubious bounces that could have really affected me but my mindset going into the event ensured that I wasn’t going to let that dictate the way I approached things. I think this whole mindset radiated throughout the team – coach Chad mentioned that he could see it affecting some of the other teams but not us. We were there on a mission!

I drove the ball really well out there. It was easy to hit fairways but I felt like my control over the golf ball with the big dog in hand was much improved.  It was the first event in a long time where I didn’t have any wasted shots off the tee! I hit 80% of the fairways and had a 98% success rate with good drives which is pretty nice.

My speed control was also phenomenal! I think I only had one 3 putt which I was very proud of.   In saying that my putting numbers weren’t the greatest – I had placed a bit more emphasis on holing putts from 5 to 15 feet but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

Chambers Bay Golf Course

Chambers Bay Golf Course was opened for play in June 2007.  It was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr.

Just as the game of golf itself has a rich history, so does the land on which Chambers Bay was created. The Chambers Creek Properties is comprised of more than 950 acres located along the shores of the Puget Sound in University Place, Washington. While Pierce County’s ownership of the property has been fairly recent, the making of the surrounding land began to take shape more than 200 years ago.

The area first found use as a rock quarry stemming as far back as the Steilacoom Indian Tribe and the first European settlers in 1832. Over the years the Chambers Creek Properties area has been used as a location for a paper mill, a major industrial center, multiple lumber companies, a railroad center, a sand and gravel mine, a bus barn, a regional wastewater treatment plant, a preservation and recreational area, and today, as a world class 18-hole championship golf course.
What is Links Golf?

Many golfers use “links” and “golf course” interchangeably. But the term “links” is actually a specific type of golf course. Linksland describes the sandy windswept dunes and fertile farmlands found between the North Sea and the Scottish town of St. Andrews where the game was first developed 500 years ago. Some of the most notable examples of traditional links courses include St. Andrews Old Course, Royal Troon Golf Club, Carnoustie Golf Links and Ballybunion Old Course.

True traditional links courses, including Chambers Bay, share several geographic characteristics:

A links course is built along a major body of water

A links course usually has very few trees, if any

A links course resides on sandy soil that drains easily

A links course has a natural open layout where the native landscape, wind and rain play a major factor

A links course features ground contours that provide remarkable inherent undulations and slopes in the fairways and greens

A links course rarely has any internal water features

A links course’s rough areas feature pure seaside grasses

The golf traditionalist can appreciate the almost mystical quality that comes with playing a links course. Experiencing the game’s highs and lows while traversing rugged dunes and natural seaside beauty sets links golf apart from its inland cousin. Some believe that links golf embodies a spirit, a state of mind, an attitude or a feeling; at Chambers Bay, we tend to agree.

Silver Signature Sanctuary

Chambers Bay was certified on August 14, 2007 by Audubon International as a Silver Signature Sanctuary, the first golf course in both the state of Washington and in the Pacific Northwest. Signature certification is awarded only to new developments which are designed, constructed, and maintained according to Audubon International’s precise planning standards and environmental disciplines. Chambers Bay and its dedicated staff continue to manage and protect water quality and wildlife habitat on the property as part of an ongoing commitment to the environment.

The US Open 2015

The 2015 U.S. Open Championship was marked by its many firsts. It was the first U.S. Open in the 115 year history of the championship to be played in the Pacific Northwest. The first U.S. Open played on fine fescue putting surfaces. The first Open since Hazeltine in 1970 to be contested on a new course. The first Open in which a hole was played as a par-4 one day and a par-5 the next, where the range in tee placements on a single hole could extend its length by 100 yards or greater. The first Open televised by Fox Sports, revolutionizing the way the game is viewed. And the last Open where the anchored putting stroke was within the Rules of Golf.

21-year-old Jordan Spieth walked away as the youngest player, and only the sixth in history, to win both the Masters and the US Open in the same year.

The US Amateur 2010

As the first U.S. Amateur in history to be played on a public course, and the first ever hosted in the state of Washington, Chambers Bay delivered on its promise exactly the way the USGA hoped it would. The firm and fast layout of the links-style course requires skill and careful course management rather than sheer power from players. The same is true of its caretakers, whose approach is beautifully simple – less waste of water and other natural resources, reduced usage of chemicals, and greater reliance on sustainability. When it comes to course conditioning brown is both beautiful and brutal, and links-inspired golf is the principle of working with nature, not against it.

For the 36-hole championship match held on the last day, more than 5,000 spectators followed the final twosome of Peter Uihlein, the Oklahoma State star, and David Chung, the Stanford junior. They were appropriately the No. 1 and No. 4 ranked amateurs in the world. On his 21st birthday, alongside the railroad tracks and banks of Puget Sound, Uihlein won the Amateur on the 16th hole, defeating Chung 4 and 2 for the title in its 110th version.


This blog was originally set up to share our 9 month adventure around Europe and the USA with friends and family in 2014. On returning to NZ in January 2015 I decided to carry it on so I could continue to share any future travel adventures - it has become my electronic travel diary. I hope you enjoy and get inspired to visit some of the wonderful places we have visited.
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