There was plenty to see during the first U.S. Open held in the Pacific Northwest.
There was Jordan Spieth’s tap-in birdie on the 18th hole followed by Dustin Johnson’s unlikely three-putt to decide the championship on Sunday night.
There were the memorable views of the Puget Sound and the Scottish-style links course, as well as the unfortunate views of chunky greens that drew the ire of many PGA players.
What wasn’t as easy to see on TV – but proved extremely useful – were the 70 U-Box containers that the PGA rented and U-Haul placed around Chambers Bay for storage purposes throughout the golf tournament.
U-Haul Company of Southern Washington marketing company president Kim Merow said her team at MCO 702 worked with tournament organizers for months in advance and unloaded U-Box containers at Chambers Bay weeks before the first golf ball was struck to make sure everything was perfect for the PGA.
“U-Haul has had U-Box containers at a couple of other PGA events, I believe, but I think this the most they’ve ever had for a tournament,” Merow said. “The sky is the limit (for future events), really. I think we put U-Haul and U-Box in the best light and did everything we could to make it feel like a seamless process for the PGA.”
U-Box containers are geared toward individuals, families and college students who require on-site or warehouse storage options at a low cost for short- or long-term periods.
However, the PGA and other organizations have found U-Box containers to be the ideal size (257 cubic feet, one-ton capacity) for public events. U-Box is now commonplace at marathons, and sports teams use the containers outside stadiums as collection points for food drives.
At the U.S. Open, U-Box containers were placed under large white tents and behind decks attached to hospitality suites where the PGA, and corporations renting those areas, could store supplies, gifts, drinks and anything else that needed a secure, temporary home.
“They left the (orange U-Box) covers on, but they were predominately behind hospitality areas,” Merow said. “I was watching TV with my husband and there was one shot where I saw one of them. I said, ‘Hey! There’s U-Haul!’ I made him rewind it like six times.
“It was quite a U-Box sale for us. We have two U-Box trucks, and a U-Box driver from 801 (U-Haul Company of North Seattle) came down with a truck and helped us deliver them. We got them all out a couple weeks before the tournament. Our drivers all went out there for a big push day. … We’re still picking them up now.”
Merow, traffic control manager Milton Neumann and the rest of the 702 team began stockpiling U-Box containers at U-Haul Moving & Storage of North Auburn (Wash.) several months ago and even had U-Box operations in Phoenix send some new covers to make sure each container looked new and functioned perfectly for the U.S. Open.
“My team worked really hard,” Merow said. “It was a lot of planning by us and the PGA. It went off without a hitch.”
Have you used U-Box containers or seen them at a public event? Please tell us about your experience in the comment box below.