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TPC Harding Park


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#1 samrej

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 10:41 PM

Any reviews on it? Will be in San Francisco next month with an afternoon to kill. Restricted to courses that are accessible via BART/Uber. Harding Park jumped out at me since it will host the PGA in a few years and has nice rental sets (a must have for me for this trip).

Is it worth the greens fees?

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#2 CMCSGolf

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 11:13 PM

Pretty much any course is worth playing one time, so in that regard yes, it is definitely worth it to rent some clubs and see it.  I enjoyed the course on my one play, especially the back 9 that loops around the perimeter of the property with views of Olympic.  That being said, I think the course is a bit overrated.  It's a good course, but not a top 100 public in my eyes.  It's always fun to play somewhere and see it on TV so that will be cool, but I wouldn't expect to be blown away.

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#3 krtgolfing

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 05:05 AM

Highly overrated for the price.
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#4 Argonne69

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 09:31 AM

It's not bad for the locals, but I thought it was very overpriced for the out of town player. I played it in July, and the course was in very nice shape. However, there are few memorable holes.

I preferred Presidio at half the price.

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#5 timmy8151

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 10:48 AM

As a local I get to play Harding for cheap (relative to rack rates) so it's worth it for me.  But for out of towners I think the rates are way too high for the course.  As Argonne69 recommended I'd play Presidio over Harding if I had to pay full price.  Also if you are up for an adventure I'd recommend checking out Gleneagles which is a 9 hole course that is super fun to play.  Only caveat is that it's in a rough part of the City, but should be fine during the day.

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#6 aloha b.

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 09:31 PM

I would take Presido over Harding

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#7 Chanceman

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 06:49 AM

I also think Presidio is better and cheaper than Harding Park.
But Sharp Park, designed by Alister MacKenzie, is also worth the effort although it is in less than ideal conditon.

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#8 wtoomey

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 09:37 AM

The question with San Francisco always revolves around money. The City is expensive and Harding is no exception. If you compare the $168 it costs to play Harding verse what $168 will get you somewhere else, the Harding is not worth it.

But as mentioned above, playing a course that will be hosting a major, has had tour events and the Presidents Cup in the past might make it "worth it."

And, is this the only chance you are going to get to play in The City? If so, play it. If you visit the People's Republic of San Francisco regularly, first off thank you, and secondly try out Presidio. Sharp Park has great bones but is in poor condition. learned to play there, wish it was cared for.

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#9 carrera

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 11:53 PM

Harding is a very unremarkable course and not worth the $$ for a non-resident.  Presidio isn't a perfect course, but it is centrally located and has several fun holes.  I'd probably play Presidio 8-2 vs Harding if I had 10 rounds to play.

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#10 KBong

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 02:01 AM

Yup....Harding is so overpriced and over-rated...go play Presidio.


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#11 llewol007

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 02:23 AM

Pretty pricey for out of towners for sure. Im a neighboring city local so the price is knocked down to about 100 dollars. I would probably play Presidio over harding park if I had a choice. For you, play it for the first time and take in your own experience from it. It is a well kept public course that has its own challenges. Views are great. Only knock is the green free.
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#12 jrussell4

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 01:26 AM

I'm sorry, but the above comments are killing me.  Harding Park is a historical place with several memorable holes.  Hosted the AmEx Championship in 2005, the 2009 Presidents Cup, the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in 2010 and 2011, the Cadillac World Match Play in 2015, and is the future site of the 2020 PGA Championship.  It will likely host another President's Cup before 2025.  Yes, it is unfortunately expensive for out-of-towners, and I wish we could do something about that, but you'll pay about $70 less for a truly uninspiring and muddy six-hour slog through the Presidio, built courtesy of your friends at the Army Corp of Engineers.

The other problem the above folks may be having is that it takes several rounds to truly recognize the subtle charms of Harding.  Fourth hole, a left dog-leg par five, can stretch out to over 600 yards for the PGA guys.  Mickelson reeached it in two shots in the 2009 President's Cup--no one else.  Number 5 appears to be a straight, easy par 4 with no bunkers, no water, no problems at all.  But because of a few overhanging tree branches, and a pretty wicked green complex, I've seen plenty of 8's and higher on the hole.  The course really comes alive at hole 12, another left dog-leg par 5 that can be reached with two good, precise shots.  But if you miss with that second shot, you'll be lucky to survive with a bogey.   Then, beginning at 13, come the best six holes in Northern California.  Members at Olympic wish they had these finishing holes, instead of the unfair final four carved into the side of the sand dune due west of Lake Merced.  Stand on the PGA tees on 18 and laugh at how good those guys are, being able to play it in par or better.  For mere mortals, a good drive over an arm of Lake Merced leaves you with a 140-yard shot, again into a treacherous green complex in which a two-putt is a good score.

Sorry, any course at which Ken Venturi, Billy Casper, and Jonny Miller learned to play pretty much kicks butt.  Unless someone is willing to get you onto SF Golf Club, your best bet in SF is Harding (unless someone asks you to join the skins game at Gleneagles, but that's another story.)  Don't look at the charge on your card, chalk it up to being taken advantage of as a tourist, and have a memorable day.  And the food in the clubhouse is much better as well.

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#13 flushem

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 02:23 AM

From tourist's perspective, I do not mind playing premium for Harding because I don't know when my next time will be around.  

If you guys come down to So Cal, some of you would not mind paying premium for torrey or pelican.
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#14 krtgolfing

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 06:27 AM

View Postjrussell4, on 25 October 2017 - 01:26 AM, said:

I'm sorry, but the above comments are killing me.  Harding Park is a historical place with several memorable holes.  Hosted the AmEx Championship in 2005, the 2009 Presidents Cup, the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in 2010 and 2011, the Cadillac World Match Play in 2015, and is the future site of the 2020 PGA Championship.  It will likely host another President's Cup before 2025.  Yes, it is unfortunately expensive for out-of-towners, and I wish we could do something about that, but you'll pay about $70 less for a truly uninspiring and muddy six-hour slog through the Presidio, built courtesy of your friends at the Army Corp of Engineers.

The other problem the above folks may be having is that it takes several rounds to truly recognize the subtle charms of Harding.  Fourth hole, a left dog-leg par five, can stretch out to over 600 yards for the PGA guys.  Mickelson reeached it in two shots in the 2009 President's Cup--no one else.  Number 5 appears to be a straight, easy par 4 with no bunkers, no water, no problems at all.  But because of a few overhanging tree branches, and a pretty wicked green complex, I've seen plenty of 8's and higher on the hole.  The course really comes alive at hole 12, another left dog-leg par 5 that can be reached with two good, precise shots.  But if you miss with that second shot, you'll be lucky to survive with a bogey.   Then, beginning at 13, come the best six holes in Northern California.  Members at Olympic wish they had these finishing holes, instead of the unfair final four carved into the side of the sand dune due west of Lake Merced.  Stand on the PGA tees on 18 and laugh at how good those guys are, being able to play it in par or better.  For mere mortals, a good drive over an arm of Lake Merced leaves you with a 140-yard shot, again into a treacherous green complex in which a two-putt is a good score.

Sorry, any course at which Ken Venturi, Billy Casper, and Jonny Miller learned to play pretty much kicks butt.  Unless someone is willing to get you onto SF Golf Club, your best bet in SF is Harding (unless someone asks you to join the skins game at Gleneagles, but that's another story.)  Don't look at the charge on your card, chalk it up to being taken advantage of as a tourist, and have a memorable day.  And the food in the clubhouse is much better as well.

Do you work for TPC Harding park? Seems to me everyone on here prefers Presidio.
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#15 Argonne69

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 09:53 AM

'Never said TPC Harding wasn't tough. It's just boring. Few elevation changes. Fairly wide open. Many holes look alike. Certainly not worth the money for an out of towner.

Presidio may have some conditioning issues, but it also has elevation changes, tricky sidehill lies, tough green complexes, and far more memorable holes. Oh, and it's half the price. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.


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#16 krtgolfing

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 09:55 AM

View Postjrussell4, on 25 October 2017 - 01:26 AM, said:

I'm sorry, but the above comments are killing me.  Harding Park is a historical place with several memorable holes.  Hosted the AmEx Championship in 2005, the 2009 Presidents Cup, the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in 2010 and 2011, the Cadillac World Match Play in 2015, and is the future site of the 2020 PGA Championship.  It will likely host another President's Cup before 2025.  Yes, it is unfortunately expensive for out-of-towners, and I wish we could do something about that, but you'll pay about $70 less for a truly uninspiring and muddy six-hour slog through the Presidio, built courtesy of your friends at the Army Corp of Engineers.

The other problem the above folks may be having is that it takes several rounds to truly recognize the subtle charms of Harding.  Fourth hole, a left dog-leg par five, can stretch out to over 600 yards for the PGA guys.  Mickelson reeached it in two shots in the 2009 President's Cup--no one else.  Number 5 appears to be a straight, easy par 4 with no bunkers, no water, no problems at all.  But because of a few overhanging tree branches, and a pretty wicked green complex, I've seen plenty of 8's and higher on the hole.  The course really comes alive at hole 12, another left dog-leg par 5 that can be reached with two good, precise shots.  But if you miss with that second shot, you'll be lucky to survive with a bogey.   Then, beginning at 13, come the best six holes in Northern California.  Members at Olympic wish they had these finishing holes, instead of the unfair final four carved into the side of the sand dune due west of Lake Merced.  Stand on the PGA tees on 18 and laugh at how good those guys are, being able to play it in par or better.  For mere mortals, a good drive over an arm of Lake Merced leaves you with a 140-yard shot, again into a treacherous green complex in which a two-putt is a good score.

Sorry, any course at which Ken Venturi, Billy Casper, and Jonny Miller learned to play pretty much kicks butt.  Unless someone is willing to get you onto SF Golf Club, your best bet in SF is Harding (unless someone asks you to join the skins game at Gleneagles, but that's another story.)  Don't look at the charge on your card, chalk it up to being taken advantage of as a tourist, and have a memorable day.  And the food in the clubhouse is much better as well.

Holes 4-10 are better if your talking about a "great" 6-7 hole stretch!
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#17 carrera

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 12:16 AM

I've played Harding 100's of times, and I stand by my recommendation above.  It's overpriced and in mediocre shape year round.  There are no "great" holes on the course....it's not Pasatiempo.

PS, not sure what Billy Casper has to do with Harding.  He won a tournament across the lake, but that is all I can think of.  Maybe you meant Bob Rosburg?  He played mostly at Lincoln Park before he joined Olympic as a teenager.  George Archer grew up on the Peninsula.  And Johnny Miller played most of his junior golf at Olympic, but that's a minor point.

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#18 boxerjoe2011

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 12:27 AM

I like Harding more than Presidio. Presidio has more blind shots and it's shortish from the tips.  It has some beautiful holes and I would definitely play it again, but Harding is a better lay out in my opinion.

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#19 jrussell4

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 11:23 AM

View Postcarrera, on 30 October 2017 - 12:16 AM, said:

I've played Harding 100's of times, and I stand by my recommendation above.  It's overpriced and in mediocre shape year round.  There are no "great" holes on the course....it's not Pasatiempo.

PS, not sure what Billy Casper has to do with Harding.  He won a tournament across the lake, but that is all I can think of.  Maybe you meant Bob Rosburg?  He played mostly at Lincoln Park before he joined Olympic as a teenager.  George Archer grew up on the Peninsula.  And Johnny Miller played most of his junior golf at Olympic, but that's a minor point.

My mistake - meant George Archer.  And you are correct about Rosberg as well.   All four - Archer, Rosberg, Miller, and Venturi - played often at Harding.   Miller may have played at Olympic, but he learned at Harding.

I don't work there, but just recognize a quality layout.  Can't argue about Pasatiempo, but we were talking about Presidio v. Harding.

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#20 Jungleland

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 03:36 PM

Harding just doesn't do it for me.  A handful of nice holes on the back 9 but overall a real snooze fest.


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#21 layingfive

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 06:08 AM

As an out-of-tower who played both Harding Park and Presidio earlier this year, I take issue with all the criticism lobbed at Harding. It's expensive, yes, but not on the level of Torrey Pines' out-of-town rates. Its fairways are wide, yes, but why is that a problem? It's a thoughtfully laid-out course with a truly remarkable stretch down the back nine. I wouldn't hesitate to play it again.

I enjoyed my round at the Presidio less. That's not to suggest that it's not a great course (the land is so remarkable that not even the Army Corps of Engineers could screw it up). I enjoyed it. I just had more fun at Harding Park.

Someone also mentioned Sharp Park. If I had two rounds to play in San Fran tomorrow, I'd play Harding and Sharp (which is about to get a major restoration). I'm glad I played the Presidio, but I'm not in a hurry to go back.

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#22 SilverBullets

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 06:57 PM

View Postlayingfive, on 02 November 2017 - 06:08 AM, said:

As an out-of-tower who played both Harding Park and Presidio earlier this year, I take issue with all the criticism lobbed at Harding. It's expensive, yes, but not on the level of Torrey Pines' out-of-town rates. Its fairways are wide, yes, but why is that a problem? It's a thoughtfully laid-out course with a truly remarkable stretch down the back nine. I wouldn't hesitate to play it again.

I enjoyed my round at the Presidio less. That's not to suggest that it's not a great course (the land is so remarkable that not even the Army Corps of Engineers could screw it up). I enjoyed it. I just had more fun at Harding Park.

Someone also mentioned Sharp Park. If I had two rounds to play in San Fran tomorrow, I'd play Harding and Sharp (which is about to get a major restoration). I'm glad I played the Presidio, but I'm not in a hurry to go back.

It's so funny because I was literally the exact opposite.  Harding did next to nothing for me.  I thought the back 9 was solid and included a really nice stretch of 4 or so holes but for the most part it completely fell flat for me.  I felt like the front 9 was stacked on top of each and none of the holes on the front really left an impressions on me beyond 'eh it's a nice muni I guess'.  It felt like the short course was woven through the actual course as well and it resulted in people and balls being everywhere.  The back 9 though, I still give that credit.  There is a really nice stretch with some nice views.  But for me that was about it.  Conditioning was also just OK at best.

Presidio on the other hand.  For what it is, I thought it was really solid.  Super short,  super old.  Quirky.  But charming and a lot of fun to play (and not nearly as easy as it looks).  I played Presidio and Harding on back to back days in 2015.  Visually, a couple of holes from Harding stand out (and its literally like 4 holes... 1 because it was bad lol).... Presidio on the other hand?  I remember most of the round.  It was just so different than 90% of the golf courses I have played.  Conditioning on it was decent, nothing really stood out good or bad... I think it was just kind of OK.  But its a great little plot of land and it's a really nice design.  I think it was about the 3rd hole when I realized 'ohhh so this is why it's so short... it's going to be one of those courses...'  Maybe I was more partial to Presidio because it reminded of this super old, short, private club I joined when I was 23 or so with a buddy and we go out for quick 18's after work,  I have an appreciation for relics like Presidio.

We had a lot of fun that weekend, and that's really what it's about.  We had fun at Harding but we had even more fun at Presidio.  Presidio was more memorable to me and factoring in the out of state cost, I would probably pick Presidio 4 out of 5 times.  It's cool to play Harding because its been on tour, in the presidents cup and is hosting a major.  So that cool factor is def. there.  But layout wise, it was just OK
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#23 JJPIV

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 11:18 PM

I definitely thought it was worth the money.  I played there on a trip last month and really enjoyed it.  I had also read a decent amount of reviews on here about it and didn’t agree with the criticism after my round.  

My thoughts and review- paid around 100 for a 1:00 tee time, thought it was a reasonable value for what you get.  The greens really impressed me for being a public course with lots of play.  Plan on 5 hours to ensure you get it in.  Slow down may have been caused by one bad group ahead, but it was slower than expected.  The front 9 felt like some holes were on top of others, but still some memorable shots.  The back 9 was great, and the views of the lake made it better.  Looking forward to watching the PGA there and seeing how many people they can fit in and where they actually put them.

Next time I go back I will try to play Presidio with all the great reviews.  Going back to your question, it is worth it to play Harding Park.


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#24 layingfive

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 06:43 AM

If there's a consensus to be gleaned here, I think it's that they're certainly the top two public options in San Fran and are both great courses worthy of anyone's time.

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#25 sabram

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 08:58 PM

Here's a link to my photos of Harding Park: https://www.flickr.c...th/26616614450/

Posted Image
Harding Park #18 from back tee


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#26 TinkerGolfMan

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 02:26 PM


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#27 qtlaw

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 08:01 PM

As a local who's played both Harding and Presidio many times over the past 20 years (yes before and after Harding renovation) Harding is a wonderful historical place to play and worth the admission price for once.   Take in not only the setting winding around Lake Merced, but also the beautiful trees (see the video above) that line the fairways.  Is it resort like in condition?  No, but its SF at its best.  Likely misty, perhaps some fog, surrounded by the urban SF, but in its own golf cocoon.

Presidio is not a bad historical track (former Army course for what 90 years?) but it takes soooo loooong.

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#28 schley

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 07:11 AM

Why the confrontation of endorsements of Harding Park?  I liked the course, yes overpriced, but we wanted to experience a major championship course and the layout was interesting.  However, it was not in good shape in August when we were there.  Played Olympic 2 years ago and that was in much better shape as you would expect.

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#29 SmoothStroker81

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 01:31 PM

Harding is a classic, but I would take a short drive to Sharp Park.  They are all worth playing a few times (Harding, Presidio, Sharp)
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#30 Shakester

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 02:39 PM

I've been playing courses in the area for a long time and I prefer Harding Park over any of the public courses that are in the area.  For a resident, Presidio is more expensive to play on a weekend than Harding.    Presidio offers elevation changes, but on #16, its kind of ridiculous.  You're basically playing up a side of a mountain.  The pace of play at Presidio is much slower as well.   I've played 5.5 hour rounds there while at Harding, I usually finish in 4.5 or less.  

Harding is a challenging course.  Tiger's best round, in his prime, at Harding was a 68 so I wouldn't call it easy.  Lots of doglegs rights and there is enough, unnoticeable, elevation changes to make you think about your club selection.   For me, considering they're both the same price, Harding is a no-brainer and I live closer to Presidio.  A few of my buddies actually live on Arguello street and are literally 4 blocks away from Presidio and they prefer to take the drive to Harding.  But in all honesty, $188 is pretty steep to play there.  For $84, its pretty good.    I'd much rather take the 30-45 minute drive to Half Moon Bay and play the Ocean course for $150.00.

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