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San Francisco Public Golf


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#1 jwellefson1

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 08:15 AM

Hey all, I'm heading to San Francisco in less than two weeks and I'm looking to book a couple rounds, probably public unless anyone has any connections to get me on anywhere :). I'm looking to play two rounds, one at an upscale like Harding Park or Presidio, and then one sort of under the radar like Lincoln Park or something. I'm just looking for general guidance and wondering what you all think. Also general recommendations for San Francisco would also be appreciated! Thanks!

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#2 schley

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:49 AM

....is underwhelming IMO, unless you venture down to Monterrey area.

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#3 James the Hogan Fan

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 11:17 AM

I donít know how much time you have in the area or your transportation. Iím writing this assuming a car and a couple non-golf days

I have never played Harding, but everyone says it is better than Presidio. (Plus itís soon to be a Major Championship Course.) That said, I like Presidio a lot and itís a solid, if slightly overpriced track.

I donít know how mobile youíre going to be, because Sharp Park, the other SF-owned course is actually aways away in Pacifica. It and Lincoln Park are SF Muni courses, but beware; conditions are often very poor. Things may be changing, at least at Sharp Park, but just make note of that. Lincoln park is, however, one of the more beautiful golf courses around, spread around the grounds of an art museum with views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Others will have to speak for Gleneagles and Crystal Springs; I personally havenít played them.

Now supposing you can get out of SF proper, Corica Park in Alameda just reopened (In the last year) a Rees Jones redesign of their South Course. They were talking about having a tour event there, but it didnít pan out. Thatís out of my price range but brand new. Baylands in Palo Alto is also less than a year old, but an hour away. Half Moon Bay is expensive but amazing if you can score a deal, also 45 minutes out of the city.

-end golf recommendations-
-begin other recommendations-

Find and eat at a Nationís Giant Hamburgers. Their slogan was for a long time: ĒGiant Hamburgers, Grand Breakfasts, Great Pies, and More!Ē People may die for In-n-Out, but for me Nations is the go-to every day.

Walk the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset. You can park all over the place, but I prefer the lots off Lincoln Blvd south of the bridge. Bring a Camera. This can be done easily after a Presidio or Lincoln Park round; youíre already right there.

In the City itself the Ferry Building has a Pike Place-esque public market, and the Embarcadero snakes around the waterfront from there to pier 41 or so. Muniís F-line vintage streetcars run the length of it. Pier 39 is a tourist trap, Iíd almost say pass on it and proceed directly to Ghirardelli square where there is ice cream, chocolate, a maritime museum, large grassy park, and a cable car turnaround.

Iíve lived 45 minutes from San Francisco my whole life, so most of my experience is activity-packed day trips. If you give me a little more info about how long youre here, I can fine tune the recommendations.

Enjoy your trip!

Edited by James the Hogan Fan, 31 December 2018 - 11:17 AM.

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#4 jwellefson1

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 11:26 AM

View PostJames the Hogan Fan, on 31 December 2018 - 11:17 AM, said:

I don't know how much time you have in the area or your transportation. I'm writing this assuming a car and a couple non-golf days

I have never played Harding, but everyone says it is better than Presidio. (Plus it's soon to be a Major Championship Course.) That said, I like Presidio a lot and it's a solid, if slightly overpriced track.

I don't know how mobile you're going to be, because Sharp Park, the other SF-owned course is actually aways away in Pacifica. It and Lincoln Park are SF Muni courses, but beware; conditions are often very poor. Things may be changing, at least at Sharp Park, but just make note of that. Lincoln park is, however, one of the more beautiful golf courses around, spread around the grounds of an art museum with views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Others will have to speak for Gleneagles and Crystal Springs; I personally haven't played them.

Now supposing you can get out of SF proper, Corica Park in Alameda just reopened (In the last year) a Rees Jones redesign of their South Course. They were talking about having a tour event there, but it didn't pan out. That's out of my price range but brand new. Baylands in Palo Alto is also less than a year old, but an hour away. Half Moon Bay is expensive but amazing if you can score a deal, also 45 minutes out of the city.

-end golf recommendations-
-begin other recommendations-

Find and eat at a Nation's Giant Hamburgers. Their slogan was for a long time: "Giant Hamburgers, Grand Breakfasts, Great Pies, and More!" People may die for In-n-Out, but for me Nations is the go-to every day.

Walk the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset. You can park all over the place, but I prefer the lots off Lincoln Blvd south of the bridge. Bring a Camera. This can be done easily after a Presidio or Lincoln Park round; you're already right there.

In the City itself the Ferry Building has a Pike Place-esque public market, and the Embarcadero snakes around the waterfront from there to pier 41 or so. Muni's F-line vintage streetcars run the length of it. Pier 39 is a tourist trap, I'd almost say pass on it and proceed directly to Ghirardelli square where there is ice cream, chocolate, a maritime museum, large grassy park, and a cable car turnaround.

I've lived 45 minutes from San Francisco my whole life, so most of my experience is activity-packed day trips. If you give me a little more info about how long youre here, I can fine tune the recommendations.

Enjoy your trip!

Thanks James! I'm gonna be there for four days, and I won't have a rental car. I'm only 23 so it would not be cheap. I have one round scheduled at the Cal Club already, so I'm really looking forward to that. I'm leaning Harding Park since there will be a major there and I'm not sure when I'd get the chance again. I don't really mind a rough conditioned course, I think they can be just as fun. Thanks again for the recs!
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#5 North Texas

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 11:54 AM

View Postjwellefson1, on 31 December 2018 - 11:26 AM, said:

View PostJames the Hogan Fan, on 31 December 2018 - 11:17 AM, said:

I don't know how much time you have in the area or your transportation. I'm writing this assuming a car and a couple non-golf days

I have never played Harding, but everyone says it is better than Presidio. (Plus it's soon to be a Major Championship Course.) That said, I like Presidio a lot and it's a solid, if slightly overpriced track.

I don't know how mobile you're going to be, because Sharp Park, the other SF-owned course is actually aways away in Pacifica. It and Lincoln Park are SF Muni courses, but beware; conditions are often very poor. Things may be changing, at least at Sharp Park, but just make note of that. Lincoln park is, however, one of the more beautiful golf courses around, spread around the grounds of an art museum with views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Others will have to speak for Gleneagles and Crystal Springs; I personally haven't played them.

Now supposing you can get out of SF proper, Corica Park in Alameda just reopened (In the last year) a Rees Jones redesign of their South Course. They were talking about having a tour event there, but it didn't pan out. That's out of my price range but brand new. Baylands in Palo Alto is also less than a year old, but an hour away. Half Moon Bay is expensive but amazing if you can score a deal, also 45 minutes out of the city.

-end golf recommendations-
-begin other recommendations-

Find and eat at a Nation's Giant Hamburgers. Their slogan was for a long time: "Giant Hamburgers, Grand Breakfasts, Great Pies, and More!" People may die for In-n-Out, but for me Nations is the go-to every day.

Walk the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset. You can park all over the place, but I prefer the lots off Lincoln Blvd south of the bridge. Bring a Camera. This can be done easily after a Presidio or Lincoln Park round; you're already right there.

In the City itself the Ferry Building has a Pike Place-esque public market, and the Embarcadero snakes around the waterfront from there to pier 41 or so. Muni's F-line vintage streetcars run the length of it. Pier 39 is a tourist trap, I'd almost say pass on it and proceed directly to Ghirardelli square where there is ice cream, chocolate, a maritime museum, large grassy park, and a cable car turnaround.

I've lived 45 minutes from San Francisco my whole life, so most of my experience is activity-packed day trips. If you give me a little more info about how long youre here, I can fine tune the recommendations.

Enjoy your trip!

Thanks James! I'm gonna be there for four days, and I won't have a rental car. I'm only 23 so it would not be cheap. I have one round scheduled at the Cal Club already, so I'm really looking forward to that. I'm leaning Harding Park since there will be a major there and I'm not sure when I'd get the chance again. I don't really mind a rough conditioned course, I think they can be just as fun. Thanks again for the recs!

Cal Club! That's fantastic! Be sure and let us know about that round. With pics, if possible.


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#6 James the Hogan Fan

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 11:58 AM

Haha Iím 23 myself. If you can play at the California Club youíve already won, congrats. I think Harding is the way to go.

From a public transit standpoint, for the Golden Gate Bridge from downtown, take the F-line to Fishermanís Wharf, walk to Ghirardelli, and then take bus 22 to the bridgeís south parking lot.

Oh and I forgot to mention, as the cliche goes itís true: bring a heavy sweater or light-duty, warm jacket. The air and fog can be very thick and wet, which can make it feel really cold. Harding Park is next to Lake Merced and kind of in a basin, fog can be trapped there even after itís burned off everywhere else.

Bones restaurant rec: Beach Chalet in Golden Gate Park. (That park also has a par-3 course)
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#7 jwellefson1

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 01:09 PM

View PostNorth Texas, on 31 December 2018 - 11:54 AM, said:


Cal Club! That's fantastic! Be sure and let us know about that round. With pics, if possible.

Will do! I'm super excited!

View PostJames the Hogan Fan, on 31 December 2018 - 11:58 AM, said:

Haha I'm 23 myself. If you can play at the California Club you've already won, congrats. I think Harding is the way to go.

From a public transit standpoint, for the Golden Gate Bridge from downtown, take the F-line to Fisherman's Wharf, walk to Ghirardelli, and then take bus 22 to the bridge's south parking lot.

Oh and I forgot to mention, as the cliche goes it's true: bring a heavy sweater or light-duty, warm jacket. The air and fog can be very thick and wet, which can make it feel really cold. Harding Park is next to Lake Merced and kind of in a basin, fog can be trapped there even after it's burned off everywhere else.

Bones restaurant rec: Beach Chalet in Golden Gate Park. (That park also has a par-3 course)

Awesome, thanks a ton! I'm definitely looking forward to it!
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#8 mmckee02

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Posted 01 January 2019 - 01:24 PM

If you can find the time, the trip down to see Pasatiempo is worth it.

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#9 jwellefson1

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 08:13 AM

View Postmmckee02, on 01 January 2019 - 01:24 PM, said:

If you can find the time, the trip down to see Pasatiempo is worth it.
I'm trying to find a way to get down there Mark, I'm not sure if I can pull it off without renting a car. I'm trying to see if I can though!
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#10 Pepe8714

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 02:41 AM

Shoot me a PM if you'd like a playing partner / ride to any of the above mentioned courses, I'd recommend presidio / Harding / Corsica personally. You'll love Cal Club!


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#11 carrera

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 12:57 AM

If you have Cal Club and Harding set up, then add 9-holer Gleneagles as your extra hidden round.  Lincoln Park and Sharp Park unfortunately have never been in even remotely decent condition (that statement is true going back 40+ years), Golden Gate Park is a treat but it is in even worse condition than the above two, and it's not worth the hassle of going to the East Bay to play any of the courses near OAK (Metropolitan, Corica, Monarch Bay).

Pasatiempo is the best course listed in this thread (same quality level as Cal Club) but realistically it would take a full day to make the trek down and back.  If you have the time, then do it, but I assume you don't.  Gleneagles has improved a lot over the last several years with pro-bono help from the staff at Cal Club and architects/shapers like Brett Hochstein helping out the low-budget operation.  Take an Uber there, enjoy the course, and enjoy the best 10th hole in the game (aka the bar).  The course has suffered for many years from the reputation of its location, but don't worry about that - Uber there and have a good time.

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#12 jwellefson1

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 07:53 AM

View Postcarrera, on 05 January 2019 - 12:57 AM, said:

If you have Cal Club and Harding set up, then add 9-holer Gleneagles as your extra hidden round.  Lincoln Park and Sharp Park unfortunately have never been in even remotely decent condition (that statement is true going back 40+ years), Golden Gate Park is a treat but it is in even worse condition than the above two, and it's not worth the hassle of going to the East Bay to play any of the courses near OAK (Metropolitan, Corica, Monarch Bay).

Pasatiempo is the best course listed in this thread (same quality level as Cal Club) but realistically it would take a full day to make the trek down and back.  If you have the time, then do it, but I assume you don't.  Gleneagles has improved a lot over the last several years with pro-bono help from the staff at Cal Club and architects/shapers like Brett Hochstein helping out the low-budget operation.  Take an Uber there, enjoy the course, and enjoy the best 10th hole in the game (aka the bar).  The course has suffered for many years from the reputation of its location, but don't worry about that - Uber there and have a good time.
Cool thanks! I actually worked out Pasatiempo which I am stoked for, and that leaves me one more day. Thanks everyone!
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