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San Francisco in Sept/Oct

 marks21 ·  
marks21marks21 Members  219WRX Points: 98Posts: 219 Fairways
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Heading to the Bay Area in late Sept or early October with the misses. She has meetings throughout the day so I am afforded the opportunity to play some golf. What are some must plays? Looking to play 2-3 rounds during the week. As of now, we won’t have a rental so will most likely need to depend on public transit/ Uber. TPC Harding Park / Presidio seems to be the top choices with close proximity to downtown. Would it be worth it to rent a car and drive to Pasatiempo? Any others north or on the other side of the bay? TIA!

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  • ASN21ASN21 G.O.A.T. Bay AreaMembers  571WRX Points: 415Posts: 571 Golden Tee
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    If you are limited by Uber than Presidio and Harding Park are great choices. Both courses I have enjoyed thoroughly. Is a rental down to Pasatiempo worth it? Absofreakinglutely! One of the best courses in all of NorCal. Only behind Pebble and Spyglass for the courses I have played. The Half Moon Bay courses are a pretty great option as well.

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  • Pepe8714Pepe8714 CAMembers  194WRX Points: 103Posts: 194 Fairways
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    Skip presidio and go play the new Rees Jones redesigned Corica Park south course. It’s the same distance from the city to Harding park and 100x better

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  • ryu123ryu123 Members  536WRX Points: 85Posts: 536 Golden Tee
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    haven't played Harding Park or Presidio so can't comment.

    Thought the Ocean course at Half Moon Bay was cramped & not interesting, other than the 'views'. (If you need to see the coast, have a drink at the nearby Ritz-Carlton.)

    ASN21 is correct: Pasatiempo is definitely worth renting a car.

    (If you can access private clubs, the California Golf Club of San Francisco is great & close to SFO. The Meadow Club near Fairfax & Mayacama in Santa Rosa are very good as well, but you'll need a car.)

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  • James the Hogan FanJames the Hogan Fan Members  1235WRX Points: 849Handicap: 12Posts: 1,235 Platinum Tees
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    I have played Presidio. Very old school. Looks like this:

    I actually played it with two Olympic members who said they enjoy it when they want to switch things up.

    Have never played Harding, or Pasatiempo.

    Corica Park South I played pre-renovation and it was meh. According to my old coach, its now fantastic and worth it to play once at least. It was considered for a tour stop about a year back.

    Half Moon Bay old is one good hole and 17 holes of upscale development golf. Have not played Ocean but it sure looks pretty.

    Shameless plug for my home course: Callippe Preserve. Probably not worth making the trek to but a solid course and the truest ”California golden hills” golf course I can think of. Speaking of which Wente Vineyards is out there too.

    If you need sightseeing recommendations for the City let me know

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  • foreright1foreright1 Members  23WRX Points: 20Posts: 23 Bunkers
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    I have played Presidio. Very old school. Looks like this:

    I actually played it with two Olympic members who said they enjoy it when they want to switch things up.

    Have never played Harding, or Pasatiempo.

    Corica Park South I played pre-renovation and it was meh. According to my old coach, its now fantastic and worth it to play once at least. It was considered for a tour stop about a year back.

    Half Moon Bay old is one good hole and 17 holes of upscale development golf. Have not played Ocean but it sure looks pretty.

    Shameless plug for my home course: Callippe Preserve. Probably not worth making the trek to but a solid course and the truest ”California golden hills” golf course I can think of. Speaking of which Wente Vineyards is out there too.

    If you need sightseeing recommendations for the City let me know

    I am not the biggest fan of the Presidio course and would say definitely skip it for Pasatiempo if you have the time and a rental car. As another has mentioned, I would even skip Presidio and play the newly renovated Chuck Corica South Course in Alameda as well.

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  • tw422tw422 Manhattan Beach, Ca.Members  345WRX Points: 80Posts: 345 Greens
    Joined:  edited Jul 15, 2019 #7

    I like Presidio a lot. Old school tree lined course with good character and cool location. That said I've heard good things about Corica in the East Bay. Harding is great as well, a bit over priced but worth playing. If you're stuck only in SF then definitely play Harding and Presidio, you will enjoy both. If you can rent a car and get down to Pasatiempo - do it. It's a great course. I could take you almost 2 hours to get there from the city depending on when you leave but it's worth the trip.

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  • marks21marks21 Members  219WRX Points: 98Posts: 219 Fairways
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    What would typical commute time be from Union Square to Pasatiempo? We fly in on Sunday in the early afternoon, plan on doing some sight seeing that day. Monday, she’s at a conference til 4-5 and would be my only shot. If I leave say 6-7, would it be enough time to drive, walk 18 and drive back? Tuesday and Wednesday I was asked to be done golfing early so we can do some sight seeing. My thoughts are Monday at Pasatiempo, Tuesday at Harding Park, Wednesday either Presidio or Corica Park. Lastly, without knowing a member, I’d Olympic Club out of the equation? Any chance with my pro calling?

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  • duffer987duffer987 Meh... eh Canadian in CaliforniaMembers  9919WRX Points: 1,154Handicap: ~8Posts: 9,919 Titanium Tees
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    Would give Presidio a fairly hard pass: it can turn into a shooting gallery in some of the middle holes, it's way overpriced, it can be cold and damp, and it gets conference visitor play, if you are stuck behind that it's a long round.

    Assume you are staying downtown somewhere?
    Take the ferry over to Alameda: https://sanfranciscobayferry.com/route/sffb/hbi it's less than 2 miles from the course.
    Play one round on Corica South - have lunch - after one round you'll want another crack at is, so play a second round - take ferry back to the city - shower, change, and take the missus out to dinner. That's one day sorted :-)

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  • James the Hogan FanJames the Hogan Fan Members  1235WRX Points: 849Handicap: 12Posts: 1,235 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @marks21 said:

    What would typical commute time be from Union Square to Pasatiempo? We fly in on Sunday in the early afternoon, plan on doing some sight seeing that day. Monday, she’s at a conference til 4-5 and would be my only shot. If I leave say 6-7, would it be enough time to drive, walk 18 and drive back? Tuesday and Wednesday I was asked to be done golfing early so we can do some sight seeing. My thoughts are Monday at Pasatiempo, Tuesday at Harding Park, Wednesday either Presidio or Corica Park. Lastly, without knowing a member, I’d Olympic Club out of the equation? Any chance with my pro calling?

    It should be about two hours give or take traffic. If you hit a sweet spot it'll be 90 minutes. I think your timeframe 6-4/5 is very doable. Be on the course by 9, be off by 2, and then even if you hit full traffic you're in decent shape. Take CA 1 one either going or coming, very pretty.

    I have no personal knowledge of Olympic. I have heard (from threads here) that a pro-call can get you on but without a member the fee is going to be like $450+...

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  • carreracarrera Northern CaliforniaMembers  2658WRX Points: 196Posts: 2,658 Titanium Tees
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    Be on alert for Fall aeration. I think the guys who manage Corica use some no-aeration plan, so that is a plus if it is true. Yes the unaccompanied rate at Olympic is very high, and you are unlikely to get out anyway unless you are a member at a well-known club (because Olympic receives so many requests to play). You could for sure get back to the city from Pasatiempo if you are able to play early enough. Traffic will be tough though. I'm not a huge Harding Park fan, but considering the fact that it will host the PGA Championship next year, it might be fun to play it.

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  • bwantlandbwantland Members  30WRX Points: 53Posts: 30 Bunkers
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    Update on pricing for unaccompanied play at Olympic: a friend coming to visit 3-4 months ago was going to be able to get us on for the low, low price of $550/pp plus a mandatory caddie at $150 (plus tip). We elected to pass, no offense to Olympic or its membership.

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  • BesshomieBesshomie Irvine, CAMembers  16WRX Points: 22Posts: 16 Bunkers
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    On -, @bwantland said:

    Update on pricing for unaccompanied play at Olympic: a friend coming to visit 3-4 months ago was going to be able to get us on for the low, low price of $550/pp plus a mandatory caddie at $150 (plus tip). We elected to pass, no offense to Olympic or its membership.

    I think that's good information to know. Some people don't mind paying given the difficulty in getting on at a place like that.

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  • ShakesterShakester Members  626WRX Points: 147Handicap: 9Posts: 626 Golden Tee
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    Harding is the must play. Chuck Corica South in Alameda is about a 30 minute drive from downtown SF but its a great course. Pasatiempo is a beautiful course but its also about an hour and half drive, more or less, depending on the traffic. Lots of traffic during the week so you could be looking at a 2 hours just to get there and expect the same coming back. I'm not a fan of Presidio. Its overpriced but its not a bad course. I would rather play Harding again, but if you want to just play it for the **** of it and for variety, its not the worse play you can play, especially if you just plan to Uber it. Other courses worth checking out:

    Hiddenbrooke - Vallejo. About a 40 minute drive. Hosts LPGA events.
    Poppy Ridge - Livermore. An hour drive. Owned by the NCGA which runs Poppy Hills as well. There are rattlesnakes there so be mindful.
    Callippe Golf Preserve - Pleasanton. An hour drive.
    Baylands Golf Links - Palo Alto. Great links course about 40 minutes away.
    Crystal Springs - Burlingame. 30 minutes away. I hate playing on weekends, because the rounds can be 5 hours long, but it moves fast on the weekdays. A really nice course, but can be difficult.
    Cinnabar Hills - San Jose. About an hour away but could be longer on weekdays. Really nice course with 27 holes so you can play a different combo twice if you wish. Moves fast on weekdays.

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  • James the Hogan FanJames the Hogan Fan Members  1235WRX Points: 849Handicap: 12Posts: 1,235 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @Shakester just about closed the thread with that answer, basically everything one could want to know in a compact response. (Though I personally think if you are going out to Poppy and paying non-NCGA, you might as well play Wente instead if you can get a deal)
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  • carreracarrera Northern CaliforniaMembers  2658WRX Points: 196Posts: 2,658 Titanium Tees
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    None of those courses though, aside from Pasatiempo, are worth renting a car and driving to see. That was part of the OP's criteria...he is using Uber or public transit, except maybe a rental car to go to Santa Cruz.
    OP, send me a message about your timing and maybe I can give you a suggestion.

    Posted:
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  • ShakesterShakester Members  626WRX Points: 147Handicap: 9Posts: 626 Golden Tee
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    I did forget one course and that was Half Moon Bay Golf Links, which has two 18 hole courses (Old and Ocean). I like the links style Ocean, but the Old course is more memorable because of the finishing holes. I would say that is worth renting a car for. Rates are $140-175. A nice place to eat lunch and take in the sights as well. From downtown SF, without traffic, I would say its around a tad over an hour away.

    Posted:
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  • MysteryVMysteryV Members  559WRX Points: 154Posts: 559 Golden Tee
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    I live in SF and consider Harding my home track. I've been frustrated by the ever increasing prices and decreasing availability, however I still have a deep love for the place. Some quick notes on courses in the area:

    Harding Park:
    It's a must play as it's fun and challenging, but extremely fair. The back 9 shine while the front is good, but not particularly remarkable. The course is made to be played from the tips as they offer different lines and angles that offer more diversity. Bunkers are the worst part of the course as they vary greatly. Rough is LONG right now which can be frustrating when you lose a ball just off the fairway, but it's a great preview for next year's PGA (and home of Tiger's greatest club twirl of all time). Practice area is horrible and there is currently no range as they repair after a wind strom.

    Presedio:
    The course has grown on me over the years. Much more elevation change than harding, and more challenging greens in general. Some frustrating, unfair spots where you need to know the course or it can become unfair (aka hitting a perfect shot to the left of the fairway and having it roll down the hill to the right rough leaving a tough angle to the elevated green).

    Chuck Corica South Course:
    Go play it. It's enjoyable with several really cool, different holes, and the greens are top notch. The wind really comes into play here, and can make or break a round. Much more optically challenging than you might expect coming in due to some really cool doglegs, trees, and bunkering. Definitely my preference over Presedio, and if it were closer, it would be tough to choose between CC and Harding.

    Half Moon Bay:
    I've only played the Old Course. Expensive and very meh save a couple pretty holes near the ocean. Skip.

    Other notables include:
    Olympic Club: Private. Cool if you can get on the Lake Couse (US Open Venue), however I'm not a huge fan of the Ocean Course. It's not bad by any means, but not spectacular.
    Cal Club: Private, exclusive, and REALLY REALLY COOL. If I could play one course in the area daily, this might be it.
    Merced: Private. Hosts an annual LPGA event, and looks super cool, but I've never played it.
    SF Golf Club: ULTRA PRIVATE. Good luck getting past the parking lot.
    Sharp Park: Skip, though there are some McKenzie bones under the daisies.
    Lincoln Park: Could be AMAZING if they were to put some money into it. Best single view in the area imo. Complete skip in it's current state.

    There are other courses if you want to drive (Pasatiempo, Calippe, Wente, etc. - but traffic in the Bay Area is terrible almost always, and you'll inevitably get stuck in it if you don't time things perfectly.

    Good luck!

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  • charlokimcharlokim CK ClubWRX  436WRX Points: 127Posts: 436 Greens
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    Not to beat a dead horse here but I played Corica Park - South last week and scheduled to play again coming Tuesday.
    It is definitely on the top of the list in terms of courses to play. Greens are in great condition. Now that I somewhat know the layout and what to expect, it'll be a fun round.

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  • ShakesterShakester Members  626WRX Points: 147Handicap: 9Posts: 626 Golden Tee
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    On -, @MysteryV said:

    I live in SF and consider Harding my home track. I've been frustrated by the ever increasing prices and decreasing availability, however I still have a deep love

    I use to play Harding every week or I try to. Now, with it's additional fees just to book a time, I'm not sure its worth it. $50 for a month in advance or $15 for even a couple weeks and its non-refundable if you can't make that date, is kind of crazy. I get why they do it but it still sucks. I haven't played Harding in about 5 months because of it and not sure I'd be willing to renew my resident's card.

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  • MysteryVMysteryV Members  559WRX Points: 154Posts: 559 Golden Tee
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    Yeah - I hear ya. Things have definitely been going the wrong direction over the last year. That said, it's close and in decent shape most of the time, so I can't complain too much. I typically go solo and try to walk on.

    Posted:
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  • longdrivenatelongdrivenate San FranciscoMembers  19WRX Points: 28Posts: 19 Bunkers
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    The lists above are pretty complete. As everyone's said, Harding is the must-play, especially with them getting it ready for PGA, it's noticeably more interesting already. I'll toss out an unpopular opinion and say that Lincoln Park and Sharp Park should be higher on the list. They are both terribly maintained so I completely understand why many people consider them a full pass, but, if you reset your expectations going into them, they are very unique and enjoyable. Lincoln IMO is one of the most visually stunning courses in California and Sharp is an Alister MacKenzie course that's fun and easy to get around when in good condition. I would prioritize Harding and Presidio since they are much better quality plays, but if you want something cheaper and/or have trouble getting tee times there, then definitely check out Lincoln and Sharp. They're experiences :)

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  • Sjewell94Sjewell94 Members  90WRX Points: 51Posts: 90 Fairways
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    On -, @MysteryV said:

    I live in SF and consider Harding my home track. I've been frustrated by the ever increasing prices and decreasing availability, however I still have a deep love for the place. Some quick notes on courses in the area:

    Harding Park:
    It's a must play as it's fun and challenging, but extremely fair. The back 9 shine while the front is good, but not particularly remarkable. The course is made to be played from the tips as they offer different lines and angles that offer more diversity. Bunkers are the worst part of the course as they vary greatly. Rough is LONG right now which can be frustrating when you lose a ball just off the fairway, but it's a great preview for next year's PGA (and home of Tiger's greatest club twirl of all time). Practice area is horrible and there is currently no range as they repair after a wind strom.

    Presedio:
    The course has grown on me over the years. Much more elevation change than harding, and more challenging greens in general. Some frustrating, unfair spots where you need to know the course or it can become unfair (aka hitting a perfect shot to the left of the fairway and having it roll down the hill to the right rough leaving a tough angle to the elevated green).

    Chuck Corica South Course:
    Go play it. It's enjoyable with several really cool, different holes, and the greens are top notch. The wind really comes into play here, and can make or break a round. Much more optically challenging than you might expect coming in due to some really cool doglegs, trees, and bunkering. Definitely my preference over Presedio, and if it were closer, it would be tough to choose between CC and Harding.

    Half Moon Bay:
    I've only played the Old Course. Expensive and very meh save a couple pretty holes near the ocean. Skip.

    Other notables include:
    Olympic Club: Private. Cool if you can get on the Lake Couse (US Open Venue), however I'm not a huge fan of the Ocean Course. It's not bad by any means, but not spectacular.
    Cal Club: Private, exclusive, and REALLY REALLY COOL. If I could play one course in the area daily, this might be it.
    Merced: Private. Hosts an annual LPGA event, and looks super cool, but I've never played it.
    SF Golf Club: ULTRA PRIVATE. Good luck getting past the parking lot.
    Sharp Park: Skip, though there are some McKenzie bones under the daisies.
    Lincoln Park: Could be AMAZING if they were to put some money into it. Best single view in the area imo. Complete skip in it's current state.

    There are other courses if you want to drive (Pasatiempo, Calippe, Wente, etc. - but traffic in the Bay Area is terrible almost always, and you'll inevitably get stuck in it if you don't time things perfectly.

    Good luck!

    This is a very helpful list! I am playing in SF for the first time this weekend and picked Harding Park for proximity and since it will be a major track next season. Two questions for you... Is Harding a good walking course?? and what are your thoughts on the Fleming 9 as a quick round option?

    Posted:

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  • duffer987duffer987 Meh... eh Canadian in CaliforniaMembers  9919WRX Points: 1,154Handicap: ~8Posts: 9,919 Titanium Tees
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    ^If you regularly walk, Harding is no prob. It's a bit hilly here and there, but really one of the good things about it, is its walkability.

    Posted:
  • ASN21ASN21 G.O.A.T. Bay AreaMembers  571WRX Points: 415Posts: 571 Golden Tee
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    Harding is very walkable

    Posted:
  • kekoakekoa ClubWRX  9394WRX Points: 881Handicap: 4-20Posts: 9,394 ClubWRX
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    Just my opinion on HMB. We played 36 there and I actually enjoyed the Ocean course more than the Old. It really depends on what type of golf you are into. The old course is more traditional and winds through homes. The ocean opens up a lot more and has a few pretty good holes with ocean views. If I had to pick one, I'd go Ocean.

    Posted:
  • MysteryVMysteryV Members  559WRX Points: 154Posts: 559 Golden Tee
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    On -, @Sjewell94 said:

    On -, @MysteryV said:

    I live in SF and consider Harding my home track. I've been frustrated by the ever increasing prices and decreasing availability, however I still have a deep love for the place. Some quick notes on courses in the area:

    Harding Park:
    It's a must play as it's fun and challenging, but extremely fair. The back 9 shine while the front is good, but not particularly remarkable. The course is made to be played from the tips as they offer different lines and angles that offer more diversity. Bunkers are the worst part of the course as they vary greatly. Rough is LONG right now which can be frustrating when you lose a ball just off the fairway, but it's a great preview for next year's PGA (and home of Tiger's greatest club twirl of all time). Practice area is horrible and there is currently no range as they repair after a wind strom.

    Presedio:
    The course has grown on me over the years. Much more elevation change than harding, and more challenging greens in general. Some frustrating, unfair spots where you need to know the course or it can become unfair (aka hitting a perfect shot to the left of the fairway and having it roll down the hill to the right rough leaving a tough angle to the elevated green).

    Chuck Corica South Course:
    Go play it. It's enjoyable with several really cool, different holes, and the greens are top notch. The wind really comes into play here, and can make or break a round. Much more optically challenging than you might expect coming in due to some really cool doglegs, trees, and bunkering. Definitely my preference over Presedio, and if it were closer, it would be tough to choose between CC and Harding.

    Half Moon Bay:
    I've only played the Old Course. Expensive and very meh save a couple pretty holes near the ocean. Skip.

    Other notables include:
    Olympic Club: Private. Cool if you can get on the Lake Couse (US Open Venue), however I'm not a huge fan of the Ocean Course. It's not bad by any means, but not spectacular.
    Cal Club: Private, exclusive, and REALLY REALLY COOL. If I could play one course in the area daily, this might be it.
    Merced: Private. Hosts an annual LPGA event, and looks super cool, but I've never played it.
    SF Golf Club: ULTRA PRIVATE. Good luck getting past the parking lot.
    Sharp Park: Skip, though there are some McKenzie bones under the daisies.
    Lincoln Park: Could be AMAZING if they were to put some money into it. Best single view in the area imo. Complete skip in it's current state.

    There are other courses if you want to drive (Pasatiempo, Calippe, Wente, etc. - but traffic in the Bay Area is terrible almost always, and you'll inevitably get stuck in it if you don't time things perfectly.

    Good luck!

    This is a very helpful list! I am playing in SF for the first time this weekend and picked Harding Park for proximity and since it will be a major track next season. Two questions for you... Is Harding a good walking course?? and what are your thoughts on the Fleming 9 as a quick round option?

    As another poster mentioned, Harding is EXTREMELY walkable. I'd actually recommend walking versus riding as it's Cart Path Only year round.

    Fleming is an interesting 9 hole course as there are a few par 4s sprinkled in. It's not particularly noteworthy in my mind, but it's certainly not bad. Unfortunately it can go extremely slowly when it gets busy.

    I'd probably recommend doing twilight at Presedio instead (if that's an option) as they have some deals and you'll play some more interesting holes.

    Posted:
    Driver: Taylormade SIM Max w/ Ventus Blue "New Year's" edition
    3 Wood / 5 Wood / 4H: Epic 3+ w/ GD AD-DI
    Irons: Miura CB-1008 w/ Oban CT-115
    Wedges: Miura Y Grind 51, Miura K Grind 56,60 w/ Modus Wedge
    Putter: Byron Morgan DH-89 GSS
  • GolfWRXGolfWRX Warning Points: 0  11 Members Posts: 11 #ad
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  • wtoomeywtoomey Lefty Boomers  375WRX Points: 110Posts: 375 Greens
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    Public Service Announcement: Outside Lands is a festival concert going on in Golden Gate Park, not sure where you are staying, but getting through the west side of the City is going to be a mess.

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  • MysteryVMysteryV Members  559WRX Points: 154Posts: 559 Golden Tee
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    If anyone is interested - No Laying Up posted their Harding Park episode this morning.

    Posted:
    Driver: Taylormade SIM Max w/ Ventus Blue "New Year's" edition
    3 Wood / 5 Wood / 4H: Epic 3+ w/ GD AD-DI
    Irons: Miura CB-1008 w/ Oban CT-115
    Wedges: Miura Y Grind 51, Miura K Grind 56,60 w/ Modus Wedge
    Putter: Byron Morgan DH-89 GSS
  • jkim27jkim27 SF Bay AreaMembers  134WRX Points: 62Handicap: 7.8Posts: 134 Fairways
    Joined:  #30

    I consider Harding my home course and a must-play, but they are on an aggressive aeration schedule to prep for the 2020 PGA. Definitely walk Harding as well. The only thing with Harding is that it's a bit of an easier track. Presidio is much more interesting and more difficult than Harding.

    Also keep in mind that if you are playing in the afternoons or twilight, you can get some bad/foggy weather so I'd recommend playing in the mornings. Typically less fog in Sept/Oct but just something to watch out for.

    Posted:
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