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Lake Merced GC vs TPC Harding Park


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So I'm making my way back to my home town of CA next month and was graciously offered reciprocity from Lake Merced. I have played Harding Park plenty and I just wanted to know how Lake Merced compares? I couldn't get on Cal Club or Olympic but Lake Merced could not have been more accommodating. Just looking for opinions on the course and how it stacks up? Thanks! 

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The course will be in great shape. It is always in great shape.    The greens there are fast and a true defense of each hole. You might feel like you are cutting dog legs, have short irons in t

The greens are far faster than what Harding usually has during regular play. I have talked to a few guys out at Harding, and they say that they are intentionally left slow to speed up play.  

Absolutely will update you guys! Thanks for all the kind words and insight!

The course will be in great shape. It is always in great shape. 
 

The greens there are fast and a true defense of each hole. You might feel like you are cutting dog legs, have short irons in the approach, and then you three putt and realize where the teeth of LM are. 
 

As a comparison to Harding, you are going to have a lot more elevation changes. Think 14 at Harding with the large swale in the middle of the fairway. 

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For it's first 35 years or so, 1925 to 1955 Lake Merced GC's layout of holes and clubhouse were both sensational.

Due to the construction of Hwy 280 (late 1950's ?) LMGC lost its original club house and several golf holes.

Approximately 1960 LMGC's new club house and holes were open for business and well liked and respected for the next 30years, including hosting dozens of 36 hole US Open Sectional Qualifier tournaments, as well as a USGA National Junior Championship.

In the mid-90's , hoping to someday get a US Open, LMGC hired Rees Jones to redesign the course. His work included removing the traditional subtle break greens in favor of severely undulating ones. Also, he removed the traditional green side bunkering in favor of modern style deep pit bunkers. After the redesign most players considered LMGC to be not near as good a courses as it once was. Definitely worth playing, though, so have at it.

 

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1 hour ago, wtoomey said:

The course will be in great shape. It is always in great shape. 
 

The greens there are fast and a true defense of each hole. You might feel like you are cutting dog legs, have short irons in the approach, and then you three putt and realize where the teeth of LM are. 
 

As a comparison to Harding, you are going to have a lot more elevation changes. Think 14 at Harding with the large swale in the middle of the fairway. 

Hey man appreciate the insight! In terms of green speed, do they compare to something along the lines of Pasa? Or more Harding? I love fast greens

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36 minutes ago, Fairway14 said:

For it's first 35 years or so, 1925 to 1955 Lake Merced GC's layout of holes and clubhouse were both sensational.

Due to the construction of Hwy 280 (late 1950's ?) LMGC lost its original club house and several golf holes.

Approximately 1960 LMGC's new club house and holes were open for business and well liked and respected for the next 30years, including hosting dozens of 36 hole US Open Sectional Qualifier tournaments, as well as a USGA National Junior Championship.

In the mid-90's , hoping to someday get a US Open, LMGC hired Rees Jones to redesign the course. His work included removing the traditional subtle break greens in favor of severely undulating ones. Also, he removed the traditional green side bunkering in favor of modern style deep pit bunkers. After the redesign most players considered LMGC to be not near as good a courses as it once was. Definitely worth playing, though, so have at it.

 

Sadly I'm aware of Rees' changes. I hear Hanse is doing some work on it in the near future so hopefully he can restore a bit 

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I would choose LMGC in a heartbeat. Harding is fun, but in my opinion not particularly interesting. Sure it is challenging, but basically lots of flat, fairly similar holes, long rough, cypress trees - you know the deal. Greens were surprisingly slow when I played there about a month ago. I've only played LMGC once, about a year ago, and I really enjoyed the course. Lots of interesting holes, tons of elevation change, and really well kept. Not what I would imagine to be a tournament host site, but in terms of golf for us mere mortals, I thought it was way more fun than Harding. Just my $.02

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30 minutes ago, parmo99 said:

I would choose LMGC in a heartbeat. Harding is fun, but in my opinion not particularly interesting. Sure it is challenging, but basically lots of flat, fairly similar holes, long rough, cypress trees - you know the deal. Greens were surprisingly slow when I played there about a month ago. I've only played LMGC once, about a year ago, and I really enjoyed the course. Lots of interesting holes, tons of elevation change, and really well kept. Not what I would imagine to be a tournament host site, but in terms of golf for us mere mortals, I thought it was way more fun than Harding. Just my $.02

Oh no I appreciate your response. I've played Harding. I got the invite to Lake Merced so it's booked I was just curious how it stacks up. Sadly I don't have a way on to cal club or SFGC but I've played Pasa and Harding many times. Love Pasa. Looking forward to Lake Merced

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On 10/26/2020 at 3:19 PM, bjenn4242 said:

Oh no I appreciate your response. I've played Harding. I got the invite to Lake Merced so it's booked I was just curious how it stacks up. Sadly I don't have a way on to cal club or SFGC but I've played Pasa and Harding many times. Love Pasa. Looking forward to Lake Merced

Have fun, will be curious to hear what you think afterwards.

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