Looking Back and Moving Forward. A New Year Message from the Founders.

- by: Richard Harris and Bo Links

The Year in Review -  Closer to the Dream
16th Tee
“It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.”  Charles Dickens’ always-timely lede to A Tale of Two Cities well sums-up the 2017 Chapter of the Save Sharp Park Saga.  
First, the worst. We lost two giants of San Francisco public golf in the last year:
Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco’s first Asian-American mayor, enthusiastic golfer, and a great advocate of public golf and Sharp Park, died on December 12. Mayor Lee was more than the city’s First Golfer.  He was an unabashed champion. He treasured the magic of Alister MacKenzie’s work and his December, 2011 veto of a last-minute anti-golf Board of Supervisors resolution kept Sharp Park Golf open.
Sandy Tatum, the driving force behind the 2003 renovation of Harding Park, founder of the First Tee of San Francisco, USGA President from 1978 -1980, and passionate supporter of public golf, died on June 22. In the last decade of his life, Sandy enlisted in the battle to Save Sharp Park, testifying before City commissions and playing in our annual Alister MacKenzie tournament to Save Sharp Park. 
But these tragedies were not the end of story. The prospects for returning Sharp Park to glory remain good, thanks to a couple of great victories that book-ended the year 2017. These triumphs set the stage for great things to come in 2018.  
SF Board of Supervisors Votes For The Plan
Sharp Park Media coverage
In February 2017, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 9-1 to certify the Environmental Impact Report for the Rec & Park Department’s “Natural Areas Plan and Laguna Salada Recovery Plan.”  Among other things:  the EIR approved continued operation of the 18-hole Sharp Park Golf Course. It also designated the course as “Historic Resource Property” under the California Environmental Quality Act; and allowed modification of three golf holes along the margins of Laguna Salada, on condition that the changes be consistent with the golf course’s historic architectural character.  
Coastal Commission Approves Sea Wall
In November, 2017 it was the California Coastal Commission’s turn.  At a public hearing November 8 at Bodega Bay, the Commission voted overwhelmingly to grant a Coastal Development Permit to San Francisco [LINK HERE - Sharp Park agenda item from 1:01:05 – 2:47:12] . This action approved the Sharp Park Sea Wall and, among other things, requires San Francisco to (1) regularly inspect and maintain the sea wall, and (2) build new visitor-serving amenities for the California Coastal Trail on top of it.  
The Alister MacKenzie Benefit Tournament to Save Sharp Park
Sharp Park Benefit Tournament Head Covers
In June, 2017 over 150 golfers turned-out to celebrate the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance’s Sixth Annual Alister MacKenzie Tournament to Save Sharp Park. They enjoyed fog in the morning, sun and wind in the afternoon, an exciting finish, and Dr. MacKenzie’s beautiful seaside links all day long. The event was a great success, raising consciousness, community support, and funds for the Alliance’s ongoing battle to save, preserve and renew the course. We are grateful to our sponsors and all who participated in the fun and fesitivites.  
To keep the good feelings going and help our supporters show their passion for Sharp Park and all it represents, we’ve reissued our fabulous, bright red leather “Save Sharp Park” driver headcover. This is a great way to demonstrate lasting commitment to the cause and spread the word. And… it’s a great gift item for friends and colleagues. Equally important, it’s really cool looking.  Get it in your golf bag today, and walk tall down the fairway!
The Year Ahead
Kroichick on Sharp Park
So where does that leave Sharp Park as we begin 2018?  
Answer:  Poised for recovery and renewal.  In 2018, we will work with public golfers, San Francisco, and friends of Alister MacKenzie everywhere to take tangible steps to recapture at Sharp Park the glory envisioned by Dr. MacKenzie, who saw Sharp Park “as sporty as The Old Course at St. Andrews and as picturesque a golf course as any in the world."
That’s a big task, but with your help and support, it will happen. So stay in touch, and be ready to roll out your support when the call comes.
Prospero Ano Nuevo!  Gong xi fa cai!  Bonne Anne!  Gong hey fat choi!  Happy New Year!
  Bo Links - Vice President     Richard Harris - President
   Bo Links          Richard Harris
San Francisco Public Golf Alliance
Contact: Info@SFPublicGolf.Org

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