Of all the public golf courses in San Francisco, Sharp Park, which opened for play in April 1932, arguably has the most distinguished pedigree and the deepest historical roots. Located 10 miles south of San Francisco alongside Salada Beach in Pacifica (San Mateo County), the course was designed by Dr. Alister Mackenzie, the Golf Hall of Fame architect who also designed Augusta National (home of the Masters Championship), Cypress Point (often ranked as the finest course in the world), as well as scores of other famed courses around the globe.
But even among that famous company, Sharp Park is utterly unique. It is the only MacKenize course that is both public and by the sea. The layout is spectacular, featuring stunning mountain and headlands views and a host of MacKenizie’s signature design features: the use of camouflage; cloud-shaped bunkers; sprawling greens; double fairways, and shotmaking options that require careful strategic thinking by the golfer. U.S. Open Champion Ken Venturi, who grew up on San Francisco’s public courses, called Sharp Park “Dr. MacKenzie’s great gift to the American public course golfer.”
In a sense, MacKenzie transplanted a bit of Scotland and placed it on the California Coast. Sharp Park represents a true public links venue, reminiscent of classics such as North Berwick and St. Andrews itself. The old-time Scottish flavor of the place is accentuated by the 1932 Spanish Revival-style clubhouse, designed by the Willis Polk office, which today houses a lively neighborhood pub.
Although a few of MacKenzie’s original holes were abandoned by the City in 1941, the layout today remains largely intact and plans to restore this historic course are in the works.
Click here to read a stirring letter detailing Sharp Park’s history, Dr. MacKenie’s approach to golf and to learn what makes this seaside links course "a Bit of Scotland on the Pacific."
Golfers at Sharp Park are a diverse community bound together by a passion for the game and love for this historic public course. Watch the video below and read excerpts from their letters to local public officials.
Location: Highway 1 & Sharp Park Road, Pacifica, CA 94044
Architect: Dr. Alister MacKenzie? (Augusta National, Cypress Point, Royal Melbourne)
Par/Yardage: Blue tees: 6494 / 72 ; White tees:6239 / 72; Red tees: 5793 / 74?
Greens Fees: $16 - $46