Nov 28, 2023by - San Francisco Public Golf Alliance
Sunday, November 12 was bright and warm at Sharp Park. Clear skies. Little wind. Shirtsleeves weather. Like a Late Fall Day in San Diego or Santa Monica -- Torrey Pines or Riviera. The beautiful weather was propitious for the Ninth Annual Alister MacKenzie Tournament to Save Sharp Park – back from a 3-year Covid break.
It was a remarkable day at the landmark Sharp Park Golf Course on many counts, starting with a full field of enthusiastic golfers, most of them young women and men – a new generation of Alister MacKenzie fans.
Early Morning, Ready to Scramble
Sharp Park Golf Club President Bob Downing called the course conditions the best he has ever seen -- thanks to an understaffed-but-hard-working greens crew.
The Golf Auction was the strongest ever, featuring Top-100 courses from across the Country, from Winged Foot, Baltusrol. Camargo, and Somerset Hills on the East Coast to Monterey Peninsula, Spyglass, and Olympic Club’s Lakeside on the West.
Af a luncheon after golf, architects Jay Blasi and Peter Flory described their excitement for a Sharp Park restoration. Flory is a Chicago-based historic golf restoration specialist, who consulted with Tom Doak on the recent restoration of Charles Blair Macdonald’s fabled Lido Golf Club on a Wisconsin sandlot.
But at Sharp Park on Sunday, November 12, the conversation kept returning to The Weather. And the question most frequently heard by tournament organizers was: “How did you get such great weather at this time of year?”
We have a theory: ALISTER MacKENZIE HAS FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES.
Golf is a game on many levels, including recreation, companionship, and competition. Another level is metaphysical, even spiritual. The great architects – and MacKenzie is one of history’s greatest – built shrines where a structured walk in Nature becomes a labyrinth for contemplation and connection with Universal Forces. The late USGA President Sandy Tatum spoke of this when he famously called Cypress Point “the Sistine Chapel of Golf”. Sharp Park – built by MacKenzie right after he finished Cypress Point and just before he started work at Augusta National – is such a golf shrine. And it is public and affordable. And the golfers are the shrine’s stewards.
The purpose and challenge of the non-profit San Francisco Public Golf Alliance is to advocate and defend public golf and MacKenzie’s shrine at Sharp Park, to see to its proper care and maintenance, to honor MacKenzie’s vision and preserve as much as possible his original design. And we thank and welcome and need your support, your money, and your participation in this ongoing effort.
We hope you will enjoy a few pics from the event as much as we enjoyed playing on this glorious day. We will gather again for the 10th Alister MacKenzie Tournament in early Summer 2024, and all are invited. Let us know if you want to join the fun.
Sign-in table: Jippy Pang, Barbara Petersen, Lisa Lacayo, Karen Larroche, Helen Duffy (L. to R.)
Wearables in the History Corner, with SF Public Golf Alliance Board Member Jason Yip
and the Tee Prize – A lovely blue embroidered “Sharp Park” hoodie modeled by Diego Ortiz
And they’re off: Strolling down the 11th fairway, toward Mori Point
Hickories Old Tom Smith, Conner Larson, Courtney Jamieson Larson, Jerry Stratford (L. to R.)
The Scene Seen from the Starter’s Window: Teddy Collins tees off at Hole #1
The Boys of Fall: Jimmy Sakamoto, Andrew Sun, David Ishida, Rod Iwashita (L. to R.)
Tough Pin at Ten
Bar Then Par: Anouk Ben-Tchavtchavadze, Erike Gliebe, Elaine Menn, Craig Menn (L to R)
Blue Sky at the 15h green (L to R: Bob Feldscher, Brad Knipstein, Stuart Jones)
Auction table: A-List Golf Courses from Coast to Coast
Special thanks to the hospitable staffs of the Sharp Park Golf Course and Restaurant and tournament volunteers from our co-hosts, the Sharp Park Men’s and Sharp Park Business Women’s Golf Clubs. And thanks for the generosity and support of key Sponsors and benefactors,some of whose logos appear below.