Jul 25, 2023by - San Francisco Public Golf Alliance
The 9-hole Golden Gate Park Golf Course, which closed for renovation in March 2023, is on track for a late Fall reopening under a 15-year Lease and Operating Agreement between the San Francisco Rec & Park Department and the Golden Gate Park Golf Development Foundation - a charitable affiliate of the non-profit First Tee – San Francisco. The Agreement was supported by the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance, and was approved in February by the Rec and Park Commission, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and Mayor London Breed.
Opened for play in 1949, the original course was designed by Jack Fleming, who in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s had been a construction assistant to the legendary architect Alister MacKenzie at Cypress Point, Pasatiempo and Sharp Park. First Tee has managed the property since December 2013 and conducted its youth golf and educational programs for over 8,000 San Francisco elementary school students annually, while also keeping the course open for play by diverse golfers of all ages.
Moving sand for the new 6th hole in April
The Lease and Operating Agreement provides, in part, that the charitable Foundation invest $2.5 million to install a new irrigation system and enhance playability by renovating the golf course pursuant to a design by architect Jay Blasi that calls for hole distances between 103-166 yards. As of July, the sandy soil has been cleared, the tees, fairways and greens shaped, planted, and the fairways are growing in nicely.
That was then... This is now (soon).
For its part, the SF Rec & Park Department is in the process of rebuilding the clubhouse, which was destroyed by an arson fire in 2018. The Department’s 2023-2024 Budget includes total projected clubhouse reconstruction expenses in excess of $5 Million. While a Late Fall 2023 reopening is targeted, an exact date has not yet been set while the clubhouse is completed and course "grow in" is established.
Excitement is building for America's "newest" premier par 3 course as noted in this episode of the The Firepit Collective with Architect Jay Blasi, First Tee of SF CEO Dan Burke, and sportswriter Alan Shipnuck: “Golden Gate Park Golf Course Reborn”:
"Tucked into a corner of one of America’s greatest urban parks, hard by the Pacific Ocean, in the shadow of San Francisco’s celebrated windmills, the Golden Gate Park Golf Course has been a treasured local secret since 1951. The par-3 course is a community gathering place and portal into the game for many beginners. Now, under the stewardship of the First Tee – San Francisco and the city’s Parks and Rec Dept., the course is being reimagined."
Can't wait to check it out!