News & Events

New Year… New Challenges. A letter from the Founders of the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance.

Jan 3, 2017

San Francisco Public Golf Alliance - New Year
Dear Friends of Public Golf, 
The new year is a time for reflect, to look back on our progress and look forward to the challenges ahead.  
When we founded the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance in 2009, we were alarmed at the imminent threat to our beautiful and historic public courses. Our mission then was the same as our mission today:
"Our goal is to nurture and defend affordable, eco-friendly public golf in San Francisco for future generations, by encouraging public golf throughout all segments of the community, and by caring for San Francisco's heritage public golf courses."
In 2016 we moved closer to those goals. It was another very good year for San Francisco public golf and in particular for our civic jewel - the historic Alister MacKenzie muni masterpiece at Sharp Park:
  • Most recently, the San Francisco Planning and Rec & Park Commissions on December 15 approved a Final Environmental Impact Report and Natural Areas Plan Sharp Park Plan. The plan recognizes the historic, recreational and community values of the18-hole Sharp Park Golf Course, and strikes a balance with the need to improve habitat for the frogs and snakes that inhabit the Sharp Park wetlands.  This was a victory for golfers and common-sense environmentalists alike.  Three holes may need to be modified to accommodate the habitat, but we will continue to work with the City of San Francisco to preserve, protect and enhance Sharp Parks's historic architectural integrity. Thanks to all who wrote letters and showed-up to testify at the Commissions’ December 15 public hearing. 
  • File this one under "Addition Through Subtraction"... 2016 was the first year since 2011 that there was no active legal action against the Sharp Park Golf Course, the City of San Francisco and/or SF Recreation & Park Department plans for the park. For that we owe a debt of gratitude to the law offices of City Attorney Dennis Hererra and our friends at Morrison Foerster who together beat back every legal challenge. 
  • The new greens at Holes 4, 5, 6, and 7 were opened for play in Spring, 2016.  Thanks to head greenskeeper Almar Valenzuela and his small-but-mighty crew for their excellent work on the new greens.   
  • Sharp Park and SF public golf supporters SFPGA Director Lisa Villasenor and Lynn Nelson, Chair of the Mayor's Women’s Golf Council, joined Mayor Ed Lee at the Executive Women's Golf Day, kicking off the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic tournament at Lake Merced.  These events are evidence of what many are saying - the surge of participation in women’s golf is the future of the game. 
  • The Fifth Annual Alister MacKenzie Tournament, held in June, 2016, was a great success, raising consciousness, community support, and funds for the Alliance’s ongoing battle to Save Sharp Park.  We introduced our first on-line silent auction with great golf adventures and goods made available from our fantastic sponsors. Thanks to all who participated, brought teams, and participated in the fun and fesitivites.  

2017 will bring new challenges in fending-off the anti-golf zealots’ attacks and new opportunities to enhance the historic integrity of Alister MacKenzie's Sharp Park.
  • As noted above, the extremist eco-litigators bent on destroying Sharp Park Golf have taken quite a bruising in the courts over the last few years. They've returned to the political battlefield hoping for a more favorable hearing of their tired, false, discredited, and dismissed misrepresentations about the course. We have a new Board of Supervisors in San Francisco, some of whom will be hearing these issues for the first time. We'll need your help to show the new Board public support for our municipal gems. Stay tuned!
  • Planning is underway for the  Alister MacKenzie Benefit  Tournament again in early June, 2017. It's always a great time and helps fund our Save Sharp Park efforts. Tell your friends and watch this space.
  • We will continue to work with public agencies and officials in San Francisco, San Mateo County, and Pacifica towards the goal of striking a win-win balance renovating Alister MacKenzie’s historic links and recovering habitat for frogs and snakes.
Hang in there with us!
  Richard Harris - President         Bo Links - Vice President
Richard HarrisBo Links
San Francisco Public Golf Alliance
Contact: Info@SFPublicGolf.Org