News & Events

Simply the Best: Golf Architecture at Sharp Park

Nov 1, 2017

NCGA Fall 2017 Issue Cover Story
Check-out the new Fall, 2017 edition of NCGA Golf, the quarterly magazine of the Northern California Golf Association. Golf architecture is the theme of this issue, and Alister MacKenzie’s historic Sharp Park is a featured subject of several articles.

NCGA Fall 2017 Issue“Sharp Park is more than a golf course; it is a test case for how much we care about public golf,” Sports Illustrated senior writer Alan Shipnuck writes in an article captioned Why Saving Sharp Park Matters:

“It is a referendum on the preservation of history, an experiment in these fraught times to see if private citizens can still come together for the public good.”  (Page 20) 

In a second article, captioned “Northern California Clearly “The Best” Mr. Shipnuck  continues,
“…  the most renowned architect of all time, Alister MacKenzie, has his own celebrated trifecta [of courses] in Northern California:  Cypress Point, Pasatiempo, and the Meadow Club, to say nothing of the lovably scruffy muni Sharp Park.”  (Page 32) 
Bradley S. Klein, one of the country’s leading authorities on golf architecture and a senior writer at Golfweek Magazine, surveys outstanding Northern California courses in an article captioned “Simply the Best”.  In that article, Klein compares Sharp Park to a handful of the great Scottish public courses which inspired MacKenzie’s design at Sharp: 
“From the WPA-era clubhouse to the use of a native lagoon and holes running sheer along the Pacific Coast, Sharp Park embodies the spirit of a rugged outdoor experience.  And yet it’s seamlessly meshed into a town’s life – much as the holes at North Berwick, St. Andrews, Gullane or Machrihanish weave their way into the village center.  It takes a particular kind of genius to make those elements of nature and contrivance work as if one composition.  MacKenzie was able in a public setting here to express his art form to an unusual degree."  (Page 28) 
Finally, featured golf architect Jay Blasi is asked about his proudest projects and points to a planned Sharp Park renovation:
"...Sharp Park - the municipal course in Pacifica designed by Alister MacKenzie... We're planning to restore the layout and bring back the MacKenzie look that has been masked over time." - (Page 26)
These are just the latest in growing library of articles in the golf press extolling the architecture, history, and the many-years-long battle to save MacKenzie’s classic seaside public links at Sharp Park.  See also:
Geoff Shackelford“Sharply Divided” Golf Digest, July 13, 2009
The Cultural Landscape Foundation -  Sharp Park Golf Course Threatened with Closure,” July 10, 2009
SF Public Golf Alliance website -  “Saving Sharp Park:  The Press and the Big Picture" April 2, 2017