Olympic Club (Lake)

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The Olympic Club is an athletic club and private social club in San Francisco, California. Its main “City Clubhouse” is located in San Francisco’s Union Square district, and its three golf courses are in the southwestern corner of the city, at the border with Daly City. The “Lakeside Clubhouse” is located just north of the Daly City border; the two clubhouses are separated by about 10 miles (16 km).

The three golf courses are named Lake, Ocean, and Cliffs. Lake and Ocean are 18-hole par-71 courses, and the Cliffs is a nine-hole par-3 course in the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. All three venues are lined with many trees (almost 40,000 on the Lake course) and offer views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park. The United States Golf Association recognizes the Olympic Club as one of the first 100 golf clubs established in the United States.

Established on May 6, 1860, The Olympic Club has long been a west coast powerhouse in amateur sports. The Club is the home of many local, regional, national and international champions and has hosted five U.S. By 1922, the Club had acquired enough acreage to replace the original golf course with two 18-hole golf courses. Willie Watson and course superintendent Sam Whiting designed the first Lake and Ocean courses in 1924. Unfortunately, storm damage led Sam Whiting to redesign both courses again in 1927.

The Lake Course remains true to the 1927 design with minimal renovations in the intervening years. Prior to the 1955 U.S. Open, the Club brought the USGA’s official course architect, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., to toughen the Lake Course for competition.  Most recently, the Club completed the Lake Course Greens Replacement project. Conversion from poa annua to bent-grass greens was the primary objective of the project, but the crew also rebuilt and renovated greens. The new 8th hole, the first routing change to the course since 1927, was sculpted into the surrounding hillside with views of the clubhouse. It played as a 200-yard par 3.

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