Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park GC, San Francisco. Jack Fleming, 1951.

For some reason, maybe just because of prior experience with Vancouver’s Stanley Park pitch and putt, I expected this course to essentially be a pitch and putt as well. So you can imagine my surprise when I got over to the first tee and found myself facing a 165-yard hole sternly uphill to a small green benched into the base of an old dune.

Golden Gate Park may be a 9-hole par 3 course but it is no pitch and putt. You’ll find holes as long as 195 yards and you’re close enough to the ocean side of the park that this short walk ambles up and over a large old dune several times.

You get a peek at toward the Pacific from the second tee and the shot squeezed between Cypress trees on the 3rd is attractive, but there really aren’t any must see holes here. Still, it’s a pleasant enough place to spend an hour or so warming up your legs or your swing, or just spending some time outside.

Sure, the grass would grow better if there were half as many trees, but I’m not sure that’s a tradeoff I would make, for once.